This week’s article was written by Bryan Sebring of Sebring Services, located in Naperville, Illinois. He is very passionate about educating homeowner’s, from design ideas to hiring contractors.
Porcelain versus Ceramic Tile
Porcelain and ceramic tiles are some of the most common flooring materials. Compared to other flooring options such as natural stone or hardwood, they are quite affordable, making them ideal choices for homeowners who desire the strength and durability of a hard floor.
But which one do you choose between porcelain or ceramic? This is an important question to consider before you begin shopping for tiles.
Both options have their benefits and they also have a few drawbacks. It is important to understand them, so as to make the best decision for your space.
The kind of tile you have in your home can determine a lot of things.
For one, they determine the functionality of a specific space. Imagine if you installed highly porous tiles in the kitchen or bathroom. Or if you installed tiles that are not designed for the outdoors on your porch and would get damaged in no time.
Secondly, they determine the style of your home. Some tiles create a warm homely feel, while others produce a more sterile look, that is better suited for an institution. Luckily, tile manufacturers these days have numerous style options for customers to choose from. For instance, you can get ceramic tile in different colors, shapes and sizes. You can even get them cut into planks rather than the traditional square tiles.
When deciding between porcelain and ceramic tile, it is important that you consider various factors. For example, where are you going to install the tiles? If it is in a high-traffic area such as the kitchen, porcelain tiles are better because of their strength. If you are installing the tiles in a weather-exposed outdoor area, porcelain again wins based on its strength and durability.
Another issue that undoubtedly crosses every homeowner’s mind is the budget. How much are you willing to spend? In this case, ceramic tiles tend to be cheaper though the price could vary among different types of ceramic tiles. Porcelain tiles are usually more expensive and are costly to install as well. It is important that you discuss beforehand with your contractor to get an idea of how much you could spend with each option.
Porcelain versus ceramic tiles are made differently.
Porcelain consists of various clays fused together while ceramic is made from an inorganic non-metallic solid material. These structural differences give both tiles varying features and characteristics. Porcelain tiles, for instance, are non-porous even before they are treated with glaze.
In the end however, both options are great flooring materials. They are strong, able to withstand a lot of traffic and can last for years without any significant damage. If they get damaged, it is all a matter of replacing the damaged tiles.
We have included the link below to read more about our topic of ceramic vs. porcelain tiles. We lay the two tiles side by side, examining their similarities and differences. For homeowners planning to buy tiles, this is just another helpful resource.
Underfloor heating can be used with a variety of floor coverings including wood, carpet, laminate, vinyl and tiles.
However the heat-up time and heat output of your system will depend on the thermal conductivity of the flooring material you choose. Thermal conductivity means how well the floor material of your choice transfers heat from the heating system to the surface of the floor.
Flooring materials with high thermal conductivity heat up quicker and are more efficient to use with underfloor heating, but there are systems available for use with almost any floor finish. Read our blog post: What is the best flooring for underfloor heating ?
Tile flooring is very conductive and the best flooring to use with underfloor heating. Tile flooring heats up fast and retains heat well. Tiles are especially well suited for high heat loss areas, such as conservatories, due to the excellent thermal properties of the material. Tiles can be heated to a 84°F (29°C) or more, meaning that you can also achieve the highest heat output, up to 20W/sqft, by choosing tile as the flooring material.