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Why is tile sometimes called porcelain and other times ceramic?

 
The terms are used interchangeably, but that’s not quite accurate. They both perform differently, depending on the installation.

Savon Flooring has been servicing San Diego County for over 13 years. We pride ourselves that we’re often referred to as a “hidden gem,” carrying some of the top names in the industry, from Mohawk to Marazzi and Cambria Quartz to US Floors and more. We handle projects of all sizes and we work with all budgets.

We love tile floors, because of the design possibilities and easy cleanability. Tile is also one of the most cost-effective products because you can mix and match them which creates different price points. Come in to see a tile flooring retailer in our showroom in San Diego County. We're located right next to the Mohnackey Animal Hospital on CA-78.
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is porcelain?

 
Porcelain is a type of ceramic, but it also includes sand and, sometimes, glass. These make great tile floors, especially in places where there’s heavy foot traffic, such as the kitchen, bathroom or commercial applications.

Possibly the biggest difference is that porcelain is always waterproof, whether or not it’s glazed. It can also be installed outside as it stands up to any weather; it’s not unusual to find it on patios, decks and poolside.

Porcelain is a large format, pure white (although it does have patterns) material, with almost a translucent quality. It’s often associated with the cache of fine China or Italian Porcelana, so it is a little more expensive than ceramic.

Since it can be made to look like anything, many select this larger format to mimic stone, when budget doesn’t allow for natural, quarried, material, because of the fewer seams.
 
 
 
 
Ceramic tile flooring in Ocean Side, CA from Savon Flooring
 
 
 

What about ceramic tile?

 
Ceramic tile is thinner, but it’s just as hard and almost impossible to break. It is also used for tile floors, preferably in the lower traffic areas. While not common, if one does break, the good news is you just replace the broken tile and not the entire floor.

Ceramic tile is only waterproof when glazed. It is highly decorative and comes in a virtually limitless number of colors, patterns, designs, as well as many shapes and sizes. Many often combine them to create a unique, personalized design.

It is used as both a floor tile, but can also be installed as a backsplash, accent wall, border design, and even art.

Please be sure your box specifies whether the ceramic tile is appropriate for flooring or walls. There is a difference.