How To Choose Between Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

While there is not too much difference, on the surface, between ceramic and porcelain tiles, they do carry significantly different benefits. How they benefit you, of course, depends upon certain variables you will be considering along the way.


Obviously, the first variable you might consider is whether porcelain or ceramic is better for your budget.  The simple answer is that Carreaux Metro ceramic tiles are cheaper—between 30 and 60 percent sometimes—but you have to understand why.  Obviously, we are going to look a little more closely at these traits, but the price differential is a result of things like density, durability, and other traits.  To put this into different numbers:  affordable ceramic tiles can be available for $2 while you will rarely find quality porcelain below $3 USD.


Most of the time, you install tiling as a flooring option.  This means that you need to look at how much foot traffic these tiles will get. If you have a wide open kitchen and a large family, for example, you might want to look at the more durable porcelain options.

In a bathroom, however, the foot traffic is probably low and, more importantly, probably will involve fewer pairs of shoes trampling heavily throughout the day.  In this case, you could be perfectly fine choosing ceramic.  


On the other hand, ceramic might save you money but porcelain could be a better choice for the bathroom because it has a lower moisture absorption rate.  Basically, lets just say that porcelain tile is waterproof and ceramic is not. That is a bit of a generalization but you get the point.  Now, that is not to say that you absolutely must use porcelain in a bathroom—many homes do perfectly fine with ceramic bathroom tile—but it is good to know, especially if you plan to sell your home later. Of course, there are other rooms in the house that might benefit from “waterproof” tile so keep that in mind, too.


Even if you are skilled at home remodeling, when you have to buy all the materials yourself and you have to perform the work yourself, ceramic is often the best choice for a wide variety of reasons. For one, they are easier to affix to the floor and they are easier to cut (which means more customization).  Also, if you make mistakes, porcelain is much more expensive to repair/replace.


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