Guide to Ceramic Tile Qualities and Ratings
May 17, 2017

Customer Choice Dilemma

Tile products are available in an unbelievably large selection of colors, patterns and textures. EC&B acknowledges that this fact alone can be overwhelming when trying to choose the perfect tile to suit your needs. But the thing that seems to confuse consumers more than design choices is the difference between the types of tile. Each type is made from a different composition, and that is what determines the tile’s body color, texture and density.

Types of Tiles

The term “ceramic tile” is often used as a generic name for all types of tile. But the composition of true ceramic is very different from that of the other types.

There are three basic types of tile:

  • Ceramic Tiles
  • Porcelain Tiles
  • Glass Tiles

At EC&B we have noticed that of the three, ceramic and porcelain are the ones that confuse consumers most. Glass tile is apparently less confusing because everyone knows what glass is.

EC&B Consumer Guide to Differences Between Ceramic & Porcelain Tiles

Ceramic Tiles Porcelain Tiles
Ceramic is made primarily of clay mixed with various minerals and water.This composition is then processed with heat to create the solidified product. The primary ingredient in the composition of true porcelain tile is finely ground sand.Unlike ceramic, processing of the porcelain composition involves pressure and extremely high temperature.
Ceramic material is porous; the top surface is usually sealed with a glaze. The glazed surface is referred to as the design layer since it determines the tile’s finished color, design and texture. The end result is a very dense, glass-like material with a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%. Because of its density and composition of natural ingredients, porcelain tile has all the same excellent qualities of glazed ceramic
Glazed ceramic tile is very durable, and when properly installed and cared for, it will last longer than any non-tile material used for the same purpose In the past, porcelain tiles did not need replacement if chipped, because all porcelain tiles were the same color all the way through.Nowadays, new design creations have led to the addition of a design layer.Like glazed ceramic, the top surface of some porcelain tile is glazed to produce a specific colored finish. A chip in such a surface would reveal the tile’s different body color and thus warrant replacement.
Ceramic Tiled surfaces are the easiest to clean, and because of the Ceramic composition, it will not absorb odors, nor support allergens or bacteria. Porcelain is a denser material, it is stronger than its ceramic counterpart
When coated with a Grade III or higher glaze, ceramic tiles are highly resistant to scratching.Ceramic Tiles will not burn, emit toxic fumes or scorch. And moisture. Porcelain’s hardness makes it a little more challenging to install. Porcelain tile requires special tools for cutting and shaping. The average do-it-yourselfer would not typically have these tools and may not be experienced enough to use them if they were rented or purchased.

Please note:

When comparing price and durability, there is little difference between ceramic and porcelain tile.
Expensive and inexpensive styles are available in both types, and under normal circumstances, there would be no noticeable difference in wear between the two.

The bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter which type of tile you select. EC&B Ceramic and porcelain are both exceptional floor and wall covering materials. The only problem you’ll have is deciding which size, color and texture will suit your needs.

Creativity is unlimited with ceramics, this office block lobby in the image below is testimony to this!

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