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  1. #1
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    Jul 2011
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    Default ceramic vs porcelain

    can anyone tell me the pros & cons with working with porcelain rather than ceramic. This will be for the walls in the shower and floor in the bathroom.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: ceramic vs porcelain

    Porcelain's materially denser and heavier than ceramic for a given size of tile. It's also impermeable and does not grab to thinset as fast and tight. For setting you generally treat it as if it were stone and don't use heavily modified thinsets if you're going on top of a membrane or waterproofing, as the heavily modified thinsets (which need air to cure) will not cure right. It's much harder than ceramic, so a tile saw is a must. It's somewhat superior to ceramic in terms of wear and durability, and it may be the look you want.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    208

    Default Re: ceramic vs porcelain

    Porcelain is the hardest and strongest tile made, and it's typically used on the floors in high traffic settings where people will track in road grit and sand on their shoes. Think schools, airports, subway stations, shopping malls, etc.

    You do not need porcelain floor tiles on your walls. The only two reasons I can think of for putting porcelain tiles on your shower walls is strictly for aesthetic reasons, or if you find relief in hitting your head against walls when under stress.

    Glazed ceramic wall tile is a more practical choice for the walls simply because the glazed surface of the tile is impermeable, and therefore largely maintenance free. No sealer has to be put on glazed wall tiles to prevent the grout from affecting the colour of glazed wall tiles. (Porcelain tile is also highly impermeable, but I'm not sure whether a sealer should be used on them prior to grouting or not.)

    If you're buying the tiles yourself from a home center or hardware store, bear in mind that each batch of tiles produced by every manufacturer will be given it's own "DYE LOT NUMBER". That dye lot number doesn't mean anything, except that if two boxes of tile have the same dye lot number, then the tiles in both boxes were made at the same time under the same conditions with the same input materials, and therefore should be identical in every respect. Since these factors can change from shift to shift and day to day, the best way to ensure that all of your tiles are the same colour is to ensure that all the boxes of tiles you buy have the same dye lot number. If you buy your tiles at a tile retail store, they'll know about this and will ensure that all the tiles you get will be from the same dye lot. However, the people working in hardware stores and home centers simply order so-and-so many boxes of each kind of tile they want, and the warehouse just sends them boxes from different dye lots where they probably wouldn't have enough to fill a typical order. So, if you can't get enough boxes of the same dye lot, then open a box from a different dye lot to visually confirm the tiles are the same colour before buying boxes of tiles with that second dye lot number.


    But, regardless of what kind of tile you use, if you use a cement based grout, you need to seal that grout to prevent mildew from growing on it. To avoid that problem, you can use an epoxy grout which is impermeable, and which mildew can't get a good foothold in. Epoxy grouts don't need to be sealed to remain mildew free.

    And, always always always, buy and keep spare tiles. The cost up front will be nothing compared to the problems you'll encounter trying to get spare tiles after they've stopped production. Tile manufacturers change their product line-up regularily and once a tile is no longer in production, it's unlikely anyone would have old stock to sell you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Arkansas
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    9

    Default Re: ceramic vs porcelain

    Thanks that was most helpful. After visiting the store and seeing the difference in price the decision was pretty much made. Yes the original question was more aesthetic driven.
    Appreciated comments about the grout.

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