Porcelain tiles are made from materials similar to Ceramic Tiles: sand, clay and other natural substances. However, porcelain tiles are structurally denser than ceramic tiles because the clay used in porcelain tiles is more refined and fired/”baked” at higher temperatures and under greater pressure than ceramic tiles. Hence, porcelain tiles are heavier, much harder and less water absorbent compare to ceramic tiles.
This is reflected in the higher prices of porcelain tiles because of these additional qualities which are perfect for specific functions. For example, higher traffic areas, places that required higher pressure resistance such as driveways, and wet areas in the kitchen and bathroom etc.
Compared to ceramic tiles, laying porcelain tiles on floors or walls requires more effort as they are heavier, and because of their hardness you need to make sure you have the right equipment for cutting & drilling porcelain tiles. Note: porcelain tiles can damage your equipment if they are not made to cut or drill such hard surfaces. It is also important to keep in mind that installing porcelain tiles on walls will require specialised cements because you need stronger adhesives to hold these heavier tiles.
Understanding these different factors will help manage the cost of your project and reduce unnecessary risks. When you visit our OzTop store in person, make sure you speak with one of our consultants who will be happy to assist you not only in sourcing the right porcelain tiles for your particular project, but more importantly tips & tricks on the installations of these tiles or finding the right tradesman for the job. We also offer Colour Consultation services to help you choose the most suitable colour porcelain tiles to match your project and the entire home.
Finally, you have a choice of glazed, unglazed and polished porcelain tiles depending on which surfaces suit your walling or flooring project. Polished porcelain tiles are visually beautiful and provides a smoother surface texture compared to other surface finishes. However, we’d recommend either purchasing ‘sealed’ polished porcelain tiles or applying porcelain sealants to your newly installed ‘unsealed’ polished porcelain tiles. This is because the process of polishing the porcelain tiles renders their surface more porous which means the tiles are more prone to absorbing stains similar to natural stone surfaces.
For more information on the sealing of polished porcelain tiles, have a chat with our OzTop consultants when you visit us in person at our store. And for more information on technical standards on choosing and installing tiles check out this link.