Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile: A Three-Scenario Showdown

All tile is created equal, right? Not quite. Porcelain and ceramic may belong to the same family, but they’re two slightly different products. Here we pose three scenarios and explain whether porcelain or ceramic is the better choice. Scenario 1: You’re installing tile in a room with high moisture content. The best pick: Porcelain Why doesn’t porcelain absorb much moisture? According to the TCNA, porcelain is naturally dense, which means it’s harder to penetrate. In other words, it’s nearly waterproof. This property makes porcelain a no-brainer for bathroom installations, as well as other areas of your home that are exposed to moisture. Kitchens can also be considered wet zones due to liquids encountered during food prep and clean up, as well as the presence of your sink and dishwasher. You may feel more comfortable with porcelain flooring to withstand spills and leaks. You may also prefer porcelain in your laundry room in the event your washer leaks. Scenario 2: You’re on a budget. The best pick: Ceramic Not all porcelain tile is costly, but if you shop around long enough, you’ll start to notice a trend: It’s generally more expensive than ceramic is. If you’re on a tight budget, ceramic will fit the bill. Budget doesn’t mean passé when it comes to ceramic tile. Fortunately, you can still find ceramic tiles that showcase the latest industry trends, such as wood-look tile. Scenario 3: You’re installing tile in a space with high foot traffic. The best pick: Porcelain Both ceramic and porcelain excel in high-traffic areas in comparison with other flooring types (such as hardwood, laminate and carpet). But porcelain is a denser tile, and as a result it offers better long-term resistance to scuffs and scratches. Living rooms and hallways are two of the perfect places to install porcelain. Households with children and pets will appreciate porcelain’s durability. credit: Houzz

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