Ceramic tile is made from molded clay materials. There are several different methods for forming and molding these tile sections, often including high pressure and/or hardening at high temperatures, which contributes to the durability of tile flooring. Ceramic tile is a popular option for many because it is high-quality, long-lasting, and relatively inexpensive when compared to other varieties.
Porcelain tile is technically a subset of ceramic tile, but there are several characteristics that set it apart. For one, porcelain tile is made differently than most ceramic varieties — while porcelain includes clay and minerals like ceramic, it also contains 50% feldspar. Feldspar is a type of crystal that bonds the molded materials together into a glass-like consistency, and is often included as a white dust or sand material.
Porcelain tile is often more expensive than non-porcelain ceramic tile, and it can be harder to work with. However, the difference in material and the process of kiln drying at extremely high temperatures can make porcelain even more durable, stain resistant, and water resistant than traditional ceramic. It’s also available in many different colors and styles, including wood or stone.
If you enjoy the look of stone, you can also choose to invest in natural stone tile, with materials that are quarried, finished, and cut. Common types of stone used include granite, marble, limestone, and slate, but differences in materials as well as when and where the material was quarried can affect the end product.
For stone tile, many choose from natural, honed, or polished finishes. Polished stone can create an almost mirror-like finish, with less porosity and therefore stronger water resistance, but also creates a more slippery surface.
If you are considering stone tile, keep in mind that it is often more expensive than other kinds of tile and often requires more maintenance. While we think of stone as a strong, invulnerable material, it can actually be more delicate than hardened, kiln-dried ceramic. Marble tile, for example, is particularly vulnerable to scratching.
Stone and ceramic are not your only choices when it comes to tile flooring, and changes to the ingredients the tile is made with or to the manufacturing process can lead to very different appearances or characteristics. You can also find tile in materials like brick, cement, glass, and metal, but these materials are often best used to create patterns or mosaics or used as accent tiles.
Explore Your Options With Gateway
What kind of tile would work best for your home and your budget? The experts at Gateway Design & Home can help you decide! We offer personalized advice to every customer, and you can get started today by scheduling a one-on-one consultation at our Loveland showroom. Contact us to learn more!