Porcelain or Ceramic Tile: Why it Matters
If you were taking the verbal section of the SAT, one of the questions might look similar to this: A square is to a rectangle, as ___________ is to ceramic tile.
The answer of course would be porcelain tile. Much like a square has stricter credentials, however still meets the qualifications of a rectangle, porcelain tile is just that. While porcelain tile fits the description of ceramic tile, it takes it a step further in differentiating itself from its close relative.
Porcelain vs Ceramic Tile: What’s the Difference?
First off, what qualifies something as ceramic tile? Ceramic tile is usually created by mixing a base of clay with different types of minerals and water. A stoneware clay body will be fired at around 1,800-2,000°F and have water absorption between 0.5%-3.0%, with some even as high as 20%!
Porcelain on the other hand is made out of a mixture of clay, sand, and feldspar, which is a naturally occurring mineral in granite. The sand strengthens the mixture, while the feldspar melts, fusing together all the materials making the tile denser than a standard ceramic tile, thus stronger (30% stronger than granite!) and more stain resistant.
Porcelain tile will fire up to 2,300°F. The higher firing temperature will drive out more water, and with the feldspar melting to form a low-order glass, the tile will be far more impervious. Thus, the American standards for a porcelain product is that it must absorb less than or equal to 0.5% of water (Read more about our manufacturing process).