Is porcelain and ceramic tile the same thing?
Porcelain and ceramic tile are both very popular flooring materials but they are made in very different ways giving them different characteristics.
Porcelain & Ceramic Tile
Ceramic and porcelain tile flooring is durable, practical and simply stunning. Tile is available in hundreds of shapes, sizes, styles, and colors; from textured and rustic to smooth and contemporary, and even with slip resistant characteristics.
Ceramic and porcelain tile is easy to clean, resistant to stains, odors, scratches, mold, mildew and water resistant; making it the perfect flooring in high moisture areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and foyers. And, in regions where there is high humidity and heat, tile is used throughout the entire home. Plus, the colors in ceramic and porcelain tiles do not fade even if exposed to direct sunlight, they remain permanently color fast.
Because ceramic tile does not absorb odors, smoke, paint fumes or other contaminants, it improves indoor air quality by reducing allergies.
Tile is one of the strongest and cost effective surfaces available on the market today and can withstand abrasion and the wear and tear caused by heavy foot traffic. This means less spending on replacement flooring. And, if one tile breaks, its easy to pop it out and replace it.
The term "ceramic tile" is often used as a generic name for all types of tile. But the composition of true ceramic is very different from that of the other types. Ceramic is made primarily of clay mixed with various minerals and water that is processed with heat to create the solidified product. Since ceramic material is porous, the top surface is usually sealed with a glaze. The glazed surface is referred to as the design layer since it determines the tile’s finished color, design and texture.
The primary ingredient in the composition of porcelain tile is finely-ground sand. Unlike ceramic, processing of the porcelain involves pressure and extremely high temperatures. It’s the same high temperatures that gives Porcelain a rich palette that makes it difficult at times to distinguish from natural stone. Because of its density and composition of natural ingredients, porcelain tile has all the same excellent qualities of glazed ceramic but is much more durable.
Since porcelain is a denser material, it’s a little more challenging to install and requires special tools for cutting and shaping. The average do-it-yourselfer would not typically have these tools and may not be experienced enough to use them if they were rented or purchased.
All tile require an appropriate sub-floor, and grout color and width. Grout is a cement-oriented bonding material used for filling joints between tiles. It has added colors to compliment your tile flooring.
Ask your Buy Low sales team about the type of sub-floor required for your project and about the variety of grout that might will work best with your tile flooring.
I love the look of natural stone. What is the difference between stone, ceramic and porcelain?
Stone is a natural quarried product that requires special handling but delivers an extremely distinctive look to your home.
Stone has a look of it's own, it is ageless, timeless and beautiful. From extraordinary tile shapes and sizes to masterful specimens of stone mosaics, natural stone flooring inspire absolute refinement. And, since stone is a natural product, it offers a unlimited amount of variations in color, texture and appearance. Some lighter-colored stone will actually darken as they age. If you prefer a more predictable look to your flooring with very little variation, stone might not be the best choice for your home.
Stone is by far more expensive to buy than ceramic and porcelain, and the most expensive to install. Additional labor is required for pre-sealing of the stone and, because of the irregularity of the material a more expensive thinsets. Porcelain and ceramic are easier to maintain. Stone is porous and must be sealed every 8 to 12 months. Stone can be softer than ceramic and porcelain, however since it is colored though the entire tile, it is less noticeable than a chip in ceramic or porcelain.
Installing natural stone flooring yourself is a backbreaking proposition. The work is labor intensive and exacting. It requires training and special tools. An installation by Buy Low’s seasoned professional will make sure your stone floor lives up to your expectations.