It’s no wonder that ceramic tiles have been a staple and eye-catching building material since the beginning of time.

Ceramic Tile Materials

There are several different types of ceramic, each with their own aesthetic and performance characteristics and finishing possibilities. However, the main difference that needs to be drawn and understood is the difference between porcelain and non-porcelain ceramic tiles.

Porcelain Tiles: Porcelain is just one of the many varieties of ceramic tile. While the primary ingredient in porcelain is finely ground sand, porcelain tiles are composed of quartz, clay and feldspar. These ingredients are processed using very high pressure and are fired at a temperature ranging from 1200-1400-degrees Celsius. Due to its density and composition, unglazed porcelain tiles have many of the same excellent durability qualities as glazed ceramic tiles.

In general, porcelain has fewer impurities than ceramic. The main difference lies in the fact that porcelain is much more impervious to water filtration than ceramic. Specifically, the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) defines porcelain tile as having a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%. As a result, porcelain clay is denser and considered much more durable than ceramic tiles; this means that they are suitable in both light and heavy traffic areas as well as interior and exterior applications. “We do airports, malls, hotels and any other kind of high-traffic area with porcelain,” said Diaz. “It’s really the perfect material for that.”