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5 Key Differences Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles

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Finding the perfect flooring is fundamental, regardless of whether you’re a new buyer or simply looking to lend your place some new energy. However, finding something that truly speaks to you can be tricky with the sheer variety of options available. Aside from hardwood and vinyl, other popular flooring options amongst buyers include porcelain and ceramic tiles. 

Determining what is best about each of these options can be challenging because there are multiple overlapping factors, but fear not! Today, let’s explore the key differences between porcelain and ceramic tiles. 


When looking at these two tiles up close and in person, they may look the same; however, the construction of each is slightly different. Ceramic tiles are constructed from red, brown, and/or white clay. When placed onto a kiln, because of the heat temperature used, they become less dense. The design and colours of ceramic tiles are protected with a glaze. However, this means that, if a chip were to appear, it would be more noticeable. This is because the original colour of the tile is different from that of the surface. 

Porcelain tiles are constructed differently. These are made from white clay, sand, and feldspar. Porcelain tiles are much denser because they are moulded at a higher temperature when placed into the kiln. The colour and design of these tiles continue below their surface, meaning it would not be as noticeable if the tiles were to be chipped. 


Because both tiles are distinct in their density, naturally, the durability of each will also be different. Porcelain tiles, as they are denser, are much more durable in comparison to ceramic tiles. The latter are less dense and therefore less durable. 

Water Resistance

Porcelain tiles are essentially water resistant because of their increased density. This is caused by the high temperature at which they are shaped. The ASTM standards state that all porcelain tiles must have an absorption rate equal to or less than 0.5%. 

Ceramic tiles, because of their lower density, lack the strength that porcelain tiles offer when it comes to being water resistant. The primary cause of this is the fact that these tiles are more porous, allowing liquids to penetrate the surface.


When it comes to cost, these two types of tiles also vary. Porcelain tiling tends to be priced quite a bit higher than ceramic alternatives. This is due to their improved construction quality and durability.

Placement Within the Household  

It is essential to have the right tiling to suit your needs and the use case of the room in question. As we have noted, each tile’s properties should be taken into consideration. Ceramic tiles are perfect for areas with low foot traffic, such as bathrooms, bedrooms, and if you live in a consistently warm climate. Porcelain tiles are great for areas with consistently high foot traffic, such as kitchens, hallways, and living areas. These are ideal for  consistently cooler environments. 

Whether you choose porcelain or ceramic tiles, both have numerous benefits. Before making any final decision, remember the following:

  • Always bear in mind the project you are working on;
  • Plan and understand your budget;
  • Assess where the tiles are going to be placed in your home.

With our extensive options at Rome Flooring, there are plenty of solutions available to suit your renovation needs. If you would like to discuss our tiling options or plan for your next project, we’re happy to assist. Contact us and learn more about our products and services.