Porcelain Ceramic; its Types and Applications
Porcelain Ceramic; its Types and Applications

Porcelain Ceramic; its Types and Applications

Many of us may be familiar with ceramic tiles as the same as household ceramic flooring and to some extent be familiar with its properties and characteristics. Non-porcelain ceramics are actually a type of tile made from pressed and fired clay materials at high temperatures. However, unfortunately, due to their high water absorption, their applications are somewhat limited. Porcelain ceramics are a type of tile that has been able to solve this problem with their unique properties. In this article, we intend to provide a complete introduction to porcelain and examine its features together. If you are also looking for more information in this area, stay with us until the end of the article.

What is Porcelain Ceramic?

Perhaps it would be better to have a definition of porcelain ceramic before proceeding. Let's define the terms "porcelain" and "ceramic." The word "ceramic" is derived from the Greek word "Keramos," meaning fired clay materials (such as pottery, tiles, and china). Ceramic materials are non-metallic and non-polymeric materials themselves and have various types and forms, such as high-temperature insulation, chinaware, etc. In the field of ceramics, chinaware is also referred to as porcelain. Porcelain is the name of a type of sea snail in the Mediterranean Sea, whose shell is white and semi-transparent. It is the characteristic of being white and translucent that inspired the naming of this group of ceramics. According to the common official definition in Europe, "porcelain" is a dense and white ceramic product (both glazed and unglazed) that is used for various purposes. Based on this definition, the term "porcelain" is used for a wide range of ceramic products that have high firing temperatures. This high firing temperature gives rise to a glassy (glass-like) nature in porcelain and creates low porosity for this product. This very aspect is one of the reasons why porcelain ceramics’ prices are higher than ordinary ceramics.

Porcelain ceramic is an organic member of the larger ceramic family that possesses superior properties compared to ordinary ceramics and has multiple applications. Its history dates back over half a century. Porcelain ceramics first emerged in Italy with excellent technical performance and a visual appearance very similar to natural stones.

Low porosity is the main characteristic of porcelain ceramics, which allows them to exhibit excellent technical and chemical performance and high resistance to freezing. This makes porcelain ceramics highly suitable for covering floors and exteriors in cold climates.

What is Porcelain Clay?

Like any other traditional ceramic, porcelain ceramic is made from a combination of materials with different types of clay. The first step in producing a ceramic body is the selection of clay. To produce various types of porcelain, materials engineers mix raw materials together to obtain a suitable clay that provides diverse properties. In fact, the resulting properties are divided into two types: those that contribute to obtaining a suitable raw body and those that contribute to obtaining a suitable body after firing. Generally, porcelain clay consists of three components:

  1. Mineral plasticizers
  2. Fillers
  3. Dispersants

The term "plastic materials" refers to materials that provide malleability. Kaolin is the most common plastic material in porcelain clay. Fillers in three-component bodies are non-plastic materials added to the body. Their main functions include preventing deformation during firing, controlling shrinkage and expansion, and influencing factors such as porosity, body color, and glaze adhesion. Silica and alumina are the most important and common fillers in the ceramic industry. Dispersants are materials that, due to their lower melting point, are widely used in ceramics and tile production. These materials melt during heating and, as they cool down, transform into a glassy state. The resulting glass incorporates all the crystalline structures present in the fired body, creating a homogeneous mass.

Properties and Characteristics of Porcelain Ceramics

The most essential and significant feature of porcelain ceramics is their extremely low porosity. This low porosity provides unique characteristics and properties for this product. As mentioned earlier, low porosity occurs as a result of firing at high temperatures. Here, we can observe how the firing temperature significantly reduces the porosity in this material.

