Forums | Home Repair | Home Improvement | Painting | Interior Decorating | Remodeling | Landscaping


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Flooring

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-03-2008, 08:31 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1
Share |
Question

porcelain versus ceramic tile


Hi. I am going to tile my kitchen floor. I splurged on a granite countertop. Money is tight now, so I don't want to spend more than I need to on flooring. But, at 52...I want this to be my LAST kitchen floor install. There will be no kids running on it, but I do have a small granite topped kitchen cart that will very occasionally be moving around the floor's surface. I've decided on porcelain or ceramic because I just don't want to put any more weight on my kitchen floor with stone, but I need some direction, please.

I've read that porcelain is stronger than ceramic. And, ceramic tiles are all over the map with price. I'll probably be buying from The Tile Shop. Do you think that they have quality (or at least, not junk) tile? Also, is porcelain that much better than ceramic, because it's nearly twice the price.

I will have the floor professionally installed, since I know my limitations...LOL

Any professional direction and opinion will be greatly appreciated! Thanks...pandora
pandora is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2008, 08:39 PM   #2
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 9,124
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


Porcelain tile IS ceramic tile. The recipes are slightly different. Porcelain tiles tend to have a higher density and they have a lower moisture absorbtion rate.

Porcelain is the same makeup throughout its thickness but some of it can have a glazed surface. Not all porcelain has a glazed surface. Standard ceramic tile usually has a glazed surface but a different body.

Most all ceramic tiles are quality products and even the lessor products if installed correctly will serve you well.

The bigger issues arise with the substrate and structural criteria and the installation methods used, the tile is the least of your worries.
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2008, 11:10 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 64
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


Porcelain tiles are stronger, yes, but are they needed, not always. They have their place, the are more dense, meaning that when something is dropped on it they are LESS likely to chip, but yet still can. Their biggest advantage is because they are so dense they can be installed in an exterior location no matter the climate. You will find about 90% of porcelain will have a PEI rating of 5 which is as high as it goes. This is a wear rating given to tile from the Porcelain Enamel Institute and all tile companys list this information about their products. The only time you're likely to find a porcelain at a rating lower than 5 is if it's a dark colour. For some reason they are not able to obtain as hard of a glaze on a darker colour, so you may see something like a 4+ listed instead. As noted in the last post not all porcelain are glazed, so make sure if you go that way to get a glazed one or you'll be sorry and forever cleaning it and applying sealer. Also note most installers will charge more to install porcelain, they are harder to cut and they require more expensive modified mortars.

Ceramic on the other hand in most cases does just fine anywhere in a house. For any high traffic area, as a kitchen would be we want to see NOTHING LESS than a PEI of 3, we really would rather only see a 4, but some 3's are ok too. Anything less than a 3 DOES NOT belong on a floor no matter what they tell you. They chip way too easy.

You base is also SO important, because even a porcelain will crack if the base isn't right. Tile cracking has NOTHING to do with poor quality tile, it's poor quality installation!

We do testing on anything new that comes in just by simply tapping a screw driver against the EDGE of the tile and if it chips in the first tap or two we won't sell it.

Good luck, have fun with it, and find a reputable company that will give a written guarantee on their workman ship and back the tile 100% should there be a fault in the tile. (We guarantee for as long as you own the house, and we back the tiles, if something goes wrong and it's a glaze failure, we fix your floor and then go after the company we bought the tile from for the value of the replacement, of which I'm sure they in turn go back after their supplier and get a credit somehow as well as it was the factory in the end that made the mistake. I hope you can find similiar in your area)
dochorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2008, 04:54 PM   #4
Newbie
 
ayeshaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 18
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


The question frequently asked: “What is the difference between porcelain tile and ceramic tile?” Well the answers pretty simple. Porcelain tile is effectively Ceramic tile. It is just made of a more refined material.

All ceramic tiles are made up of clay and quartz ferrous sand materials, along with water. Once the tiles are formed they are fired to high temperatures and in some cases their surfaces are glazed. The only difference between Porcelain tile and regular ceramic tile is that the clay used in porcelain tile is more highly refined and purified. Consequently, porcelain tiles are denser than a standard ceramic tile.

As a result, porcelain tiles are more rugged making them ideal for harsher applications such as flooring. Also, because of their higher density, porcelain tiles are less likely to absorb moisture (0.5%) which makes them more durable and more resistant to staining. Porcelain tiles are frequently found in floor applications, outdoor areas, and in cold weather climates where freezing can occur. With their low absorption capability they are less likely to crack in cold weather climates.

Porcelain tile costs a little more than the traditional, more porous, standard clay tile; however prices in general have been coming down in recent years for ceramic tile.

Ceramic tile comes in either glazed or unglazed surfaces. The glazed surfaces are like glass and are best used on walls as they are too slippery for floor applications. Glazed ceramic tiles are also a little more susceptible to cracking.

Porcelain tile is constructed using red, brown or white clay. Most porcelain tile, however, is constructed using white clay.

