Tile Flooring and Countertop Options | Macadam Floor and Design

Portland Tile

Choosing the right tile for your project is important to ensure you get a product that will give you years of use.  When selecting tile, it’s important to know and understand the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of tile available today.  Two of the main and most popular tiles used today are ceramic and porcelain.  Let’s go over a few of the differences between them so that you can be sure to select the proper tile for your particular project.

Traditional ceramic tile has been a popular choice for just about all areas inside the house.  It can be used on floors, walls, countertops, tubs, and showers.  It is made from either a red or white clay that is fired with a glaze over the top.  You red clay bodied tile is much stronger than white, so therefore white bodied tile is only recommended for walls and counters were weight loads aren’t as much of an issue.  Red bodied tiles can be used in all areas of the home.  Many of these tiles available today have matching trim pieces for use on walls and countertops. Ceramic tiles are only recommended for indoor use due to being a porous product.

Porcelain tiles are becoming more and more popular. Porcelain tiles are non-porous which makes them very resistant to staining.  This also allows you to use them outdoors, even in cold weather climates, because water won’t enter the tile causing it to crack when it freezes.  Porcelain is a much harder material than ceramic so they are much more resistant to cracking or chipping is something is dropped on it.  Like ceramic tile, most porcelain tiles have matching trim pieces available so that you are able to use them on walls and countertops as well.

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles come in a wide variety of styles and colors.  Most of the more popular styles give you a realistic natural stone look without having to pay the price of natural stone.  The maintenance of ceramic and porcelain is also far easier than that of natural products.

As far as a cost standpoint, ceramic tile is typically less expensive than porcelain.  However, technology has become much more advanced and you can usually find certain porcelain tiles in the lower price points as well.  Most of the cost of tile is in the installation so when you compare price points of ceramic and porcelain tile, there usually isn’t going to be a huge difference between them.

So which type is best for your situation?  The benefits of porcelain tile far outweigh the benefits of ceramic tile.  Porcelain is a much stronger and easier to maintain product.  Porcelain tile can be used anywhere inside or outside the home whereas ceramic tile is limited to indoors in most climates.   Since tiles come in a wide variety of price points, the important thing is to come up with a budget for your project.  Then take a look at all of your options in that price point.  Take these ceramic vs. porcelain differences mentioned above into consideration to help you find the best product for your home.