Things to Consider When Buying Porcelain

Jim Williams
Posted in:
Buying Guides

What is Porcelain Tile?

Porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic tile used to cover floors and walls. Made by firing finely-ground sand at high temperatures, porcelain tile is man-made rather than a purely natural material. Because of its density and composition of natural ingredients, porcelain tile offers excellent qualities in a flooring material: durability, beauty, varying colors, stain resistance, and more...

Choosing tile is an important decision when building or remodeling any home. Consider each pro and con when deciding whether or not to purchase porcelain for the best (and smartest) decision for your project.

Pros of Buying Porcelain

  • The top surface of the porcelain tile is glazed to produce a varying colors, textures, and patterns, making it a great choice for decorative use. Beige, bone, red, sandalwood, and black forest are just a few of the many color options available in porcelain.
  • Porcelain repels water. Because of its make up of fired, finely-ground sand, the end result is a glass-like material with a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%.
  • Porcelain is stain resistant and easy to clean and maintain.
  • Porcelain is affordable. The average cost of the material runs around $2 to $6 per square foot.
  • Porcelain can be installed on uneven surfaces. Its installation requires an underlayment of tile mastic, so you can vary the amount used under the tile so it creates an even top layer.
  • Porcelain is durable and scratch resistant. In fact, it is said to be 30 percent stronger than granite, one of the hardest natural materials available.
  • Compared to natural materials like slate, limestone, travertine, marble, and granite, porcelain tile is much easier to install because it’s a consistent depth of tile.
  • Porcelain can be manufactured in multiple sizes. A 6x6”, 12x12”, and 6x24” are a few examples of the various tile sizes available.

Cons of Buying Porcelain

  • Porcelain is cold and hard. Some find it to be tough on their feet.
  • If cracked or chipped, it can be difficult to replace one or two damaged porcelain tiles. To mitigate this problem, purchase a few extra tiles so you can replace if necessary.
  • Porcelain is slippery when wet.
  • The grout used for porcelain can be difficult to maintain and prone to stains.
  • Some prefer the design aesthetic of natural flooring material like marble or slate.
  • Requires modified setting material to anchor it to substrate.

Final Considerations

Porcelain tile’s utility in all-purpose areas and commercial installations makes it a great flooring choice across the board. Before you make a purchase decision; however, you have to consider the room’s use, scope of project, and your design preferences. This way you can make the most budget and time-friendly decision.