What’s the difference between ceramic and porcelain?

The word ceramic refers to any material with a composition that includes clay. It doesn't matter if it also includes anything else, such as glass particles or sand. It is still clay and, with that said, porcelain is a type of ceramic, behaving differently in various tile flooring installations.

Best for high traffic, busy rooms

This material is heavier and denser, making porcelain tile flooring ideal for busy rooms such as the kitchen or bath. It can stand up to heavy foot traffic, dropped pans, and general wear. Porcelain is composed of clay called Kaolin which is non-porous. That means it's always waterproof, whether or not it's glazed. It's also weather-proof, so feel free to use it outside.

Porcelain is a large format tile. Currently, the trend is for tiles to get bigger and bigger. Porcelain can get as big as 24 X 24. It's available in an almost unlimited number of colors, patterns, and designs and can be made to look like anything: stone, fabric, wood, leather. Many prefer it for a stone look since that large format is more continuous like that of a quarried slab.

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What’s a ceramic tile?

It is the 4 X 4 square that we've all familiar with, but it also includes mosaics, subway tiles, terracotta bricks, and of course porcelain. They are all highly decorated and come glazed or unglazed. The 4 X 4 is thin but very tough; when it's glazed, it's not only waterproof but also has a hard outer shell that makes it almost impossible to break. But if you do break one, no worries because you just replace the broken tile and not the entire floor.

Here's a brief description of the others: Mosaics are tiny decorative pieces. They're small in stature, but not in durability and strength. These make great additions to borders, designs, or flooring medallions.

Subways are the formerly all-white 3 X 6 rectangles that we'd often see on backsplashes. They now come in all colors, shapes, and sizes and can be used on indoor, low traffic floors. Terracotta tiles, with their wonderful rustic red-brown color, are built to last. They are especially appropriate for high traffic floors. They are porous, however, so it's best if they're sealed.

For more information on porcelain or ceramic tile, come on in to the In Line Tile of Greer showroom in Greer, SC. We service Greer, SC, Greenville, SC, Travelers Rest, SC, Lyman, SC, Duncan, SC, Spartanburg, SC, && Taylors, SC. Ask about our estimates.