Ceramic and Porcelain Tile: What’s the Difference?

Ceramic and porcelain tiles add a beautiful, durable accent to surfaces in moisture prone areas. They are both extremely long lasting, easy to clean, and resistant to water, stains, and daily wear. Despite all their similarities, there are a handful of important differences that separate the two. Read on to explore these differences and to help you choose the best fit for your space.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles add a beautiful, durable accent to surfaces in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other moisture prone areas. They are both extremely long lasting, easy to clean, and resistant to water, stains, and daily wear.

Despite all their similarities, there are a handful of important differences that separate the two, from porousness and absorption, to hardness and durability. Whichever way you lean, ceramic or porcelain, the team at Tiento can equip you with the maintenance advice to keep each looking as good as new.


Pictured: Tuffeau Dorato porcelain tile

Porcelain tiles

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are made of refined clay and other natural elements; however, porcelain tiles have a hardier construction and greater durability than ceramic tile varieties, making it suitable for floors. This is because it is fired at a much higher temperature and greater pressure than ceramic, creating an extremely dense and hard material.

Porcelain also has a very low absorption rate, meaning it’s virtually impervious to water damage, even after prolonged exposure. This characteristic makes it an ideal choice for bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and other moisture-prone areas. Since porcelain tiles can withstand heavy traffic over long periods of time, many of our clients opt to use porcelain tile for their flooring, while some also choose to use it as a matching wall tile – creating the illusion of a larger space.


Pictured: Chateau Blanc porcelain tile

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles are softer than porcelain tile, making them suitable for internal walls. The benefits of ceramic tile versus porcelain is the endless options you have available in size, texture and colour. Ceramic tiles offer a greater range of interesting glaze options in brighter colours. They can be handmade or machine made with more texture than a porcelain tile. They are also available in a large variety of sizes in smaller formats than porcelain, from square to subways to hexagons and everything in between.


Pictured: Bow Clay ceramic tile (on wall)

Whichever way you decide to go, Tiento has the range of tiles for your next project. Our skilled team can assist you to find the right tiles as well as assist with any design advice. We look forward to welcoming you into our South Melbourne showroom soon.