What is the difference between porcelain and ordinary ceramics?
What is the difference between porcelain and ordinary ceramics?

What is the difference between porcelain and ordinary ceramics?

Tiles are one of the most commonly used building materials produced in various types; ceramics are also classified as tiles; these products are also produced with different qualities and have different types. Ceramics are mainly made of clay and some other additives and are heated and baked at high temperatures.

Various types of ordinary ceramics and porcelain are available in the market, some of which may not be aware of their differences, so we have decided to dedicate this article to the difference between porcelain and ordinary ceramics; so stay with us.

Difference between porcelain and ordinary ceramics

To understand the difference between porcelain and ordinary ceramics, we must first understand the characteristics and properties of porcelain and other types of ordinary ceramics.

In general, porcelain has a water absorption rate of 0.5 percent or less, which complies with the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM C373-18).

To investigate this matter, before anything else, the dried tiles are weighed in an oven and then boiled for five hours and allowed to remain in water for 24 hours; then they are weighed again; if the difference between the moist and dry weights, divided by the dry weight of the ceramic, multiplied by 100, is less than or equal to half a percent, it is porcelain ceramic.

This density is obtained from a mixture of kaolin clay, which is purer and finer than most clay, and also contains significant amounts of quartz and feldspar.

Also, porcelain ceramics are baked at a temperature of about 1210 degrees Celsius.

In general, porcelain is a dense and smooth type of tile that is more resistant to water penetration than ordinary ceramics.

Porcelain tiles have a surface glaze, whereas some types of ordinary tiles and ceramics do not.

Ordinary tiles and ceramics are made from a type of coarse-grained clay and a little fine-grained kaolin clay, and usually do not contain the additives found in porcelain ceramics.

Also, ordinary ceramics are fired at lower temperatures, around 900 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, ordinary ceramics are more exposed to water penetration compared to porcelain ceramics, but if ordinary tiles and ceramics are glazed, the difference in water penetration is relatively small compared to porcelain tiles and ceramics.

Appearance difference between ordinary ceramic and porcelain tiles

In general, various types of tiles and ceramics are produced with glazes, and at first glance, the difference between porcelain and ceramic may be indistinguishable. However, one of the innovations recently used in the production of porcelain ceramics is the very close resemblance of these products to various other products; meaning that ordinary tiles and ceramics have solid colors and patterns, but porcelain tiles often resemble natural stones such as marble or wood.

For example, if you want to enjoy the beauty of wood but have problems with wood vulnerability to water, you can use porcelain ceramics.

While most tiles and ordinary ceramics have fixed colors and cannot simulate natural wood or stone.

Resistance to water and heat

Both ceramics and porcelain have good resistance to heat, which is why these products are sometimes used on kitchen countertops.

Porcelain ceramics are heavier, denser, and more water-resistant, so they are a better choice for outdoor environments compared to ordinary tiles and ceramics.

Porcelain also has good heat resistance, but ordinary ceramics are usually not recommended for outdoor environments.

Cleaning and maintenance of porcelain and ordinary ceramics do not differ much, and both can be cleaned with household detergent solutions.

Durability and maintenance of ceramics and porcelain

The clay used to produce porcelain tiles has a higher density, resulting in less porosity compared to ceramic tiles, making porcelain ceramics harder and more resistant to moisture than ordinary tiles and ceramics.

Maintaining porcelain ceramics is also easy and only requires periodic grout sealing.

The clay used for ordinary ceramics has less density compared to Chinese clays, so ordinary tiles and ceramics may crack or break.

Ordinary ceramics and porcelain are durable building materials as long as they are properly cared for; however, the price of porcelain ceramics is higher than that of ordinary ceramics.

Installation and setup review

It is worth mentioning that porcelain ceramics are brittle, so you need a professional and expert to cut them. Using a grinder and a diamond blade can be a good option for cutting porcelain ceramics.

This is while cutting with a sudden and firm blow is usually better for tiles and ordinary ceramics. In general, installing ordinary ceramics is easier.

Final words

In this article, we discussed the difference between porcelain and ceramics and mentioned that these differences are not only in terms of appearance but also in aspects such as their resistance to water and heat, durability and maintenance, and installation and setup.