Ceramic Tile vs Porcelain Tile: Which Should You Buy?

Tile makes an elegant statement in any room of your home, from the floor of the entryway to your kitchen backsplash. But there are different types of tile available, which is why choosing between ceramic tile vs porcelain tile is a tough choice.

Tile flooring looks beautiful anywhere you put it. It’s no longer only an option when you’re re-flooring your bathroom. As a result of this surge in popularity, more and more types of tiles have emerged.

Two of the most common options are ceramic tile and porcelain tile.

But which one is right for your style, project, and budget? Read on to find out.

What Are the Main Differences Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tile?

You’ve probably heard porcelain and ceramic tile described as “basically the same” in the past. While they certainly are similar, there are a few key differences that you need to be aware of.

Many people make the mistake of equating porcelain tile with the same strength and properties of porcelain china. Again, there are a few subtle differences.

Porcelain Tile Has a Specific Certification

How do you know that the tiles you’re paying top dollar for actually are porcelain? Because if they’re the real deal, then they’ll be certified as such by the (creatively named) Porcelain Tile Certification Agency.

So how does porcelain tile get this coveted certification? It all has to do with the tile’s ability to withstand a certain amount of water. Tile companies will have to send in a few sample pieces to the agency. Those pieces will then be tested.

If they can hold their own against water, they’ll receive their certification. Still, they’ll need to be re-tested every few years to ensure standards haven’t slipped.

Ceramic Tile Is Easier To Cut

Because porcelain is able to withstand more water than ceramic tile, it’s much more difficult to cut and place.

This is especially good to know if you’re going the DIY route.

Part of this difference in strength comes from the firing process of the tile itself. Ceramic tiles are fired for a shorter amount of time than their porcelain cousins. They’re also fired at much lower temperatures.

Ceramic tile is also less dense than the porcelain option. This, again, means that if you’re planning on placing the tile in an area where it might be subjected to high amounts of water, porcelain could be a better choice.

Reasons To Choose Porcelain Tile


As you can glean from the above section, porcelain tile is stronger than ceramic. But the reality is that most people, especially those that are doing smaller jobs, simply won’t need the toughness of porcelain.

As long as you’re not planning on getting your tiles soaking wet, ceramic is a great option.

But if you’re doing an area with heavy foot traffic, a bathroom, or even tiling outdoors, you may need an option that can stand up to all the elements.

It Hides Chips And Scratches Well

Are you a little on the clumsy side? Do you have children or pets that are constantly chipping or scratching your floors?

If so, consider going the porcelain route. These tiles hide any damage better than ceramic tiles.

This is because the wash and color of porcelain tiles aren’t glazed — meaning that a chip won’t show as easily. This means that porcelain is a wonderful choice for high-impact areas.

One final thing to keep in mind. If you’re the type to walk around barefoot frequently in your home, even during the winter months, then ceramic may be the better choice for you.

Porcelain is known to cool down quickly and stay cold for several hours.

Reasons To Choose Ceramic Tile


One of the most popular reasons why people choose ceramic over porcelain?

The price point.

Ceramic is much more affordable than porcelain. So, if you’re on a serious budget — or if you’re planning on tiling a large room — ceramic is likely the better option.

Keep in mind that it’s not just the cost of the materials that will be cheaper if you choose to go ceramic. Because the installation process is easier and less complex, it’s likely that you’ll save in that area as well.

Finish Options

Since ceramic tiles come with a finish, you’ll have lots of options to choose from that can make your life easier.

An especially popular one?

A stain-resistant option. If you’re tiling something like a mudroom or entryway, this is a real lifesaver.

You can also choose finishes that cause your tiles to gleam and shine in the light.

They’re Low Maintenance

Ceramic tiles also don’t require a lot of upkeep. You can scrub them down once every few weeks with good old-fashioned soap and water, or simply mop with a safe cleaning agent.

They can even be vacuumed!

You Have More Style Options

When you’re decorating a room, you know how hard it can be to find exactly what you’re looking for.

If you go for ceramic tile, you’ll have a much easier time finding that perfect pattern and shade. Because ceramic is more affordable and more popular, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to design.

You can even have your own custom tile design created!

Looking for More Tile Expertise?

The question of whether to go with ceramic or porcelain tile is only the beginning of what you need to consider when it comes to your flooring.

You’ll need to think about finishes, dimensions, and of course, the design itself.

If you don’t work with a team of trusted and experienced professionals when it comes to your floor tiling, you can end up making costly mistakes. Plus, as you can see from this post, it’s easy to get confused about which type of tile is best for your project.

You don’t want to get taken advantage of.

Spend some time on our Empire Flooring site to browse through our ideas for your floor. We have the expertise and attention to detail you need to get things right the first time.

When you’re ready to give your home a makeover, we hope you’ll get in touch with us. After all, the home of your dreams should start with a great foundation.

If you’ve enjoyed unlocking the secrets of Porcelain vs Ceramic Tile with us don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.