Porcelain or Ceramic?

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When it comes to choosing your tile does it matter if you go for ceramic or porcelain? Are they just the same product? Why is porcelain more expensive?

Well, porcelain and ceramic tiles are pretty much the same. They are both part of a larger category of tiles that can be called ceramic. They start to be called porcelain when differences like hardness and how porous it is.

When choosing whether to use porcelain or ceramic there are a few things we need to look at.

Where are the tiles to be used?

Using a ceramic tile outside, be it on a wall or on the floor is a massive no no! Ceramic tiles are nowhere near durable enough for use outside, this is because of the porousness of the material. Ceramic tiles have a  higher water absorption rate usually of about 6% while this is absolutely fine for a bathroom or kitchen it is no good for an exterior because any water that gets into the tile in winter can freeze, and when that water freezes it will expand and when it expands…..that’s right the tile will either “craze” or even worse shatter!!

So porcelain is your best bet for outside, stone would be your best bet but if you want to utilise our printing methods you will need to use either a polished porcelain tile. We can even print onto porcelain tiles that are going to be used on the floor as our method will not let the image fade over time with people walking on them.

Density: Porcelain Denser Than Ceramic

Porcelain clays are denser and thus less porous than ceramic clays. This makes porcelain tiles harder and more impervious to moisture than ceramic tile.

Durability

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are fired in a kiln during production, porcelain is fired at higher temperatures for a longer time than ceramic. This combined with drying time makes porcelain tiles tougher and ceramic tiles softer. This means that porcelain tiles can be used for flooring as it will be much more durable, but ceramic tiles will be much easier to cut to size, meaning that if you are a DIY-er you’ll be able to use something like a snap tile cutter.

So once you have decided what type of tile you think will suit your project best let us know and we will source the exact size you are after and then get to work applying your design to it. As we mentioned both porcelain and ceramic tiles are fired in a kiln in the manufacturing process, we also have to put them in our kiln a further time, this time at a lower temperature. This further firing effectively melts your chosen image into the gloss of the porcelain or ceramic tile.

Cost

Ceramic tiles will always be cheaper compared to a porcelain tile of the same size, this is because it takes more time to make a porcelain tile than ceramic tile. This cost is also reflected in our price, as one square metre of ceramic tiles will be between £24.00 – £35.00 and porcelain tiles will be between £35.00 – £55.00 depending on size. Our standard size is a 15 cm x 15 cm ceramic tile. Once all our work of designing your tiles and applying the design is done the cost will be £150.00 We try to keep the cost for different size tiles and porcelain tiles at a minimum promising that you will never pay more than £180.00 per square metre no matter what size or material tile you choose!

But remember that you need to take all factors into account when choosing the right tile for you NOT just cost!