When selecting any ceramic tile it is important to look at the PEI factor. This is the scratch resistance factor. A PEI of 1 is ideal for walls. A PEI of 2 is best for bathrooms and kitchens. A PEI of 3 is appropriate for all residential applications, and PEIs of 4 and 5 are applicable for commercial and heavy commercial applications, respectively.


Last edited by Ron The Plumber; 05-07-2008 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Removed link to website
ayeshaa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2008, 06:54 PM   #5
Tile and Paint contractor
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 84
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


How are porcelain tiles "stronger"?
Do they lift weights?
__________________
Matt | tile contractor
Charlotte, NC
MattCoops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2008, 08:30 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 64
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


Matt...always a comedian in the group!!

Ayeshaa,

I do beg to differ on two of your points, I have sold tile for over 9 years now and

1. NEVER other than Saltillo ever seen a UNGLAZED ceramic. The glazing is what gives it strength and protects it from staining, without it the clay would chip and fall apart.

2. A glazed ceramic IS NOT always GLOSSY and SLIPPERY, many ceramic tiles are glazed and the glazing is MATTE in finish and very durable. Also many are textured, and glazed and don't look like they have a glaze on them at all but they do. Many porcelains are not glazed at all which will make them stain easier than a ceramic so you have to know what you're buying. They come unglazed for the purpose of slip resistance for either commercial or exterior use, most people won't put them in their homes, you can, but most won't want the work.

3. A PEI rating of 2 IS NOT suitable for ANY floor application that is a WALL tile and would chip and crack on any floor application. A 3 is minimum for a floor, and preferrably only a bathroom or light use area, and a 4 for a kitchen or high use area, and a 5 for commercial. A 4 would not hold up in a commercial zone (unless you're talking LIGHT foot traffic like a lawyers office or hair salon, but not something like a factory/restaurant/bank etc) as a 4 is a ceramic product and a softer glaze and through constant travel on it you would eventually wear through the glaze and it would look like a cheap buffet restaurant in no time where you see the traffic patterns on the floors.

You had alot of great info on how they are made and processed, and very accurate, however I wouldn't trust your book source on the other information. I promise you I wouldn't steer you wrong, I've been trained on them and sold only tiles and natural stone for almost 9 years now at a very reputable tile company.
dochorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2008, 10:06 PM   #7
K&B Remodeler/Tile Guy
 
angus242's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 887
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


Quote:
Originally Posted by dochorn View Post
1. NEVER other than Saltillo ever seen a UNGLAZED ceramic. The glazing is what gives it strength and protects it from staining, without it the clay would chip and fall apart.

unglazed ceramic right here:
http://www.fastfloors.com/lp_16325,0...roduct.htm#NAV
angus242 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2008, 10:51 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 64
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


We actually sell those as well, except they've changed their tile format to a porcelain and they are unglazed, the ceramic format we used to sell about a year ago however was glazed. I don't know if they market something different for the USA vs. Canada, but we ordered most our stuff up from the USA location. We use three of the colours as an instock item that we use in all new home shower stalls, and I've installed them myself as well and they were a porcelain tile, so I don't have an answer as to why the brochure says ceramic. Either they sell differently to the USA or they haven't updated the web page.
dochorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2008, 10:54 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 64
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


Check this link direct from Dal Tile themselves, they advertise it as a colorbody porcelain
http://daltileproducts.com/series.cfm?series=238#3978
dochorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 09:00 PM   #10
K&B Remodeler/Tile Guy
 
angus242's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 887
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


Quote:
Originally Posted by dochorn View Post
Check this link direct from Dal Tile themselves, they advertise it as a colorbody porcelain
http://daltileproducts.com/series.cfm?series=238#3978
Yes, I see. The only reason I sent that link is I was just looking at that tile a few days ago and noticed it said unglazed ceramic.
angus242 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2008, 12:19 PM   #11
n00b
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 21
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


Good information here.

Question for you guys. I guess I shot and I'm asking a question later. I already purchased tile for my bathroom.

I purchased ceramic tile by Stonepeak Ceramics from a local tile store. This is the spec on the 'slate' style.

http://www.stonepeakceramics.com/dow...Data_Sheet.pdf

I don't see a PEI rating. I did some brief research before purchasing, but I stress the word BRIEF. I usually do more research, but the product looked good and I loved the color and design of the Everglades style.

http://www.stonepeakceramics.com/pro...nea=EVERGLADES

Maybe ignorance is bliss and I should just install what I bought and never know, but I'd be curious what you think of this brand tile. I'm extremely happy with the look and feel of it... and it wasn't cheap. I hope to install it within the month.
AdamB5000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2008, 03:58 PM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 27
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


AdamB5000, I can see why you fell in love with that tile, it's absolutely gorgeous.

