What’s the Difference Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tile?

porcelain and ceramic tile

Tiles are common materials in the bathroom and kitchen. Unlike the general concept of these glossy installations, it actually comes in different types – two of which are porcelain and ceramic tile. So the question is this: in porcelain and ceramic tile, which one is better?

In this post, we will discuss the differences between the two and on which application each one works best.


Porcelain is a material created by fusing clays. This makes the end-product solid and impermeable to moisture and other chemicals. With this, porcelain has a lower water absorption rate than ceramic tiles.

The difference between porcelain and china or ceramic is that the former is way durable. In fact, porcelain is considered to be the toughest flooring material available in the market.

It can endure direct impact and the daily stresses of foot traffic. Also, porcelain doesn’t easily burn when exposed to fire.

Aside from that, porcelain has a low ongoing cost since it’s not maintenance demanding plus it’s very easy to clean.

However, porcelain isn’t one without some disadvantages. First, it’s very heavy. For you to use porcelain on the second floor of a property, the building should have the integrity to carry the extra weight.

Another thing is that it takes time and effort to install porcelain tiles.


On the other hand, ceramic is made from a semi-crystalline material which makes it porous if not glazed. Also, ceramic has a high water absorption rate and is less durable compared to porcelain.

Ceramic is fired with a lower temperature which makes it less dense than porcelain. The result is it’s easier to cut, something that can be advantages for certain projects.

If glazed, ceramic tiles can actually compete with porcelain floor tiles. Another big advantage of using ceramic tiles is you can print designs on it. And just like porcelain, ceramic tiles are easy to maintain and clean.

Another similarity of ceramic to porcelain tiles is its weight. Ceramic tiles are heavy too and the building has to be checked for integrity of carrying this extra weight.

Take note that ceramic tiles are ideal on interior surfaces only. If you’re planning to tile your patio or driveway, it’s best to use porcelain pieces.

Also, avoid installing ceramic tiles on high moisture areas like the bathroom, pools, and tubs.

Porcelain vs ceramic tile cost

When it comes to the cost, ceramic is way cheaper than porcelain. In fact, ceramic tiles’ cost is around 30% off the price of porcelain. Still, prices will vary per area and supplier.

Still, ceramic tiles should always be the cheaper option. It can only increase in price if there’s special glazing or printing applied to it.


In this porcelain vs ceramic tile, we learned that porcelain is much tougher than ceramic. Still, ceramic has an advantage when it comes to price.

The defining factor about which one you should choose is the area of installation. High-moisture areas are better off with porcelain tiles since it absorbs less water than ceramic.

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