The Difference Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tile

bathroom client project, walk in shower with white shower tile and silver shower fixtures

When it comes to choosing tile, one of our most frequently asked questions revolves around the differences between porcelain and ceramic. Both materials come in lots of colors, shapes, sizes and styles, and they’re both considered a versatile option when it comes to building or renovating your home. Below, we’re explaining their key differences so that you can more easily decide which one is ideal for your unique space.


Generally speaking, the main difference in these two types of tile is the way in which they’re made, because this affects their overall composition. While both types are created by mixing clay and firing it in a kiln, ceramic tiles are usually fired at higher temperatures for longer periods of time, which helps reduce their water content. For this reason, porcelain tiles are considered more durable against water damage. 

Ceramic, on the other hand, are not fired for as long as porcelain, which makes them more porous. This distinction may not matter, depending on where you’re planning to place the tile in your home. The main thing to note here is that porcelain will be more durable than ceramic for wet spaces like outdoor patios or in showers.

Color and Pattern

In addition, the way color is printed on or in the tiles impacts the tile as a whole. Ceramic tile usually has the pattern or color printed on its surface and is then covered with a protective glaze. That means, if it gets chipped, you are likely to see what’s underneath the glaze, which may differ from the pattern or color on top.

Ceramic tile’s patterns and colors are usually continued throughout the entirety of the tile, so if it chips, you’ll see the same color underneath.


Because porcelain is generally more durable and water-resistant than ceramic, it can also be a bit more expensive. That said, the style and maker of the porcelain or ceramic tile is important here, as many options are close in price. Similarly, the size and square footage of your space also comes into play when it comes to pricing. Our experts can help you find an ideal option, whatever your project budget.

Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile

When it comes to choosing the right tile for your home design or renovation, both materials are great options. They’re both versatile and durable, and they both come in stylish options that suit any aesthetic.

Plus, the tile in our huge selection can be used in all sorts of places in your home — from your kitchen backsplash to your fireplace surround to an accent wall in your laundry room. The possibilities — and options — are nearly endless.