Porcelain Tile For Floors & Walls


Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tiles are composed of fine porcelain clay and fired at much higher temperatures than ceramic tiles; this process makes porcelain tile denser, less porous, much harder and less prone to moisture and stain absorption than ceramic tiles. For these reasons, porcelain tile is the perfect flooring choice for warm or cold weather climates, can be used indoors or outdoors, requires virtually no maintenance, has a high stain resistance, and in most cases, a high slip resistance. Porcelain tiles are also harder to cut due to their density and hardness.

Ceramic Tile

Consists of both clay, which is mined from the earth, and other natural materials. Ceramic tiles can be left naturally colored (similar to terra cotta) or colored white with a glazing that can be matte, high-gloss and/or textured.  A ceramic tile is any tile that is “fired” in a kiln.

Difference between Ceramic and Porcelain Tile?

The technical difference boils down to the density of the tile and its water absorption rate.   Porcelain Tile is denser, with a water absorption rate of 0.5 or lower, than baked at higher temperatures.  This makes Porcelain Tile a very durable product, making it a great floor and wall covering.  It can be used in interiors and exteriors in both residential and commercial applications. Finally, it is a great option for submerged applications like pools and water features.

Ceramic is a bit of a softer material allowing for many more creative patterns, textures and shapes.  The glaze on Ceramic tile is also vibrant due to the tile’s higher porosity, making it fun and colorful for Wall Tile and Decorative Tile in endless combinations.

Does Porcelain Tile Chip Easily?

No, porcelain tile is a very dense and durable product that does not chip easily.  Furthermore, some Porcelain Tile can be “Through Body” or  have a color matched body making it less noticeable if you do have a surface chip – when compared to a white or red body Ceramic Tile.

Is Porcelain Tile Flooring Slippery?

For the most part, no – we say this because a polished Porcelain Tile when used in a large format can be slippery.  This is mainly due to its finish though not the nature of construction.  Due again to its higher density, Porcelain tile flooring is actually less slippery when compared to Ceramic Tile and manufacturers will usually test for this prior to selling it and provide a COF (Coefficient of Friction) rating.  Tiles with a higher rating are less slippery; it is important to note that other factors like slope, liquids on surface, and surface finishes can also affect this.

For exterior flooring applications near wet areas like pools, Porcelain Tile is also available with an anti-slip finish.  Different tile brands provide some of their product lines in these different ratings.  Typically an R11 or R12 rating for exterior use tile in wet areas is recommended. The higher the rating number the more aggressive the texture will be.

Is Porcelain Tile Flooring Expensive?

When compared to hardwood flooring – as a different flooring type with similar lifespan – it is comparable in price.   When compared to natural stone it is significantly less expensive and even less expensive than most Ceramic Decorative Tiles.

Due to its wide availability it is an affordable flooring and wall covering option.

Is Porcelain Tile Flooring Hard to Install?

Today there are many options for setting materials (Adhesives), substrate preparation (floor leveling), and grout options that are specifically engineered and designed to work with Porcelain Tiles.  There are also many specific tools used for Porcelain Tile installation, even for the modern Large Format Tile, and all are widely available, making installation as simple as any other type of tile.

How Porcelain Tile is manufactured

Step 1

Raw Materials

Once the “formula” for a specific tile is entered into the factory system – the exact amount of raw materials is automatically picked up and delivered into a massive mixer. Raw materials must pass through these mixers and grinders before being shaped, printed and fired in the kiln

Step 2

Sorting & Mixing

The raw materials must then be crushed and mixed according to particle size. Primary crushers are used to reduce large lumps of material using a horizontal squeezing motion between steel plates or rotating motion between steel cones. Secondary crushing further reduces smaller lumps to particles and sometimes a third particle size reduction step may even be necessary, depending on desired result.

Step 3

Printing, Shaping & Firing

The resulting powder is then pressed into the desired tile body shape.  Once the tile is pressed into shape, a high-definition glaze is used to “print” directly onto the tile – this creates color patterns, shades and textures. The tile is then passed through a kiln (a huge and very hot oven) and is fired at temperatures in excess of 2100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4

Sorting & Quality Inspection

The image above illustrates the tile being sorted after leaving the kiln. Once the finished product has been sorted, it is randomly quality inspected to ensure color, shape and texture consistency across batches. When porcelain tile is manufactured, the tiles are “printed” with textures and patterns prior to being fired in the kiln and this process enables manufactures to virtually replicate any texture, color or shade consistently.

Choose Wisely

There is a lot to consider when selecting your tile; whether you’re looking for porcelain tile, wood tile, backsplash tile, natural stone tile, mosaic tiles or outdoor tiles, we have the experience and knowledge to help you choose the perfect fit.

With 3 showrooms, all with connected, well-stocked warehouses, you will find what you are looking for and we are sure to have a location near you! Visit us to view our products and speak to one of our friendly staff.