When we start to build or decide to change the floor of the house, we are faced with a wide range of options that must go through two important filters: our tastes, first, and our pocket, later. Or vice versa. Either way, it’s a lot of money, it should last a long time, and it’s worth thinking about. We will tell you the characteristics of two of the main products on the market, so that you can choose porcelain or ceramic, knowing their differences, advantages and disadvantages.
Both materials have the advantage of being easy to clean, waterproof and resistant, and the diversity of designs and characteristics make them suitable for different environments and decorations. However, there are notable differences between the two. Here, keys to differentiate porcelain from ceramic and evaluate the pros and cons of each.
Porcelain tile is one of the most used materials in homes due to its impeccable appearance and its different designs, which respond to many aesthetic lines. This product is an evolution of the traditional glazed ceramics but it has the advantage of being unalterable and lasting longer than other types of flooring or cladding.
Porcelain tile floors are undoubtedly the main protagonists of today’s homes. Its manufacture allows large plates to be made, which are ideal in large environments. They are extremely waterproof, as they are generally enameled and repel moisture and grease.
Many pieces imitate the most recognized natural stones, such as those of Carrara or Calacatta, among others. Smoothed cement imitation plates also triumph, which have the advantage of not suffering cracks, as is the case with concrete on large surfaces. And, in addition, the increasingly successful imitations of wooden boards have managed to earn a place.
Difference between porcelain and ceramic
There are some weight differences that will make you make the final decision when making your investment for the placement or redesign of your floor. Whether it is a question of budget or the project you have in mind, you have to be clear about your needs and find what best suits it.
Although both are basically made of clay and water, what differentiates them is that the clay used for porcelain is more refined and purified. In addition there are two very noble materials that are added and that give it its best qualities. These are quartz and silica, elements that give porcelain tile shine and hardness.
Porcelain tile goes through a manufacturing process similar to that of ceramic but is fired at a higher temperature and at higher pressure, which results in a harder material. Porcelain tile is cooked at 1200ºC instead of 1100ºC, as is the case with ceramic tiles, and has the advantage of having textured, smooth or rough finishes.
For modern, minimalist, classic or rustic bathrooms you must take into account the color and textures to apply to each style, thus we have:
It is characterized by the use of a variety of colors and textures as well as the use of state-of-the-art toilets and accessories, large mirrors and artificial lighting that is directed towards objectives and not only around the mirror can be used.
This style dispenses with ornaments and textures, the choice of tiles is mostly white or cream and straight textures, it is one of the styles that is in fashion.
We could say that the main difference between porcelain tile and ceramic is the percentage of water absorption that both materials have. This is due to the different compaction processes with which they are manufactured. The pressure exerted to form the porcelain tile is greater than that used in the production of conventional ceramic plates. This stronger compaction makes the porcelain tile become a totally waterproof tile.
In principle, both are ideal for internal uses in homes, both in floors and in wall cladding. But porcelain tile, due to its hardness and impermeability conditions, can also be used outdoors and in other more demanding destinations such as offices, commercial premises, laboratories, etc.
However, it is not advisable to use polished versions in garages, laboratories or spaces where oils, acids, solvents or others are used, since these elements irreversibly alter the appearance of the polished material and cannot be removed with cleaning products. for domestic use.
Many times we evaluate the quality of a product considering only its price, something that differs a lot in these two types of floors. Porcelain tile generally turns out to be much more expensive than ceramic, which does not mean that the latter is bad.
Enamel: when made, it is coated with a silicon-based enamel that achieves the vitrification of the piece. The main characteristics are: high gloss, zero porosity, resistance to scratches and high resistance to abrasion.
Natural or matte: this type is widely used in commercial projects, as it is resistant and not very slippery.
Satin – Has a less glossy finish and therefore has a satin appearance. This model generates less fatigue to the eyes because it has less brightness and leaves the environment more welcoming. It is ideal for living rooms and bedrooms.
Why choose porcelain tile
Porcelain tile is easy to clean. If any liquid spills you just have to pass it water. To keep it always intact, it is enough to sweep, vacuum regularly and wipe it or mop it once a week. Avoid abrasives like steel wool and scouring pads. Unglazed porcelain may require slightly more frequent cleaning.
Porcelain tile must be installed on a smooth, flat and rigid subfloor. It can be laid on a concrete slab, cement-based backing pad, plywood, or even on existing tiles if they are in good condition. For the placement of this type of flooring you will need some specific tools:
When putting this floor you will need to make some cuts to some pieces that, due to their dimensions, do not fit into the edges of the room where you are placing it. For them there is a very useful tool that makes this task easier. Manual cutting machines are generally marketed in different sizes and models including standard, semi-professional, and professional.
When installing a coating, especially on bathroom walls or floors, it is very possible that we will have to make some holes in the tile to allow pipes or the faucet to pass. For this, wicks or cup saws are used, which are mounted on a common drill. It is basically a saw with an annular shape or a ring with a serrated edge, the cut of which generates a hole in the piece, without it being necessary to cut the material.