Ceramic or Porcelain? When to use…

20/08/19
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When searching for tiles online or in a showroom it is easy to be overwhelmed by the vast selection and varieties of tiles available. Not only do tiles come in different shapes, colours and textures, they are also made of different materials, with options of glazed/unglazed, etc. This blog will help you to understand more about the different types of tiles and which one is best suited for your project and why.

We have previously written a blog on the two main types of tiles: ceramic and porcelain.  Ceramic tiles can be glazed or unglazed. Whereas, with porcelain tiles, you have the option of glazed, unglazed or full-bodied. Each different option has its various uses.

Ceramic Tiles: Floor or Wall?

Ceramic tiles are excellent for their wide variety of styles and designs. The variety of options available when shopping for ceramic tiles make them an excellent choice for walls, especially where you would like to inject some colour and brightness in your home. Ceramic tiles are also easier to drill and cut and are lighter than porcelain making them ideal for wall tiling. Nowadays with so many porcelain tiles available which are more durable for floor areas, ceramic floor tiles are normally only used for bathroom floors where barefoot or light trafficking takes place.

Bathroom walls

Stockholm is glazed ceramic wall tile that looks amazing and sophisticated as a bathroom wall

Stockholm is a glazed ceramic wall tile that looks amazing and sophisticated as a bathroom wall

Kitchen walls

bradley pic

Bradley is a glazed ceramic wall tile that brings class and style to a kitchen splashback or feature wall

Porcelain Tiles: Glazed or Full Bodied (Unglazed)?

Porcelain tiles are considered to be stronger and suitable for more heavy-duty areas in comparison to glazed ceramic tiles and so are ideal for both floor or wall areas. Because of this focus on porcelain by tile manufacturers, there is now a huge choice available in porcelain for floor or wall areas.  For interior areas of the home a glazed porcelain tile will be suitable for floor areas, even those exposed to heavy-duty use, therefore, you should not limit your choice by considering full-bodied porcelain tiles in internal areas. However, for tiling external areas such as patios and balconies, it is recommended that you use a full-bodied porcelain tile. This is a tile which does not have a glaze and therefore the body of the tile is consistent throughout the tile. Not only are full-bodied porcelains harder wearing (as there is no glaze on the tile) but they are also available with a range of antislip surfaces making them ideal for external areas open to water and high variations in temperatures. Full-bodied porcelain can, of course, be used internally on walls or floors too but when using porcelain in internal areas your choice should be based on design and not whether it is a glazed or full-bodied (unglazed) porcelain.

Bathroom/Kitchen floors

Snowdon is a porcelain floor tile that is practical and looks stunning in a bathroom

Snowdon is a porcelain floor tile that is practical and looks stunning in a bathroom

Outdoor areas

The Plaza tile range is a beautiful porcelain range available in 4 colours that are dramatic and breathtaking

The Plaza tile range is a beautiful porcelain range available in 4 colours that are dramatic and breathtaking

Choosing Ceramic or Porcelain

For wall areas, you should choose the tile you like the look and finish of regardless of whether it is ceramic or porcelain. If you choose a ceramic floor tile for your floor, make sure it is suitable for the area where it is to be used. As manufacturers have changed to porcelain floor tiles, the choice of ceramic floor tiles has become less and often they are now only suitable for bathroom floors. Porcelain tiles can be used anywhere in the home but for commercial, high traffic areas and exterior tiled areas we would recommend a full-bodied porcelain tile.

 

For more information on our latest porcelain and ceramic ranges visit your local Tile & Stone Gallery showroom. If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch or visit one of our showrooms and talk to our staff who will be happy to help. If you’re looking for the inspiration needed to make your dream home come true, visit our Inspiration page. If you’ve finished your project, we would love to see some photos, share them with us on Instagram at @tileandstoneuk.

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