All tile is not created equal. They may belong to the same family, but they are different products when it comes down to it. The right tile can vary depending on where you wish to install it. One may be more beneficial than others in certain situations, especially in areas prone to splashing—a.k.a. your bathroom. So which type is best and how do you know which to choose?

While there are many tiling options to choose from, let’s look at the differences between two of the most common choices—ceramic and porcelain— and which situations they are best suited for.

Sometimes the terms “ceramic” and “porcelain” get thrown around interchangeably. This is partly true and partly false; porcelain belongs to the ceramic family, just as say, a rose belongs to the flower family. Here’s the main differences.

Ceramic Tile

Bathroom 25Pros: Ceramic tile is extremely popular for bathroom finishes, and for good reason. It can deliver color, texture, and impeccable design to your floors, walls, and backsplash with its endless variety for a relatively low price. It is highly durable and due to its density is easy to install.

Cons: Ceramic is not as strong as porcelain tile, due to its softer density. It also absorbs more than 0.5 percent water. It’s not suitable for any outdoor space; Since it absorbs moisture when it freezes, it can expand and break, forcing a replacement earlier than necessary.


Porcelain Tile

Pros: Porcelain tile is probably the best of all worlds for bathroom flooring. It’s impervious, durable, and super stylish. The main thing that sets porcelain apart from other ceramic tiles is it’s water absorption rate. Porcelain tiles absorb LESS than 0.5 percent water, making it suitable even for some outdoor spaces. It’s extremely dense, so it works impeccably in high-traffic areas, and its through-body composition makes it fiercely durable.

Cons: With porcelain tiles’ durability and imperviousness, it often comes with a heavy price tag. Porcelain is also brittle and harder to work with, so it requires experienced tile-setters to cut it and install it properly, where as ceramic can potentially be a DIY-job.


Bottom line

Ceramic tile may not be as strong as its family member, porcelain, but what it lacks in strength, it makes up for in price. Both are a great choice for bathroom surfaces, excel in high-traffic areas in comparison with other flooring types, and are used by many homeowners interchangeably on their bathroom floors, walls, and backsplashes. However, porcelain tile serves up the best protection against moisture and the highest durability in the long run.

If you’re planning a bathroom renovation and need help with tiling choices, contact your community experts at Sandy Spring Builders. We’re here to assist in as many ways as we can!