Ceramic vs Porcelain Tiles: What’s the Difference?
Posted on February 25, 2021

Although they can both be used in a similar way, ceramic and porcelain tiles are worlds apart. Sometimes people use the terms ceramic and porcelain interchangeably. This is incorrect. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are two different products.

Typically, your project will dictate which type of tile would be best. However, before you get to work, Ferreira’s have highlighted below the main differences between ceramic and porcelain tiles.


One of the main distinguishing features between ceramic and porcelain tiles is their disparity in robustness. Ceramic tiles are made of clay, making them softer and less dense than their counterparts. On the other hand, porcelain tiles are made of clay, sand, and feldspar. They are also fired at a higher temperature than ceramic tiles, making them much harder and denser.

DIYers tend to prefer ceramic tiles as because they are less dense, and therefore less brittle, making them easier to work with. However, ceramic tiles can usually only withstand light to moderate foot traffic. In comparison, ceramic tiles can fall anywhere between light and heavy foot traffic, including that associated with commercial spaces.

Price point

If you’re on a tight budget, then ceramic tiles may be the solution for you. They are more affordable than porcelain tiles and are much easier to install as they can be cut and drilled easily. However, when you pay for porcelain tiles you are paying for timeless durable tiles that can last a lifetime.

When it comes to choosing tiles based on your budget, we highly recommend opting for porcelain tiles if you can afford to do so for longevity and wear resistance. Don’t forget to check out our collections of porcelain tiles.


Ceramic tiles are a quality choice for low traffic floors and walls in the home. They can also be used on commercial wall spaces but may not fare so well as a flooring option as commercial spaces tend to have higher levels of traffic.

Porcelain tiles can be used on floors and walls in both residential and commercial spaces. As they can withstand high levels of foot traffic, the likes of offices, hotels, retail outlets, and restaurants can all benefit from using porcelain tiles. They are also perfect for wet rooms, spas, and swimming pools due to their slip resistance. Installing porcelain tiles on walls can be difficult if the tile is too heavy, but you can discuss this with Ferreira’s to ensure your plans suit your home or commercial space.

External use

Porcelain tiles can be used internally and externally. Porcelain absorbs less water and is more hard-wearing than ceramic, making it ideal for use internally and externally. Furthermore, because porcelain is so robust it can take on any element Mother Nature wants to subject it to.

Ceramic tiles should not be used outside. Whilst ceramic tiles can be used in bathrooms, they are not waterproof, as many people assume. In bathrooms, ceramic tiles are not under constant pressure from the elements. Essentially, they can take splashes of water and moisture in the air. However, constant battering from rain and the cold outside could cause them to crack or chip as they are not as strong as porcelain tiles, due to being made from clay. This means they are porous and have little holes all across the surface, allowing elements to permeate that can cause damage.

Don’t forget you can easily get in touch with us at Ferreira’s today to discuss your porcelain tile requirements. Call 020 8076 8567 or email info@ferreiras.co.uk for a friendly, open and informative conversation about your tiling needs. You can also visit our showroom in West Hampstead.