Beautiful and easily maintained, porcelain tile is a common and practical choice in modern home decor. The standard thickness for porcelain tile is similar to that of ceramic tiles, with porcelain tile available in a slightly thicker version. Porcelain tile is sold by square footage. Make sure your room or area measurements are accurate to purchase sufficient tile.
Standard porcelain tile thickness ranges between 1/4- and 3/4-inch thick. In contrast, ceramic tiles range from 1/4- to 3/8-inch in standard thickness. According to the Utah State University Cooperative Extension, thicker tiles are less likely to break or crack than thinner tiles. You may want to choose thicker porcelain tiles for flooring, especially in high-traffic areas.
Porcelain tiles, generally manufactured by the pressed dust method, are made from porcelain clays. Ceramic tiles are made from red or white clays. The water absorption rate of porcelain tiles is less than 1 percent, so these tiles make a good choice for outdoor areas in cold climates, as they are frost-resistant if not frost-proof. Besides being impervious to moisture, these tiles are also smooth and dense. You may purchase unglazed porcelain tiles, or choose a matte or high-gloss finish.
Glazed Porcelain Tiles
Glazed tiles have a thin glass coating applied before being kiln-fired. This type of porcelain tile, also known as vitreous tile, is available in many colors and patterns. However, if the tile chips or breaks, the damage will be noticeable and require repair or replacement. Highly glossed glaze tiles may be slippery, making them more suitable for walls and countertops than flooring. Porcelain tiles are heat-resistant for kitchen use, but are not heat-proof. Glazed tiles do not require sealing.
Full-Bodied Porcelain Tiles
Full-bodied porcelain tiles, also known as through-bodied tiles, include the tile color or pattern throughout the entire thickness of the tile. These tiles, suitable for residential or commercial use, easily hide any wear or damage. To further protect your full-bodied porcelain tiles, you may want to apply a sealer on the grouting.