Consumers should be aware of the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile. Ceramic is less expensive for a reason. It is fired at lower temperature than porcelain, which makes it less durable and less appropriate for high traffic areas of your home. We don’t recommend ceramic for commercial floor use at all.
Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile
There are many differences between porcelain and ceramic tile. Here are just a few important ones:
- Porcelain is more durable – Porcelain tile is fired at a much higher temperature using fine porcelain clay. This makes it denser and more durable.
- Porcelain is suitable for indoor and outdoor use – Ceramic, on the other hand, should not be used outdoors due to it’s high water absorption.
- Ceramic is cheaper – Or is it? You will pay less for ceramic tile than porcelain. However, because porcelain is more durable it also tends to last longer, saving you money in the long run.
Porcelain Tile is the Green Choice
The highest quality porcelain tile is considered a green flooring product. This means the tile contains no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), is low maintenance and has a long life cycle. Green flooring follows green building standards according to the criteria of U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC).
In addition, quality green porcelain tile can help finished building projects earn valuable LEED points towards an LEED certification on finished product.
Porcelain for Commercial Use
Although ceramic can be used indoors, we do not recommend it for commercial use. Commercial spaces tend to experience more wear than residential and are more prone to water exposure. For these reasons, we recommend the more durable choice – porcelain. PEI ratings for porcelain are usually around 5, designating it’s use for heavy residential and commercial traffic. Always check the PEI rating for your tile product, especially if you choose ceramic. Ceramic tile can have a PEI rating as low as 0 (no foot traffic)!
Do You Homework Before Your Buy
Check out the manufacturing process of your tile before you buy. You really do get what you pay for. At the Floor Store, we love talking tile! Come into our showroom and we’ll tell you more than you ever wanted to know…and help you pick a tile that’s just right for you.