Tile is a modern, clean, lovely addition to any area of the home and is one of the most popular options when it comes to hard surface flooring. However, you might be confused about why porcelain tile is more expensive than say ceramic or vinyl tile. The tiles look similar, but there are dramatic differences that set them apart. Let’s look at some information that might help you decide if porcelain tile is right for your home.
Important Things to Know About Porcelain Tile
Porcelain tile is manufactured from clay and other natural substances that are fired in a kiln to harden. The clay used to make porcelain is very refined and heavily purified which enables it to be manufactured at a very high temperature. The increased temperature and pressure causes the porcelain tile to become denser and harder making it great for outdoor or indoor use (we suggest taking a look at our natural stone options if you are looking to install tile outside of your home).
Tile in Cold Weather Climates
Porcelain is the a great tile choice for cold weather climates. The tile has a low moisture absorption rate of .5 percent or less; this makes it virtually waterproof. It rarely cracks in poor weather and is also highly stain resistant. Overall, the low moisture absorption rate of porcelain is the significant difference when it comes to porcelain and ceramic tile.
If you live in a place that experiences low temperatures and are worried about the tile in your home being cold, there are a few heating options that will keep your feet comfortable and warm when temperatures begin to drop. You can also add a heating element under the outdoor tile to make snow and ice removal easier during those cold months of the year.
Color and Durability
Not all porcelain tiles are the same. During the manufacturing process, the tile is either created with through color or not. Through tone means that the color goes all the way through the tile. If the color is only on the surface, then the tile will be white, tan, or red if a chip or crack should occur. Also, the tile’s color may start to fade as wear occurs. If your porcelain tile is properly cared for, it can last a very long time without cracking or chipping.
Imitations are Common
Over 50 percent of all tile in the United States is imported, and many are mislabeled saying they are porcelain when, in reality, they are not ceramic. Before purchasing any tile, you should check the box to make sure it has been certified with a Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) Certification Mark. Also, as with most things in life, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. The easiest way to avoid this mistake by speaking with a flooring expert at Carpet Direct!
Ease of Cutting
One of the drawbacks of porcelain tile is that it is difficult to cut. It tends to be brittle and will chip or crumble. Porcelain is not an ideal choice for DIY projects. If you choose to take on your own tile project, we suggest choosing ceramic tiles that are easier to work with.
Pricing for Porcelain Tiles
Ceramic tile is cheaper than porcelain. The reason for the difference in pricing is the fact that porcelain is more expensive to manufacture, but it is more durable and water resistant.
When considering the perks and drawbacks of installing porcelain tile, you should think about a few critical issues.
- Location: Will the tile be in a high traffic area? Porcelain is a very durable choice.
- DIY Project: If you are laying the tile yourself then you might want to go with ceramic tiles because they are easier to cut and fashion into various shapes.
- Waterproof: Porcelain tile is virtually waterproof which makes it an excellent choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor spaces.
- Budget: Porcelain tile can be a bit pricier than other tile options, but its durability makes up for the higher price point
After you have looked at all the pros and cons of porcelain tile, then you will be better able to decide if it is the right tile for your home.