The Difference Between Porcelain, Ceramic and Natural Stone Tile
Posted by: Genesis Floors
When you hear “tile flooring” you probably don’t think about any specific kind of tile. Tile is just tile in our minds—it’s durable, attractive and easy to maintain. However, when it comes to choosing your Maryland tile flooring, it pays to know the difference between the different types of tile, so that you can make a well-informed decision.
Ceramic tile is, for the most part, a mixture of clay and water shaped into tiles and treated with high heat or pressure to create the tiles we are all familiar with. Because this clay mixture is not very refined, it creates pores as it dries, so ceramic tiles are typically glazed to seal the surface, as well as add color, texture or designs. Ceramic tiles are moisture-resistant and easy to maintain due to the glossy non-porous surface. These tiles can be used on both walls and floors, but be warned that the glazing can be slippery when wet.
The mixture for porcelain is a bit different than the one for ceramic tile—the clay is more finely ground and combined with feldspar and other components. The high temperature and pressure used to treat the tile make it incredibly dense, which allows for water resistance even without glazing. Unglazed porcelain tile absorbs as little as 0.5 percent of water that comes in contact with its surface. Porcelain tile is more durable, more dense and more expensive than ceramic tile. Due to its density, it also requires specials tools for cutting, so the installation should better be left to a qualified tile flooring installer.
Natural Stone Tile
We are all familiar with natural stone tile—granite, travertine, slate and marble can be found in homes throughout Maryland. Natural stone tile is a popular choice for outdoor patios, but it can also be used indoors as a flooring, countertop, shower surround or backsplash material. The natural color and texture variations is what draws many homeowners to the natural stone tile. It’s definitely not the cheapest choice, but it’s certainly the one that will add style and character to your home.
Have you made your choice yet? It might make it even harder, but if you come to our Maryland Flooring Showroom in Sykesville, MD, you can see all ceramic, porcelain and stone tile flooring products in person. This will give you a better perspective on how the tile will look in your home.