Porcelain tiles are a step above regular ceramic tiles because they are fired at higher temperatures. It is this unique firing process that produces two of the many benefits of porcelain tiles; the tiles are highly dense and impervious to water.
Porcelain tiles are also more durable than ceramic tile because they are so dense. Porcelain tiles are not as dense as stone tiles, but they are priced at a premium, like stone tiles, simply because they are harder and more waterproof.
It is easy to understand why people are willing to pay more for porcelain tiles once you read the awesome benefits they provide for your next remodeling project.
#1 Extremely Durable and Long-Lasting
As mentioned above, porcelain tiles are more durable than ceramic tile, but not as durable as stone tiles. It is this happy medium that provides a bit of longevity to people who really want ceramic tiles. Depending on the rating, you can get a good 15 to 20 years out of your porcelain tile. If it has a high rating, it can last up to 50 years. This is not as good as stone, which can last a lifetime and more, but is far better than other types of ceramic tile. This gray stone tile is typical of some of the color choices you get in porcelain, but this one lasts far longer because it is throughout the stone.
#2 Easy to Maintain
Porcelain tiles are stain resistant, unlike stone floors that need to be sealed to get the same benefit. Both, however, only need a light sweeping or mopping to look as good as new. It is this benefit that often drives people to pick porcelain or stone tiles for flooring instead of carpeting. Who wouldn't love a kitchen with this stone plank flooring in porcelain? It would be super easy to sweep clean!
#3 More Hygienic
Carpeting and laminates are popular flooring materials, but they are perceived as being less hygienic than porcelain or stone tiles. It is not just because tiles are easier to clean, but because they don't grab dirt in, like carpeting, or soak in moisture, like laminates. Porcelain tiles are also resistant to household chemicals, unlike laminates, and can be scrubbed clean with even harsh cleaners. This green and beige porcelain tile is perfect for a contemporary bathroom and looks super-hygienic.
A huge benefit of porcelain tiles is that they don't burn or produce toxic fumes in fires. They won't even give off smoke. Both carpeting and laminates will light up like torches and produce noxious fumes that can be very unhealthy. The only other material that is as fireproof is stone. Stone tiles won't catch fire, produce smoke or noxious fumes either. This Bordo Antico etched stone kitchen tiles won't catch fire and looks eerily like porcelain tiles because they have etchings on them. You can get the same effect with porcelain tiles too.
#4 Excellent for High Traffic Areas
Traffic tends to wear away in high traffic zones, producing bald spots. Laminates also look worn in areas where they are exposed to too much foot traffic. Porcelain, however, can withstand high traffic and still look good, much like stone tiles do too. If you're wondering what to do with an entryway or a long hallway that is bound to see lots of traffic, opt for porcelain or stone tiles. Can you guess whether these are stone or porcelain tiles?
#5 Everlasting Designs
Speaking of look good, porcelain tiles does not fade in direct sunlight. Colors stay consistent as well. This makes it ideal for outdoor use. The only other tiles that can compare to this type of everlasting designs are stone. In that case, though, they go a step above as the design is throughout the entire material and so stone can be honed and polished to get the original design back in its full glory. That's only if any discoloration or damage did occur to the tiles by staining or chemical reactions. This marble bathroom offers a forever design.
#6 Low Moisture Absorption Rate
Porcelain have a .5 moisture absorption rate which is pretty much impervious to water. They can be installed in wet environments and hold their own. They are ideal for bathrooms and kitchens. This stone tile bathroom design can easily be done in porcelain as well since the gray tiles are very standard sizes.
#7 Can Be Slip Resistant
You would think that a porcelain tile would be very slippery, but actually manufacturers often include a glaze that has a special gritty texture to help make them slip resistant. Stone tiles can also have texture added to them or special sealers to make them less slippery. Here is a design with tiles as a bathtub surround.
#8 Can Mimic Other Types of Materials
One interesting benefit of porcelain tiles is that they don't just have to look like porcelain tiles. If you want a wood or stone look-a-like, there are manufacturers that provide these designs in a porcelain tile. This design shows what a wood and marble knock-off in porcelain looks like. It doesn't exactly match the authentic materials, but it is modern and contemporary. Of course, if you want the real thing, you might be surprised to find out that the price point isn't that much different, depending on what type of stone tile you want to install. So, do your homework first if you want a look-a-like and maybe you really can afford the real thing.
Overall Benefits of Porcelain Tiles
There is no question that porcelain tiles can provide long-lasting, beautiful designs that are impervious to water and stain- and chemical-resistant. They are also fireproof, easy to maintain, and more hygienic than carpeting or laminates. Porcelain tiles excel in the bathroom and kitchen where their colorful designs really stand out, but can take the wear and tear of daily living. They are also excellent for high traffic areas and can be made to be slip-resistant. Porcelain tiles are in between ceramic tiles, on the low end, and stone tiles, on the high end. They are a happy medium that can be useful and efficient for many designs, whether it is for flooring, backsplashes, or countertops.
Did I cover most of the benefits of porcelain tiles for you? Do you have any questions? Please comment below.