Throughout the selection process during your renovation or home extension on the Sunshine Coast, you will be faced with many choices and decisions to make. Regarding tiles, the most popular tiles used in Australia today are porcelain and ceramic, with porcelain being touted as superior (and therefore more expensive!). So what exactly IS the difference between porcelain and ceramic and does it justify the higher price tag? Let’s discuss the key differences between porcelain and ceramic so you can make your own informed decisions, confidently.
Although both ceramic and porcelain tiles are made in a kiln from clay and other naturally occurring materials, the clay used to make porcelain tile is more refined and pure. Porcelain clay is fired at a higher temperature and greater pressure, resulting in an extremely dense and hard material. This denseness makes porcelain more impervious to water than ceramic. Due to its low moisture absorption rate, porcelain is also less likely to crack and is more impervious to stains.
Porcelain can also be rectified, meaning tiles can be cut with laser precision so that all tiles are identical, allowing the tiler to lay them with extremely small grout lines. Rectified-edge tiles are more superior to pressed or cushion edge tiles as they give a more streamlined appearance and there is less grout to clean and maintain.
Essentially, porcelain tile is stronger, more water and moisture resistant, and can be rectified.
However, ceramic tiles can be used throughout the home in different applications. Wall tiles like splashback tiles or floor tiles in main living area’s can successfully have ceramic. The main point to remember is that porcelain is better for wet areas like bathrooms, pools, showers, and baths, due to its stronger and more water impervious nature. Floor and wall tiles requiring rectified edge or being superior in strength will ideally be porcelain. Ceramic ties are still great quality but are more suited to walls and feature tiles. Simply ask your builder or tile supplier whether the tiles you are looking at are suitable for the area of your home you are undertaking building work on.