If you're renovating a kitchen or bathroom, chances are you're in the market for ceramic or porcelain tile. Which is best for your project? Keep reading to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Porcelain vs. ceramic tile
What's the difference between these two types of tile? It's a bit of a trick question. Porcelain is actually a type of ceramic made from denser clays. Both porcelain and ceramic are fired in a kiln, but porcelain is fired at a higher temperature for a longer period of time.
Let's take a look at how these tiles stack up for your home.
Better durability: Porcelain
If you're thinking of porcelain tile in terms of those figurines that belong in a china closet, think again. Porcelain is one tough cookie in tile form. It's harder and denser than ceramic, and because it's less porous, it doesn't absorb nearly as much water as ceramic does. That makes porcelain a great option for bathroom floors and even outdoors. It's also sturdy enough for high-traffic areas like hallways, as well as in the kitchen for countertops and backsplashes.
Better price: Ceramic
Want to save money on your reno? Go with ceramic. Otherwise, get ready to increase your budget by at least 60%. Because porcelain is the heftier material, it costs more to produce.
Of course, the price of your project will be dictated by how many tiles you'll need to cover the space. In general, HomeAdvisor (NASDAQ: ANGI) says you can expect to pay between $0.50 and $35 per square foot for ceramic and $3 and $35 for porcelain. Don't judge price or strength by thickness, though, especially with porcelain. Thinner porcelain tiles are actually more expensive because of an extensive production process that makes them stronger.
Better DIY project: Ceramic
If you're taking on that tiling project yourself, ceramic is far easier to cut. You'll need a diamond blade to slice through tough-as-nails porcelain, so you're much better off going with the pros for that type of project. However, a basic tile saw can work well for ceramic tile.
Better for maintenance: Porcelain
It's hard to damage porcelain tiles, and it's easy to keep them clean. All you need is a gentle cleanser; a vinegar and water solution works just fine, but you can use a commercial cleanser suited for tile.
Ceramic is harder to maintain because it's so porous. You really can't waste time crying over spilled milk: You have to clean it up right away before it soaks in. Even with no spills, ceramic tile will need a weekly mopping to keep it looking good, while you can get away with cleaning porcelain once a month.
Better aesthetic: Ceramic
Don't get us wrong: Porcelain is pretty. But ceramic tile comes in so many textures and finishes that it can look absolutely beautiful, especially when it's used as wall tile.
The bottom line
Porcelain and ceramic tile each have their advantages and disadvantages. You'll want to consider them all when choosing which tile to use for your home renovation projects.