What’s the difference between ceramic vs porcelain tile?

Ceramic tile is made up of clay plus other naturally-occurring minerals. Ceramic tile comes in both glazed and unglazed finishes. Glazed ceramic tile has a coating applied to the body which gives the tile its color and finish. The color of ceramic tiles typically does not run completely through the body.

Porcelain tile comes in either a glazed finish or through-body color. Through-body porcelain tiles have the same color all the way through and, if chipped or scratched, will not change color. Glazed porcelain tiles are similar to glazed ceramic tiles with a design layer (glaze) on top and a tile body that is a different color.

Do I need to seal my ceramic or porcelain tiles?

Glazed tiles already have the protective coating that seals them from stains and moisture. Unglazed tiles do not have a protective coating. After installation, you will need to use a sealant for unglazed tiles and for the porous grout.

What size grout joint should I use?

Grout joints are an aesthetic decision. Rule of thumb is that larger joints have a tendency to crack and attract more dirt than smaller joints. A thin grout joint ranges from 1/8” to 3/16”. If your tile design contains multiple sizes, a 1/4” grout joint lends a consistent, cohesive look to the finished floor.

How strong is porcelain tile?

Porcelain tile is fired at extremely high temperatures (around 2000°F) until it becomes vitrified, meaning it has a very low porosity. This makes porcelain exceptionally durable, in fact, 30% harder than granite and marble. Most porcelain tiles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor installations.

What are the advantages of glazed tiles?

Glazed tiles offer incredible visual depth and beauty, and the range of colors, designs and patterns is unbelievable. The glaze also makes cleaning easier.