What are the pros and cons of porcelain tile?
Porcelain is a type of ceramic tile that is characterized by being stronger, harder, and even more water-resistant than ordinary ceramics—which are already quite durable. Porcelain tile achieves this by using clays with finer particles fired at a higher temperature, which creates a harder, less porous surface than can be achieved by standard ceramic tiles This inherent versatility gives ceramic tile the ability to provide a number of benefits as a flooring, such as durability and design flexibility. However, porcelain tiles can be somewhat more brittle than standard ceramic tiles, and they have some of the same drawbacks as ceramic tile, including their heavy weight, coldness, and hardness underfoot.
The manufacturing process used to make porcelain tiles allows this material to mimic all sorts of other building materials with remarkable effectiveness. It can be hard to tell the difference unless you examine it up close.
Benefits Of Using Porcelain Floor Tile
1. Liquid Resistance
Because of the way that porcelain tiles are crafted, they are denser and less porous than ceramic tiles are. They are highly liquid-resistant, making them perfect for use in bathrooms, basements and other damp locations.
When you need a flooring option that’s going to hold up well to moisture, there are few options better than porcelain tiles. The latest tile trends are showing porcelain tiles used more and more often, and generally, they are being utilized in damp locations where they can really shine as the best option around.
2. Highly Stain Resistant
For the same reasons that porcelain tile stands up so well to moisture, this material is also highly stain resistant. When stains get onto a surface they seep down in and set which is what makes them so difficult to remove. This is the reason that it’s so easy to stain untreated wood.
Porcelain tiles are dense, they are highly impervious to most substances and stains don’t have the chance to seep down in and set. That’s why porcelain tile is one of the best tile flooring options for kitchen use because spilled juice, coffee, and other substances wipe right up.
Porcelain tile works really well for pet owners for this reason as well because it’s simple to clean up after accidents, mud, and other debris that would otherwise be a problem. When you want a floor that stands up to stains well over time, porcelain is the best of the tile flooring options.
Careful construction practices help enhance the strength of porcelain tile, preventing cracking and other issues that are more common with ceramic tile from happening. If you want to use tile in a commercial environment, or in a high traffic location, porcelain tile is likely the better option. This highly dense material is much more difficult to break, and it will withstand heavy use over time well. Porcelain tile can even stand up to heavy furniture better than ceramic tile can. In terms of durability, porcelain tile is just easier to rely on overtime.
There are few flooring options that hold up as well over time as porcelain tile does. That’s because porcelain tile is tough to break and it’s exceptionally hard, which means it is difficult to scratch or chip as well. When looking for the best in the latest tile trends, porcelain tile is a good solid option for consideration. Of the different tile flooring options, porcelain probably has the longest lifespan overall.
5. Low Maintenance
Because of their highly durable properties, porcelain tiles are simple to maintain. Simply wash them off regularly and clean up the grout in between and they will remain in good shape for years. Even if they become cracked or damaged they will continue looking decent because they have a uniform color all the way through.
1. Cost To Install
Because porcelain tile is so tough, it’s also more difficult to work with, making it more expensive and time-consuming to install compared to softer tiles. Contractors aren’t as interested in installing porcelain tiles because they know the job is going to be more difficult. If you do decide to have these tiles put in, you should expect to pay significantly more for installation. Out of the different tile flooring options, porcelain tile is one of the most expensive to purchase and to install.
One of the biggest advantages of porcelain tiles, their high density, and strength, can also be a disadvantage if you are worried about weight. That’s because the denser tile is slightly heavier than ceramic tile and much heavier than flooring solutions like wood.
If you have a room that isn’t built with large floor beams, it could be risky to floor it with porcelain tiles. There are other tile flooring options that are lighter, and plenty of flooring options that would be significantly lighter such as vinyl flooring. Always consider whether your current floor can handle the weight of porcelain tile before installing it, and think about using a different solution if the space you’re flooring simply can’t handle all the weight of tile.
Even though porcelain tile is easy to maintain on its own, you need to consider the maintenance that grout adds to the equation. Grout is the filler material that must be used in between tiles for a good water-resistant installation.
When having tiles put in you’ll need to have a good grout installed between them, and you’ll have to take steps to maintain that grout over time. This means adding more grout as necessary, and scrubbing any dirt and grime away that accumulates on the grout over time.
Porcelain Tile Maintenance
Cleaning porcelain tile is a breeze. Its surface absorbs very little moisture, so spills that might seep into another material and cause a stain can easily be wiped up with a damp cloth. To maintain it, porcelain generally only needs to be cleaned with water or a mild detergent. It is the perfect material for those who want good looks with very little effort. Repairs typically aren’t very expensive either.
Other Porcelain Benefits
Since the clay it is made from is so dense and the firing process so hot, porcelain tile ends up being not just hard but harder than granite.
The color of porcelain tile is not just on the surface but runs down through the tile. This means that the color will stay the same as it wears down (which, in itself, will take a long time).
Porcelain tile is considered a quality building material and is, therefore, a selling point. Putting it in a home will not only be a good choice for those who live there but will increase the value of the property, too.
Drawbacks of Porcelain Tile
Though it truly is a great material, it is pricier than other types of tile. It is as easy to install as other kinds of tile, but any tile installation will be somewhat time-consuming. Porcelain tile itself is very easy to clean, but where you have such tile, you will also have grout, which is notoriously difficult to keep pristine. Anyone looking to install any kind of tile should make sure that whoever puts it in seals the grout well. No matter how nice the tile looks, ugly, stained grout can ruin the effect.
Porcelain Tile Installation
The process of installing porcelain tiles is exactly the same as for ceramic tile, and it can be time-consuming and physically laborious. The material itself is very hard, making it difficult to achieve precise cuts without special saws. Hiring a contractor to do the work can save you on expensive material waste, but it will increase the price of the project substantially.
As with all hard tile flooring options, these materials tend to be quite heavy. This may restrict the use of these products in second and upper story environments, unless the building is specifically built to be able to handle the extra stress.
That said, while installation of porcelain tile is hard, time-consuming work, it is not particularly complicated, and patient DIYers with plenty of time can easily save 50 percent or more on the cost of installation by doing the work themselves.