Different Tiles for Different Styles! Procelain or Ceramic!
People have a sense that ceramic and porcelain tiles are different, and that porcelain tile is somehow the better of the two, but they’re not sure why it is better. So, exactly what is porcelain tile, and is it really better than ceramic tile? Let’s see if we can de-mystify porcelain tile.
Q. What is the difference between standard “ceramic” tiles and porcelain tiles?
A. Tile terminology can be confusing. Most types of tiles that are made from clay or a mixture of clay and other materials, then kiln-fired, are considered to be a part of the larger classification called “Ceramic Tiles”. These tiles can be split into two groups, porcelain tiles and non-porcelain tiles. These non-porcelain tiles are frequently referred to as ceramic tiles by themselves, separate from porcelain tiles.
“Ceramic” or non-porcelain tiles are generally made from red or white clay fired in a kiln. They are almost always finished with a durable glaze which carries the color and pattern. These tiles are used in both wall tile and floor tile applications, are softer and easier to cut than porcelain, and usually carry a PEI 0 to 3 rating. Non-porcelain ceramic tiles are usually suitable for very light to moderate traffic and generally have a relatively high water absorption rating making them less frost resistant and they are more prone to wear and chipping than porcelain tiles.
Porcelain tile is a tile that is generally made by the dust pressed method from porcelain clays which result in a tile that is dense, impervious, fine grained and smooth, with a sharply formed face. Porcelain tiles usually have a much lower water absorption rate (less than 0.5%) than non-porcelain tiles making them frost resistant or frost-proof. Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and more wear and damage resistant than non-porcelain ceramic tiles, making them suitable for any application from light traffic to the heaviest residential and light commercial traffic. Full body porcelain tiles carry the color and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile making them virtually impervious to wear and are suitable for any application from residential to the highest traffic commercial or industrial applications. Porcelain tiles are available in matte, unglazed or a high polished finish.
Q. Can ceramic tile be used outdoors?
A. To be used outdoors, we recommend the tile must be frostproof and unglazed for floor use. Make sure the absorption rate is 0.5% or less.
Tiles do not show wear because their color extends throughout the tile, making them ideal for commercial applications.
Q. What is a PEI rating?
A. PEI classes range from 0 to 5. The Porcelain Enamel Institute rating scale is not a measurement of quality. It is a scale that clearly indicates the areas of use each manufacturer recommends and has designed their tile to fit. Look below.
Class 0 – No Foot Traffic:
Wall tile only and should not be used on floors.
Class 1 – Very light traffic:
Very low foot traffic, bare or stocking feet only. (Master bath, spa bathroom).
Class 2 – Light Traffic:
Slipper or soft-soled shoes. Second level main bathroom areas, bedrooms.
Class 3 – Light to Moderate Traffic:
Any residential area with the possible exception of some entries and kitchens if extremely heavy or abrasive traffic is anticipated.
Class 4 – Moderate to Heavy Traffic:
High foot traffic, areas where abrasive or outside dirt could be tracked. Residential entry, kitchen, balcony, and countertop.
Class 5 – Heavy Traffic:
Ceramic tile suggested for residential, commercial and institutional floor subjected to heavy traffic.
Plumbtile carries a wide variety of ceramic tile from the best manufactures from all around the world. Contact us today!