Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile

By: Danny Lipford

Choosing Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile

There are two main types of floor tile, ceramic and porcelain. While both are durable and appropriate to use, there are noticeable differences between them.

Ceramic tile are composed of fired clay with a glaze coating. While usually less expensive than porcelain tile, ceramic are not as durable.

Porcelain tile are made of sand fired at high temperature and pressure. Porcelain tile are harder than ceramic and not porous, making them more water resistant. On the downside, porcelain tile are more difficult to cut than ceramic.


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9 Comments on “Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile”

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  • neil Says:
    August 18th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Was wondering which product would be best for backing behind tiled walls for a bathroom/laundry Certainteed’s GlasRoc or Hardiebacker. Or is it better to use regular wallboard and then use the Kerdi membrane for waterproofing. Thanks

  • Lisa Says:
    April 5th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Was wondering what product would work best under a porcelein tile floor in a bathroom, a cement backerboard or a flexible membrane? thank you, Lisa

  • ZEN Says:
    January 4th, 2010 at 10:46 pm


  • gail badach Says:
    January 3rd, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Beverly, a good cleaner for taking off hairspray residue is shampoo. it works for our hair and does a fine job on walls, floors, etc. happy cleaning!

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    December 27th, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Hi Bob,
    You can find the answer to your question in our article on How to Tile Over Existing Vinyl Floors. Good luck with your project.

  • Bob Bean Says:
    December 27th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Can you install ceramic tile over inlaid vinyl flooring without putting a membrane over it? I have been told you can if you rough up the surface of the vinyl to allow glue to adhere to it. I wasn’t sure, and wanted to know if it could be done and how well it would work.

  • Beverly Evans Says:
    October 24th, 2009 at 8:31 am

    What is a good cleaner for ceramic tile. Hairspray residue on the bathroom floor is beginning to build up on the floor.


  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    October 19th, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Hi George,
    When tiling over a plywood subfloor, you need to put down either cement backer board or one of the new flexible membranes first. Check out our articles and videos on Installing Tile Over a Wood Subfloor and How to Tile a Floor Using an Underlayment Membrane for more information on how to do it.

  • george Says:
    October 17th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    can you lay tile down directly on a plywood sub-floor?

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Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile