Menu Search location cart

Porcelain Vs. Ceramic

The terms “ceramic tile” and “porcelain tile” are often used interchangeably, but ceramic and porcelain tiles each have their own unique attributes and benefits.

True ceramic is made of clay mixed with various minerals and water. This composition is processed with heat to create a solid product. Since ceramic material is porous, the top surface is usually sealed with a glaze, which applies the ceramic tile’s color, design and texture. Glazed ceramic tile is very durable, and it is also one of the easiest surfaces to clean. When coated in a high-quality glaze, ceramic tile is highly resistant to scratching, burning and moisture.

The main ingredient in the composition of porcelain tile is finely ground sand. Unlike ceramic, processing porcelain tile involved pressure and extremely high temperature. The end result is a very dense material with a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%. The density and composition of porcelain tile allows it to be used in a variety of applications indoor and outside in the most extreme weather conditions.

History

Tile has transformed living spaces into extraordinary works of art since ancient times. Early Egyptians first began using tiles as a way to enhance architecture. The living quarters of affluent families and the tombs of honored pharaohs were adorned with handcrafted tiles made of stone and clay.

The use of tile transmitted to other civilizations in the Middle East. Tile art is seen on ancient Islamic mosques and depicted in early Christian scriptures. By the 13 century European cathedrals began installing hand crafted tiles on their floors, and wealthy families began enhancing public and private spaces with glazed tiles.

As the industry flourished, the art of using tile became a rite of passage for the prosperous. Aspiring families often attempted to emulate the intricate designs and textures in their own hand crafted design. The Industrial Revolution contributed to the success of the tile trade in Europe and brought the benefits of tile to the masses. The tradition of using tile as a decorative building material quickly became a custom that people around the world adopted.