Previously we looked at the pros and cons of ceramic tiles. In this post, we’ll be exploring porcelain tiles and the pros and cons of using them for your floors.
Like ceramic, porcelain tiles have been around since Egyptian times. But ceramic tiles have only been widely used since the 1920s, with the Art Deco movement giving them a boost in popularity. During this time they moved from being used mainly in wealthy people’s homes and public buildings, to tiling kitchens and bathrooms all over the world!
Porcelain tiles come in two variations – matt and polished. There are some differences between the two types of porcelain tiles and the pros and cons of each type, which we’ll go into further detail below.
Design options – Porcelain tiles can be printed in a number of different ways to get a finish that mimics natural materials like marble, stone and wood, as well as some man-made materials like concrete and metal.
Durable – Porcelain is a lot denser than ceramic tile and has lower water content. The pressure is increased during pressing which reduces voids and cavities, therefore making the tiles less porous. Because of this, they can be used outside too.
Long lifespan – The lifespan of porcelain tiles can be hundreds of years if they’re kept under normal conditions. In comparison, ceramic tiles have a lifespan of 3 – 20 years.
Stain-resistant – Due to the less porous nature of porcelain it has a low absorption rate so doesn’t tend to stain. This also makes them very hygienic.
Low maintenance – Matt porcelain tiles require very little maintenance.
Easy installation – These tiles are much easier to install than natural stone tiles. If you don’t feel confident tiling your floor yourself it’s best to get a professional to do it for you.
Natural effect tiles don’t need to be sealed – Unlike real stone or wood, porcelain tiles with a natural effect finish don’t require sealing.
Anti-slip – The matt tiles often have anti-slip properties making them a good choice for bathrooms or kitchens.
Heavy – As with ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles can be heavy. This means they might not be a great option for upper floors. The tiles come in varying thickness so consider this when buying.
Polished tiles need to be sealed – If you opt for polished porcelain tiles over matt ones they will need to be sealed after installation.
Cost – Porcelain tiles are slightly more expensive than ceramic ones. But when you consider the increased life span of porcelain it might be worth pushing the boat out and going for the more expensive option. Especially if you don’t plan on redecorating every few years.
As you can see the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to porcelain tiles, and with so many design options they’re a great choice for your home.