Ceramic vs Porcelain Tiles, The Complete Guide

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are a part of ceramics, including rigid tiles, which are shaped by natural earthen clay and then hardened with heat. They are both famously used for tiling in today’s modern buildings. In a nutshell, porcelain tiles are more durable, more expensive, and have a lower water absorption rate than ceramic tiles as rated by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

In this article, we will dive deep into the full comparison between the 2 types of tiles and which one is better.


Although ceramic and porcelain are both manufactured using a glazed surface coating which makes them both look the same. If its aesthetics is what you want, then porcelain tiles are better because they are available in more colour patterns and finishes.

While a ceramic tile has a uniform pattern and colour, porcelain is excellent at mimicking marble or natural stone. In some cases, even wood grain. This is why many people find it a perfect choice when they want a space to look like wood without being susceptible to water damage.

Water and Heat Resistance

Porcelain tiles are denser, heavier, and more water resistant than ceramic tiles. However, the difference is quite minimal, if both are manufactured using a glazed surface coating. Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, are more resistant to heat.

That’s why porcelain tiles are famously used for outdoors whereas ceramic tiles are good choice for countertops.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are easier to clean. All you need is a simple mop dip in soapy-water and you should be good to go. However, when it comes to maintenance, porcelain tile is slightly better as it’s heavier and more dense, making it more resistant to moisture and durable.

However, the grout filling joints will need to be sealed periodically to prevent the build-up of mildew and stains.


Ceramic tiles are comparatively cheaper than porcelain tiles which is why they are an excellent choice for budget-conscious buyers. However, the higher price of a porcelain tile is justified because of the various finishes they are available in and their durability.


Both forms of tile are installed in the same manner, where tiles are first adhered to an underlying cement adhesive. Once they are set, the joints between tiles are filled mortar-based grout.

However, porcelain tiles are more brittle than ceramic tiles, due to their durable nature, which may require a more experienced tiler to be able to cut them properly.

How They Are Made

Ceramic tiles are made from a coarser clay, with a bit of kaolin clay added to it. However, it lacks a few additives that are used in porcelain clay. Ceramic tiles are fired at a much lower temperature, generally at 1650 degrees.

Porcelain tiles are made using very specific clay, with finely-ground sand and feldspar added to the mixture. The tiles are fired at a higher temperature than ceramic.