The battle between porcelain and ceramics. What is the truth?
Porcelain tiles vs. ceramics: is it a war between the two types of materials or simply a battle between the two terms?
Traders often claim a significant difference between the two materials, to justify the authenticity of porcelain and higher prices. However, is there a real difference between ceramic and porcelain?
Things to consider when you have to choose between porcelain or ceramic inside the house.
As it turns out, ceramics and porcelain are composed differently and behave similarly at installation, but with small differences. The main difference is that porcelain tiles are more waterproof than ceramic tiles and are thus subject to less water infiltration. It all comes down to the condition that the tiles can meet a set of highly controlled water absorption criteria.
It is also assumed that the porcelain is dense, waterproof, with fine and smooth granulation, in addition to the same water absorption criteria.
The same family
Porcelain and ceramics are both part of the same larger category which, in general, can be called ceramics. In terms of modern specifications, it is more of a case of reverse naming, through which manufacturers take tiles that have certain qualities and then assign them ceramic or porcelain titles. Add a healthy dose of marketing and branding and success is guaranteed.
Fine porcelain objects are white, translucent, strong and have a fine and dense composition. Marketing often mentions how fine porcelain is, how rare and expensive it can be.
Water absorption rate
Porcelain tiles have a water absorption rate of 0.5% or less, as defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) section C373. First, weigh the heated plate.
Then boil for 5 hours and let stand in water for 24 hours. Then he weighs himself again. If the plate weighs less than half a percent more due to the absorption of water in its surface, it is considered porcelain.
Porcelain tile is often extruded, has fewer impurities than ceramic, is often ground and contains more kaolin than ceramic. It is made of quartz, clay and feldspar worked at temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 degrees C.
But, because it also defines many ceramics, again the difference is that porcelain has that water absorption rate of 0.5% or less.
Where are ceramic or porcelain tiles used?
Mounting porcelain or ceramic tiles outdoors is not usually recommended. Industry representatives can claim that porcelain tiles are good for the exterior.
Others may claim that other paving or flooring materials, such as concrete or natural stone, slate or marble, work better outdoors than ceramic or porcelain.
What was most agreed upon, however, was that the pottery should not be installed outside. Ceramic tiles are not durable enough for outdoor use because they absorb too much water. If you live in freezing areas, the tiles could be broken in the first few cycles of freeze-thaw.
Tile density and long-term durability
Porcelain clays are denser and therefore less porous than clays in ceramic tiles. This makes porcelain tiles harder and more impervious to moisture than ceramic tiles.
Not only are porcelain tiles denser than ceramic tiles, but due to their composition, they are considered more durable and more suitable for heavy use than ceramic tiles.
Break a ceramic tile and you will find a different color under the top enamel. Break the porcelain and the color continues until the end. As a result, the breakage is almost invisible.
While both: porcelain and ceramic burn at high temperatures, porcelain burns at even higher temperatures and longer than ceramics. Also, porcelain has higher feldspar content, making it more sustainable, including heating floor.
With all other factors equal, ceramic tiles are cheaper than porcelain tiles. Ceramic tiles tend to amount to about 60 to 70% of the cost of porcelain tiles.
If there are no price anomalies, ceramic tiles will almost always be cheaper than porcelain tiles. Porcelain is more expensive to manufacture than ceramic tiles, resulting in higher prices.