All ceramic tiles are made up of clay and quartz ferrous sand materials, along with water.  Once the tiles are formed they are fired to high temperatures and in some cases their surfaces are glazed.  The only difference between Porcelain tile and regular ceramic tile is that the clay used in porcelain tile is more highly refined and purified.  Consequently, porcelain tiles are denser than a standard ceramic.

The MoH hardness factor is another factor to consider when selecting tile.  The scale goes from 1 to 10, with 10 being highest hardness level (e.g. diamond).  Most sand/dirt brought into a home has a hardness factor between 3 and 7.  Consequently it is best to select a ceramic floor tile that has at least a MoH factor of 7.

Porcelain Characteristics


Porcelain tiles are more rugged making them ideal for harsher applications such as flooring.  Also, because of their higher density, porcelain tiles are less likely to absorb moisture (0.5%) which makes them more durable and more resistant to staining.  Porcelain tiles are frequently found in floor applications, outdoor areas, and in cold weather climates where freezing can occur.  With their low absorption capability they are less likely to crack in cold weather climates.

Porcelain tile costs a little more than the traditional, more porous, standard clay tile; however prices have been coming down in recent years for ceramic tile.


Review Porcelain Tile Selections, click on company icon below

 American Olean Porcelain Tiles  Interceramic Porcelain Tile Unicorn Porcelain Tile   

Ceramic Tile Characteristics


Ceramic tile comes in either glazed or unglazed surfaces.  The glazed surfaces are like glass and are best used on walls as they are too slippery for floor applications.  Glazed ceramic tiles are also a little more susceptible to cracking.

Ceramic tile is constructed using red, brown or white clay.  Most porcelain tile, however, is constructed using white clay.

When selecting any ceramic tile it is important to look at the PEI factor.  This is the scratch resistance factor.  A PEI of 1 is ideal for walls.  A PEI of 2 is best for bathrooms and kitchens.  A PEI of 3 is appropriate for all residential applications, and PEI’s of 4 and 5 are applicable for commercial and heavy commercial applications, respectively.

Review Ceramic Tile Selections, click on company icon below

 Daltile Ceramic Tile  Shaw Ceramic Tile
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