If you are planning a home remodel job you will undoubtedly have to choose new Carreauxmetro.com tiles for the kitchen and bathroom, and maybe other spaces as well. And in your attempts to decide which type of tile you want it is most certain that you will also likely have to choose between ceramic and porcelain.
And when you reach this crossroads you will be happy that you learned what, exactly, makes a “porcelain” tile.
NOT ACTUALLY PORCELAIN
So, the first thing you need to learn about “porcelain” tiles is that they are ceramic tiles with specific characteristics. Traditional porcelain, of course, white, translucent (light can shine through it) but surprising strong despite its fine, dense body.
Porcelain tile, on the other hand is more a result of branding and marketing. Porcelain is a name given to tile that is extruded, with fewer impurities than ceramic tile. You make porcelain tile from a combination of quartz, clay, and feldspar fired at a temperature of about 1300 degrees C. It is a rectified material that often contains more kaolin than standard ceramic tile.
LOW WATER ABSORPTION RATE
One way to tell if a tile is, in fact, porcelain is if it has a water absorption rate of only 0.5 percent, as defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials C373. To distinguish this trait, the fired tile is weighed once and then boiled for 5 hours followed by 24 hours of sitting in water. After this it is weighed again to see if the tile weighs less than half of one percent more (as a result of water absorption), at which point it would be considered porcelain.
Porcelain is also pretty easy to identify if you simply hold it in your hand. Better yet, hold a piece of ceramic tile in one hand and pick up a piece of porcelain tile in your other hand. You will quickly recognize that one is more dense than the other. That piece—the one that is more dense—is the porcelain tile. Obviously, this means porcelain is stronger and that means it is more durable; and that means it is better suited for high traffic areas. In terms of home remodeling, then, porcelain may be a better choice in the kitchen than in the bathroom.
Of course, if all other things are equal, it is important to recognize that you will pay a premium for porcelain. According to recent data, porcelain costs between 30 and 40 percent more than ceramic tile.