Generally, during the firing of ceramic bodies, various mechanisms are involved. One of these mechanisms is firing in the presence of a liquid or molten phase. In three-component bodies like porcelain ceramics, the sintering mechanism in the presence of a liquid phase predominates. This is because the clay in these bodies contains a significant amount of dispersant material (lowering the melting point), resulting in the formation of a higher proportion of the liquid phase compared to other bodies. This liquid phase, due to capillary action, penetrates the pores more effectively, leading to a reduction in porosity.

Some of the most important properties of porcelain ceramics include:

  • High resistance to wear
  • High strength and very high fracture resistance
  • Very low water absorption percentage
  • Resistance to freezing
  • High chemical resistance and stain resistance

Distinguishing Porcelain from Other Ceramics

To distinguish porcelain ceramics from other types of ceramics, the factors below can be helpful:

  • Porcelain ceramics have lower porosity compared to other ceramic bodies, resulting in higher density and, consequently, greater weight than regular ceramics.
  • Porcelain ceramics are advanced products that are more difficult to manufacture than other ceramics, hence porcelain ceramics’ price is higher than the regular type.
  • Due to its high strength, cutting porcelain ceramics requires specialized tools.
  • Porcelain ceramics have low water absorption, so if a drop of water is placed on the surface, it remains for a long time, whereas on regular ceramics, water is absorbed within less than a minute.
  • Polishing can also help differentiate porcelain ceramics from other ceramics. If the ceramic body has porosity, no matter how much it is polished, the porosity remains visible. When light hits the surface, it cannot reflect back, resulting in a dull appearance. However, it should be noted that the polishing of building ceramics is typically performed in the factory during the manufacturing process.

The Difference between Porcelain and Regular Ceramics

The main difference between porcelain ceramic and regular ceramic lies in the composition of the raw materials. In fact, it is this difference in composition that creates the variations. Porcelain ceramic has a higher level of vitrification in its body, while regular ceramic has a lower level of vitrification. However, non-porcelain ceramic materials have a strong resemblance to porcelain ceramic, but they have lower density and higher porosity. Additionally, white clay ceramics absorb more water and therefore have a lower price. The clay material used in porcelain ceramics is usually high-quality kaolin with a very fine particle size, which reduces porosity and strengthens the porcelain ceramic. The second difference between these two types of products relates to the firing temperature. Porcelain ceramic is fired at temperatures between 1200 and 1400 degrees Celsius, while the firing temperature for regular ceramic is lower.

These differences in raw materials and firing temperature have resulted in variations between porcelain ceramic and regular ceramic. The main difference between these two ceramics lies in their water absorption capacity. Porcelain ceramics have water absorption levels of less than 0.5%, while regular ceramics have higher water absorption. Due to their low porosity, porcelain ceramics exhibit excellent resistance to temperature changes, impact, and scratches compared to regular ceramics. The compact structure of this type of ceramic provides good resistance, and the chemical resistance of porcelain ceramics against chemicals and disinfectants is higher than that of regular ceramics.

Advantages of porcelain ceramics Porcelain ceramics have a completely uniform structure, while the physical properties of stones may vary in different directions. Porcelain ceramics have very low water absorption, close to zero, and therefore maintain their properties when in contact with water. Some stones are highly sensitive to water and lose their properties upon contact with water.

Due to the high firing temperature, porcelain ceramics are highly compact and have a very high wear resistance. Some stones naturally have flaws and voids, which may be hidden beneath a thin surface. This thin surface may be eroded due to traffic, revealing these flaws and voids, resulting in an undesirable appearance. Porcelain ceramics, being fired at high temperatures for extended periods, will not experience color fading over time.

Porcelain ceramics have very high resistance to acids. This is in contrast to some stones, especially those containing calcium carbonate and calcite, which are highly sensitive to acids and even react to weak acids such as lemon juice. This reaction is not easily cleanable as it manifests as corrosion on the surface.

