is ceramic or porcelain tile better for floors?

Ceramic vs. Porcelain is one of the most asked topics in our industry. “Which one is better?” Or “how can I tell the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles?” are some of the questions we answer below.

Tiles are hard-wearing covering materials that have been around for centuries and can be used for both flooring and walls. They have withstood the test of time and continue to be one of the most durable floorings available on the market, offering you highly durable, dent and puncture-free flooring that is easy to maintain and clean. 

At Best Buy Floors, we use green-certified tiles created with minimal to no amounts of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are a group of chemicals found in home-building products that can be released into the indoor air you breathe. Unlike other flooring products in the market, tiles have one of the smallest carbon footprints as a benefit.

Let’s talk about the primary differences between porcelain and ceramic tile.

Porcelain tiles 
are the most durable options for your floor. This flooring tile is made of clay and a fine mixture of sand and feldspar, and they are baked at a higher temperature than a ceramic tile. The mix of ingredients and high temperatures makes porcelain tiles denser and, essentially, a lot more durable. In addition, this type of tile is less porous, meaning they absorb less moisture. That condition makes porcelain tiles ideal for outdoor flooring usage since we experience more humidity and temperature fluctuations outside. 

Ceramic tiles are also durable, especially when installed correctly by flooring professionals. This type of flooring is made of finely ground sand, clay, and talc–they are considered more porous than porcelain. We do not recommend installing ceramic tiles outdoors due to the high chance of tile cracking. Likewise, ceramic tiles would not be able to handle traffic to the same extent as porcelain tiles do. 

A few benefits that come with ceramic tiles are:

  • Cost-effective option
  • Easier to cut and work with
  • DIY friendly

Other things to consider when deciding which type of tile to choose:

You can use most floor tiles for walls. But you cannot use all wall tiles for flooring.
 Every tile has its differences, and some wall tiles might be thinner, more fragile, and generally just not appropriate flooring material. Decoramic glass, for example, is not a good choice for your floors–it will break and crack, which can be a huge safety hazard for you and your family.

Another thing to consider is the tile finish. While glossy finishes can be a slip hazard when wet, a matte finish can vastly improve grip performance. To be extra cautious, we recommend choosing a tile that has anti-skid technology to minimize any slipping risks. For shower pans, for example, we suggest selecting mosaic tiles with a matte variance. These pieces generally come in a sheet and are more flexible—it is ideal to avoid making too many cuts with larger format tiles to create your floor tile slope. 

Tile is something that, to be correctly done, takes many years of experience to master. At Best Buy Floors, we pride ourselves on our experienced team of installers. They have minimized potential tile failures and installed new tile floors for thousands of customers over the past 15 years. 

If you are ready to get a quote, or have any questions for our flooring experts, please contact us at your earliest convenience. Best Buy Floors provides a variety of flooring solutions in the greater Seattle area!