Ceramic & Porcelain Tile 

Ceramic and Porcelain are similar in many ways. Both materials are clay-based and kiln-fired, but what is the main difference between the materials? There are 5 different clays when it comes to pottery; The 2 predominant types used in the industry are Coarse clay (ceramic) and Kaolin clay (Porcelain). The kaolin clay is used to make porcelain have a higher density and fired longer at a higher temperature than Ceramic. The differences in ingredients and production methods create types of tile with unique characteristics.

Porcelain Pros 

  • Durability

  • Water and Chemical Resistant

  • Through-Body Composition (incorporating uninterrupted color and pattern features seen on the surface all the way through the tile body)

Porcelain Cons

  • Dense material to cut (not really a con, but DIYers should be aware before making their own installation decisions)

  • Cost

Ceramic Pros

  • Cost

  • Ease of Installation

Ceramic Cons

  • Water Absorption 

  • Durability

Ceramic and porcelain Tile Disclosures
  • The term ceramic tile encompasses all fired clay body tile, including porcelain.

  • Clay bodied tile is laid flat, not level, with a bonding mortar over a substrate.

  • Clay bodied tile is typically laid with a 3/16” grout joint. But ultimately the trueness of the tile and various environmental conditions determine the allowable grout joint width to balance successful installation with the aesthetic preference of the customer.

  • Porcelain rectified tiles are typically laid with an 1/8” grout joint width, due to the added calibration of the rectification process, but ultimately must also be determined by the same conditions and abilities of the installation professional.

  • All ITS tiles are to be laid using the recommended ANSI and TCNA specifications, standards, and general guidelines.

  • Cracked tile(s) may occur during the warranty period. Repairs should be made using the h/o tile kit. If the repair requires more tiles than available from the tile kit, additional material will be purchased from the manufacturer. If that style of tile is still available, we will request the original dye lot. If the original dye lot is not available, we will purchase the closest possible dye lot or most current. A noticeable shade variation is likely. There is no guarantee of exact matching tiles at later dates. If the tile is no longer in production, the closest coordinating tile may be suggested and substituted per homeowner acceptance.

  • Over time, through normal wear-and-tear and cleaning, grout can become discolored. This is due to residues or deposits entering the joints and grout porous capillaries. It is not a defect.

  • High gloss or polished tiles are susceptible to scratches and dulling over time, especially in high traffic areas. Always use felt furniture pads to prevent scratching.

  • Some high polish tiles may show a subtle rippling effect or optical hazing under certain lighting conditions and at certain angles of sight. It is part of the manufacturing process and is not a defect.

  • Tiles are nominally sized. Some are produced domestically, while others internationally. A 12”x24” tile may not measure precisely that dimension and could slightly fluctuate fractions of an inch (+/-) in either direction.