Master Bathroom Design & Remodeling – Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile

Choosing Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile For A Master Bath

Tile manufacturers have products for nearly every use and personal taste today. With so many choices, deciding on the product right for your master bathroom can be overwhelming. We’ve put together a quick guide to help decipher the characteristic of ceramic vs. porcelain tile to make this process a little easier.

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Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile — The Basics

Ceramic and porcelain tiles both are kiln-fired at very high temperatures to ensure hardness, but they are made from slightly different materials. Ceramic tiles are usually made of white or red clay and typically have a glaze finish that gives the tile its color and pattern. Porcelain tiles are made of white clay in what is called a “dust pressed method,” which provides a much denser tile.

The big difference when it comes to ceramic vs. porcelain tile is in its water absorption, as defined by the Tile Council of North America. Porcelain tiles absorb less than 0.5 percent of water, while ceramic tiles absorb more than 0.5 percent water. For this reason, porcelain tile is often the preferred choice for areas with high exposure to water — like a master bath.

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Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile — The Upkeep

When it comes to care, cleaning and upkeep, ceramic and porcelain come out even. Both types of tile resist dust, dirt and residue, making them a good choice for both the floor and walls of a master bathroom. They also retain their like-new look for many years, making them a solid investment. Ceramic and porcelain tile are also stain-resistant, and because the colors are fired into the clay or glaze, they will not fade. These tiles also resist allergens, do not absorb fumes or odors, and are typically placed in spaces where good hygiene is desired.

Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile — Special Uses

Do you have dreams of an outdoor shower just outside your master bathroom? Thinking of adding a small, intimate patio off your master suite for coffee in the morning? Tile can be a way to seamlessly bridge indoors and outdoors. However, a durable tile is a must. Because porcelain is so dense and virtually waterproof, it is the preferred option when it comes to outdoor use. Ceramic does have a higher chance of water permeability. Over time and in areas prone to frost, it can cause the ceramic tile to expand and break.

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What About Flooring?

Deciding on what material is best for your bathroom floor isn’t always an issue of ceramic vs. porcelain tile. Both stand up better over time than wood, laminate or carpeting. However, if you are looking for top marks on strength, porcelain has the edge. When shopping for a porcelain tile, be mindful of the PEI or Porcelain Enamel Institute ratings, which will tell you the proper use of specific tiles. Based on a scale of zero to five, a score of zero means it’s for wall use only. Class one and two are for very low and low foot traffic, respectively, which makes them OK for bathrooms in most houses. Class three is for moderate traffic like in kitchens, while classes four and five are for the heaviest foot traffic, like mudrooms and restaurant flooring.


Consider the cost

For some, the price is no object when it comes to the bathroom of their dreams. For others, there are things that top the priority list and others that are less important. When selecting options for your master bathroom, you may have your heart set on some big-ticket items. If tile is not your passion, choosing a less expensive option could be a way to trim a bit of the cost for use on other luxury items. In general, ceramic tile is less expensive than porcelain, at less than $5 per square foot for the top-end products. You can still find beautiful, durable, high-quality ceramic tile that works well in a bathroom setting at a cost that’s less than top-quality porcelain tile, which is usually $6 per square foot or more. When it comes to ceramic vs. porcelain tile, there is a big difference in the cost.

If you’re ready to remodel your master bath, give us a call at (800)371-8970 or click here! Joseph & Berry are experienced design-build firm in the Dallas Fort Worth area that has completed hundreds of master bathroom projects. With a project manager on site at all times, we are here to answer questions and provide you details about our custom designs. At Joseph & Berry, our designers are aware of all the latest bathroom tile options available and can help you to choose the best one for your project. Let us help you create your dream master bath by providing bathroom tile samples and providing you with the knowledge you need to make an informed choice.