Key Differences between Porcelain Tiles and Ceramic Tiles

Key Differences between Porcelain Tiles and Ceramic Tiles

Tiles play a very vital role in setting the look and the feel of the interiors as well as the exteriors of the house. With so many floor and wall tiling options available in the market in terms of material, shape, color, and pattern; choosing the best option for your sense of style statement can be confusing and daunting. One such common confusion comes between porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles due to their similar physical appearance.

Porcelain tiles can be considered as a subtype of ceramic tiles. Both the tiles have different properties and functionalities. It is important for the users to know which tile type is best for them. Our guide will walk you through the major differences between the two tiles and help you choose the best type for your space.

Key Differences:

Manufacturing process

Though porcelain tiles fall under the category of ceramic tiles, they are more dense and hard than the original form of ceramic tiles. To achieve this density and hardness, porcelain tiles are formed through a special mixture of fine kaolin clay, sand, and feldspar. These tiles are fired at temperatures ranging from 2200 to 2500 deg Fahrenheit, thus making porcelain tile’s water absorption rate 0.5 percent or lower. So virtually porcelain tiles receive a surface glaze coating of liquefied glass material, hence it is more impervious than ceramic tiles and is thus subjected to less water infiltration. Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, use coarser clay with a small ratio of kaolin clay. These tiles generally lack the use of additives like in porcelain tiles. They are fired at a lower temperature of no more than 1650 deg Fahrenheit and are more prone to water infiltration.


Ceramic tiles can be left glazed or unglazed and therefore they are generally preferred as interior tiling options and porcelain tiles as both interiors as well as exterior tile options. Porcelain tiles have an edge when it comes to appearance as they are available in more colors, patterns, and finishes. These tiles can mimic the look of natural stone tiles like marble, granite, and wood. So whether you are looking for a tiling option for your balconies, patios, terrace area, parking; porcelain tiling will be a great pick. Once installed you won’t be bothered about their maintenance as they can retain their original finish and look for years. Not many replications of natural stone finish are available in ceramic tiling options as they are generally found in solid colors and minimalistic designs.


Due to its hard and impervious nature and body composition, porcelain tiles are more durable and sturdy when compared to the original form of ceramic tiles. Therefore they are better suited for areas with heavy footfall and high moisture content like outdoor areas, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. You will find a noticeable difference if you chip a porcelain tile and ceramic tile. The color of porcelain tile continues unvaryingly throughout within. Whereas in ceramic tiles a different color underneath the top glaze will be observed.

Installation Technique

When it comes to maintenance and cleaning, both tiles can be damp-mopped with a mild water-soap solution. They have the same needs for care and cleaning and are very convenient to maintain. The installation technique also differs for the two tile types. As porcelain tiles are a little brittle, they require an experienced hand and a wet tile saw for cutting. Ceramic tiles on the other hand require an inexpensive snap cutter. Porcelain tiles are also more expensive than ceramic tiles due to their manufacturing process, which ultimately leads to higher retail prices for them. Whereas, ceramic tiles are available at almost 70 to 80 percent cost of porcelain tiles. Both the tile types have their own pros and cons and are very similar yet very different. It is important for the users to properly understand their use and functionality. This helps in choosing the best and most optimum tile type as per their requirements.