Our color specialists are constantly traveling and researching to provide the best of the best color palettes from which to choose. Your floor can be either the artwork or the canvas for the art. Although beige is an easy choice for anyone, dramatic reds, dark rich chocolates, contemporary grays or serene blues can set the scene for whatever you’d like your room to become. Within 30 seconds, the human eye and human brain make a decision to purchase a product, any product, based on color alone.
Have you ever looked at tile and wondered what the difference is between ceramic and porcelain? And more recently, is that a ceramic floor or is it hardwood? I know I have, and I’ve been the business for 24+ years! Don’t worry, you are very likely in the majority. The answer is actually pretty simple too; porcelain is a ceramic, it’s just made from a more refined material. Porcelain and ceramic are not different types. Porcelain is just one of many varieties of ceramic, just like the wood looking ones are 1 of many variations of the patterns or screen prints on ceramic.
Have you ever looked at ceramic floors and wondered what the difference is between ceramic and porcelain? And more recently, is that a ceramic floor or is it hardwood? I know I have, and I’ve been the business for 24+ years! Don’t worry, you are very likely in the majority. The answer is actually pretty simple too; a porcelain is a ceramic, it’s just made from a more refined material. Porcelain and ceramic are not different types. Porcelain is just one of many varieties of ceramic, just like the wood looks are one of many variations of the patterns or screen prints on ceramic.
Ceramic can be made from red and white clay mixed with various minerals and water. This composition is then processed with heat to create the finished dense product. Since ceramic material is pretty porous, the top surface is usually sealed with a glaze. The glazed surface is referred to as the design layer since it determines the finished color, design and it’s texture. In other words, ceramics only have the design or color that you see on the top layer, not all the way through.
Ceramics are used in both wall, countertop and floor applications; they are softer and easier to cut than porcelain. Non-porcelain ceramic are usually suitable for very light to moderate traffic and generally have a relatively high water absorption rating, around 4%, making them less frost resistant and they are more prone to wear and chipping than porcelain; these should not be used outdoors.
Ceramic comes in either glazed or unglazed surfaces. Glazed ceramic is one of the easiest surfaces to clean, and because of its composition, it will not easily absorb odors or stains, nor support allergens or bacteria. The glazed surfaces are like glass and are best used on walls as they are too slippery for floor applications. Glazed ceramics are also a little more susceptible to cracking and breakage.
Unglazed ceramic is strongly recommended for most exterior horizontal applications, interior applications subject to standing water such as shower floors, for very high traffic floors such as airports, train stations, walkways, etc.
Due to the fact that ceramic isn’t as complicated to make as porcelain, it tends to come at a lower price point as well.
It also doesn’t require as much skill to install, yet if you haven’t tried it before, you may want to consult a professional first. And, with its larger pore composition, do-it-yourselfers can fairly easily cut and install ceramic with setting materials found in home improvement stores.
The primary ingredient in the composition of true porcelain is finely-ground sand. Unlike ceramic, processing of the porcelain composition involves pressure and extremely high temperature. The end result is a very dense, less porous, glass-like material with a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%, which is less likely to freeze and crack outdoors. Because of its density and composition of natural ingredients, porcelain has all the same excellent qualities of glazed ceramic.
Full body porcelain carry the color and pattern through the entire thickness of the making them virtually impervious to wear and are suitable for any application from residential to the highest traffic commercial or industrial applications. You should be aware that just because it’s the same color throughout, it will still show a chip, mainly because the glazing will likely be a different luster level than the interior body.
Porcelain is available in matte, unglazed or a high polished finish. Remember, ceramics only carry their color and pattern on the top layer, whereas porcelains carry the color or patter through the entire floor.
Since porcelain is a denser material, it is stronger than its ceramic counterpart. By the same token, porcelain’s hardness makes it a little more challenging to install. Porcelain requires special tools for cutting and shaping. So, if you’re not very handy around the house or don’t have the right equipment, leave the installing to a professional.
Due to its harder consistency, porcelains work well in high traffic areas. If you know your floor is going to have to stand up to a lot of abuse, then porcelain may be the way to go. This kind of also works well if they are to be used in a colder outdoor area. Porcelain will stand up better to freezing and thawing as very little water is absorbed into these. For the same reason, porcelains are highly resistant to staining and cracking. In addition, the added strength of porcelain means that they can be created with more intricate designs and come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.
Of course, with higher quality comes higher cost. The more refined consistency of porcelain means that installing it is best left to the professionals, as regular setting products don’t adhere well to porcelain and most do-it-yourselfers don’t have the equipment necessary to cut hard porcelain.
As you can see, while ceramic and porcelain share some common ground, they are actually quite different. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but choosing one over the other typically depends on how and where the will be used. Assess your requirements and you’re sure to find the flooring that will work best for you.
Let’s recap what we just went over. Porcelain is simply one of the many varieties of ceramic. Ceramics only have their design/color on the top layer, where Porcelain carry the color/design through the entire thickness. Porcelain is more challenging to install due to its hardness. Now, go ahead and impress all your friends; I know you can do it.
For additional free help and advice to help you find the best flooring – whether carpets, hardwood floors, tiles or laminates – at the best price, call 505-856-6268
or contact Carpet Source USA today.