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Ceramic or Porcelain Tile What to Choose

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile What to Choose

Remodeling projects require many decisions by the homeowner. A major decision related to bathroom remodels can center around what type of flooring to use. Tile is a great choice because of its beauty and durability. Once that decision is made, your next decision is between porcelain tile or ceramic tile. Ceramic tile costs less than porcelain tile so the decision would seem easy at this point. Not so fast because each tile offers advantages and disadvantages. Home bathrooms endure repeated exposure to moisture, humidity, and heavy traffic. Grout cleaning and tile repair can extend the life of your tile. One of these tiles may cost you more in the long run.

Choosing Bathroom Tile
Ceramic and porcelain are the two most popular choices for bathroom remodeling projects. There are several reasons why ceramic and porcelain are often best for bathroom tiles.

Porcelain and ceramic are made of clay. The main difference is because of how porcelain is created, it makes a denser and more durable tile. Porcelain is a refined clay, fired at higher temperatures and higher pressures. This makes porcelain denser and more durable. This also means that porcelain is costlier than ceramic. Ceramic, on the other hand, is the more affordable option for most homeowners.

Porcelain Tile
Porcelain tile is made using continuous colored stains. The glaze surface and the entire body of the tile is made with one color. With the glaze and body being the same color, porcelain tile is less likely to show chips or imperfections. The denseness and strength of porcelain make it suitable for all types of floors, especially bathrooms. This also makes the tile very durable.

One thing to consider is that porcelain is often difficult to cut. Because it’s so dense, porcelain tile is often brittle. This does not affect its reliability once installed. Some designers feel that porcelain tile allows for more creativity, as the neat, solid-colored edges make it perfect for complex design patterns. Porcelain has tighter grout lines. This can make grout cleaning a little easier.

The correct installation makes all the difference with porcelain tile. Closely following the manufacturer’s instructions should yield the best results. When using large tiles for flooring, it’s important that the substrate is strong, smooth, and perfectly flat. An uncoupling underlayment is required as well. Without these things, porcelain tile is likely to break if used as flooring.

Because it requires more skill to install, porcelain carries a higher cost for installation. But it’s one of the most durable and long-lasting types of tile available.

Ceramic Tile
Glazed ceramic tile is relatively less expensive and easier to install when compared to porcelain. A wet saw can easily cut ceramic without causing any damage. And the tile is also highly resistant to scratches and stains. Ceramic is easy to obtain, inexpensive, and easy to clean.

So it would seem like ceramic is the way to go. The challenge is durability. Ceramic tile chips easier and because the glaze is on the surface everyone will know you have a chipped tile. This means you will need tile repair more often than ceramic. Some feel generally better for walls and other bathroom locations. It can work great for floors, just know it is not as durable. In some bathrooms on going tile repair might become a recurring issue.

Porcelain vs. Ceramic
Deciding on the best choice between porcelain and ceramic depends on several things. The homeowner must consider the location, use, and amount of foot traffic the room will experience. There’s also the issue of moisture and weight load of furniture. How long the homeowner plans to live in the home matters as well. For a short-term stay, ceramic could be a good inexpensive option. If you want long lasting beauty, then porcelain is the way to go.

By Grout Medic Colorado Springs 9-16-2019

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