First off, I know extremely little about tile, that said I do know what PEI ratings mean as dochorn described above. In the links to the tile you supplied I believe the numbers you see on each tile (called ware resistance) are the PEI ratings, but I'm not positive, but it seems logical.
I have talked to two companies concerning installing ceramic tile in my kitchen and both of them said they would only use PEI 4 or 5 in a kitchen or any floor for that matter. Maybe you would be lucky, but do you really want to take the chance! Some of the real experts can definitely give you first hand experience/information, I really wish you luck.
One other thing, you might want to check with the company to be absolutely sure that wear rating is there way of showing the PEI value. I thought this rating was supposed to be on the box, but I'm not really sure.
Changeling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2008, 06:20 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 64
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


AdamB5000

I have looked at the spec's and although it does not state that it is a PEI 4 or 5 I suspect it will be. I can almost guarantee that it is a porcelain as it's water obsorption rate is <0.1% and anything less than <0.5% is a good indicator that it's porcelain. Also, althought this may make no sence to anyone else except someone that sells tile, it comes in multiple sizes, very FEW almost NO ceramics come in multiple sizes anymore, we seem to only see porcelains like that. And based on the look of it, which sounds silly I know, but the glaze quality/colouring etc. all SCREAM porcelain to me, most things that look that good are not ceramic. It also noted in the spec.s light commercial use, which to me means it's not a full bodied porcelain, but it is a porcelain and will hold up to most commercial use. Your PEI may only be a 4 due to the colouring involved and nothing to do with the fact that it's a porcelain, but it may also be a 5, usually they can't get a full 5 on those darker colours, but without seeing it in person, it may not be as dark as I think and it could be a 5. How's that for alot of rambling and maybe's?? The store you bought it from would be able to tell you though if you call them up, it should be in their price giude, ours always are.

IF you find out it is porcelain, then make sure you use a proper polymer modified mortar for it as the cheap mortar will not stick. A porcelain is harder and won't take in the water so you need the additives in the modified mortar to make it stick to your substrate. You will also have no choice but to use a wet saw to do your cutting, unless you've got a seriously excellent score and break cutter (in the 300-800 dollar range like a Sigma, you probably won't be able to score and snap it.)

What colour is the back of the tile? Is it putty coloured or whitish possibly with tiny little specs in it?
dochorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2008, 06:25 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 64
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


Changeling

I have rarely seen a PEI on the box, most boxes actually don't even have the selling name on them, usually just alot of codes, we have a heck of a time sometimes when a customer calls in and asks if we have another box of something and they're reading their box not their invoice! Only for the sake that most of us have been there for so long we can usually decifer what it is they want. I have to think there's no law of standards for this industry on that kind of thing. (ie what they have to list and what they don't) You will also almost always find (as a side note) the size it says isn't always the size either. It could say 13x13" and it's actually 12.5x12.5 or 13.3x13.3 they seem to be allowed to do that. We always recommend that someone physically measures the tile if they need it for a specific project and it HAS to be say a 12x12 or something and a 12.5x12.5 won't do.
dochorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2008, 03:24 PM   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 27
Default

porcelain versus ceramic tile


Quote:
Originally Posted by dochorn View Post
Changeling

I have rarely seen a PEI on the box, most boxes actually don't even have the selling name on them, usually just alot of codes, we have a heck of a time sometimes when a customer calls in and asks if we have another box of something and they're reading their box not their invoice! Only for the sake that most of us have been there for so long we can usually decifer what it is they want. I have to think there's no law of standards for this industry on that kind of thing. (ie what they have to list and what they don't) You will also almost always find (as a side note) the size it says isn't always the size either. It could say 13x13" and it's actually 12.5x12.5 or 13.3x13.3 they seem to be allowed to do that. We always recommend that someone physically measures the tile if they need it for a specific project and it HAS to be say a 12x12 or something and a 12.5x12.5 won't do.
dochorn thanks for setting me straight, it has been close to a nightmare for me to try and get it all figured out, then I came to the conclusion (as you suggest/say) that it's not very well controlled with a set of strict code standards but more of a "what the manufacturer wants to call it. I was/am contemplating Congoleum Dura Ceramic 16" (or real tile). But when I read there web site it turned out to be 15 5/8 ", LOL. In my area they want practically the same for a Dura Ceramic installation as for a real tile installation. $1300.00 for DS and maybe 300 more for real tile depending on the cost of the tile.

AdamB5000, if you don't mind my asking what was the cost of that tile in the 12 " size if you happen to know (everglades)?
Changeling is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
construction, flooring


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ceramic tile over existing (full mud) ceramic? rjniles Flooring 7 12-24-2008 06:12 PM
stains on ceramic tile sdgoss Flooring 4 09-19-2008 06:19 PM
Preping for ceramic tile install leroyme Flooring 21 11-29-2007 03:31 PM
Porcelain Tile Installation Burat Flooring 6 06-30-2007 03:26 PM
Ceramic tile installed over resiliant tile ramsfanjeff Flooring 1 11-26-2005 02:26 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.