Here is the table comparing the differences between porcelain ceramic, regular ceramic, and tiles:

Table of Differences between Porcelain Ceramics, Regular Ceramics, and Tiles

Parameter Porcelain Ceramic Tiles Regular Ceramic
Clay Composition Contains more vitrifying agents and fine-grained clay Hard clay Higher clay content compared to porcelain ceramic
Water Absorption Less than 0.5% More than 0.5% More than 0.5%
Stain Resistance Excellent Good Good
Strength High Less than porcelain ceramic Less than porcelain ceramic
Price Higher than other products Lower than porcelain ceramic Lower than porcelain ceramic
Chemical Resistance Excellent Excellent with glaze Good
Installation Special methods for porcelain ceramics Conventional methods Conventional methods
Lifespan High Lower than porcelain ceramic Lower than porcelain ceramic

Advantages of Porcelain Ceramics

Porcelain ceramics contribute to energy efficiency. In enclosed spaces, they absorb and store energy as the temperature rises. Then, when the ambient temperature decreases, they release the stored heat. This characteristic of porcelain ceramic coatings becomes apparent when heating devices are turned off. While heating devices are active, the heat generated is absorbed by the porcelain ceramic coating. After the heating devices are turned off, the ambient temperature remains constant for a long period.

The structure of porcelain ceramics does not allow the release of harmful chemicals. They have high resistance to staining and can be easily cleaned with regular cleaning agents. Additionally, porcelain ceramics have a long lifespan and do not have an expiration date.

Disadvantages of Porcelain Ceramics

Despite the numerous advantages of porcelain ceramics, they do have a few drawbacks. However, this does not mean that these drawbacks have significantly reduced the use of porcelain ceramics. Let's discuss these issues further.

Due to the denser and less porous nature of porcelain tiles compared to regular ceramics, cutting them can be slightly more challenging and requires greater precision. The compactness and low water absorption, while advantageous for porcelain ceramics, have also increased their weight. When the weight is higher, the installation and transportation processes require more precision.

Because of their specific composition and manufacturing process, porcelain’s prices are higher compared to regular ceramics, and their installation is also more expensive. However, it should be noted that considering the unique advantages of porcelain ceramics and their longer lifespan, this price difference is negligible. Due to their high resistance and durability, using porcelain ceramics can be considered a long-term investment, despite the initial cost.

Types of Porcelain Ceramics in terms of Application

Porcelain ceramics, with all their advantages, come in various colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes, making them highly versatile for flooring and cladding in buildings. Based on their application, we can categorize this type of ceramic product into two main types: porcelain ceramic cladding and porcelain ceramic flooring. Let's provide further explanations:

Porcelain Ceramic Cladding and its Types

Porcelain ceramics intended for use as cladding must possess certain characteristics. For example, they should be compatible with different weather conditions, offer color and pattern variety, and have a long lifespan. Nowadays, with the advancement and development of dry installation systems, it is possible to use porcelain ceramics in high-rise buildings. Porcelain ceramic cladding is also known as dry ceramic cladding, and you can learn about porcelain ceramic cladding prices with just a click.

Dry porcelain ceramic cladding can be implemented using two main forms: hollow porcelain ceramics (terracotta) and solid porcelain ceramics (stoneware).

Porcelain Ceramic Flooring and its Types

The use of porcelain ceramics for flooring is one of the major applications of this product. Porcelain ceramic flooring offers good quality and durability, which has led to its increased use in the construction industry for floor coverings. It should be noted that porcelain ceramic flooring prices vary among different types.

With all these advantages, before choosing porcelain ceramic flooring, especially for outdoor spaces, particularly in public and commercial areas, sufficient research must be conducted. For example, our choice might be porcelain ceramics with a very smooth and glossy surface. While this type of porcelain ceramic is aesthetically pleasing, it tends to wear out more quickly in outdoor environments, and the shine and smoothness of the surface fade earlier, making scratches and stains more visible. Additionally, outdoor surfaces can be very slippery, and a polished ceramic surface can make the flooring more challenging. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the requirements and environmental conditions when selecting porcelain ceramic flooring.

Types of Porcelain Ceramics in Terms of Construction

In terms of construction, porcelain ceramics can be classified into two categories: glazed and unglazed. Glaze is a glassy or semi-glassy coating that is thin and highly durable, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the product. Glazed porcelain ceramics have a thin layer of glaze applied to them during the manufacturing process. This glaze can be colored or colorless.

The hard surface of porcelain ceramics is achieved through a glossy polishing process. This means that a ceramic can have a glossy surface after the firing process with or without a glaze coating. If the ceramic has a glaze layer, it is referred to as polished glazed porcelain ceramics, and if the surface is without glaze, it is called polished porcelain ceramics. These ceramics are suitable for various applications, including all-purpose use in the body and flooring applications such as residential spaces, boutique stores, and low-traffic private offices.

Full-body Porcelain Ceramics

Full-body porcelain ceramics are a type of porcelain ceramic. They are similar to porcelain ceramics in terms of production and structure. In the construction of full-body porcelain ceramics, the selection of raw materials is done in such a way that the color of the product is consistent on the surface and throughout its depth. To put it simply, unlike regular ceramics and porcelain where we see a color difference between the body and the surface of the ceramic after breaking or cutting, in this type of porcelain ceramics, we do not observe any color variation, similar to natural stones.

This characteristic ensures that if there is an impact or any damage, the appearance of the ceramic does not deteriorate, unlike regular ceramics and plain porcelain ceramics, where the color difference becomes noticeable. This is why these full-body porcelain ceramics can be used in high-traffic areas. Most full-body porcelain ceramics are available in sizes of 60x60 or larger and various thicknesses (up to 2 centimeters). It should be noted that the color and pattern variety of full-body porcelain ceramics is limited due to the specific formulation of the raw materials used for production, so we cannot expect a wide range of designs in this particular product. The price of full-body porcelain ceramics is also higher compared to regular porcelain ceramics.

Hollow Porcelain Ceramics

This type of porcelain ceramics is lighter in weight compared to other types of ceramic cladding due to the presence of cavities in its body. Hollow ceramics are available in both glazed and polished forms. The design and colors of glazed hollow porcelain ceramics are less varied compared to regular porcelain ceramics. After the production of polished hollow ceramics, their surface is polished using specialized polishing machines.

Types of Porcelain Ceramics in Terms of Installation and Arrangement

In addition to the beautiful designs of porcelain ceramics, their installation and arrangement can enhance their beauty even more. One type of ceramic known based on its arrangement is bookmatch porcelain ceramics.

Bookmatch Porcelain Ceramics

In the past, stones were placed next to each other in a way that the patterns and motifs aligned. Bookmatching refers to pairing two or four large-sized tiles or stones side by side in a symmetrical manner, creating a beautiful artwork or a unique combination. To create a natural artistic effect, ceramics have different patterns. If the patterns are in pairs, they are called bookmatch, and if they create a frame when arranged in sets of four, they are called four-match. In this arrangement method, the ceramics follow a precise and regular pattern that is numbered from one to four. When executing the design, colors, images, and veins of the pattern are placed in alignment and installed in symmetry with each other.

Types of Porcelain Ceramics in Terms of Surface

Porcelain ceramics can be divided into four groups based on their surface characteristics.

  1. Polished Porcelain Ceramic:

The surface of polished porcelain ceramics is made glossy through a polishing process. This means that a ceramic can be transformed into a shiny surface with or without a glaze after the baking process. If a glaze is present on the surface, they are referred to as polished porcelain ceramics with glaze, and if the surface is without glaze, they are called polished porcelain ceramics. These ceramics are suitable for various applications in interior spaces and low-traffic flooring areas such as residential buildings, boutique stores, and private offices.

  • Matte Porcelain Ceramic:

Ceramics with a matte surface have features such as slip resistance (due to a high coefficient of friction), ease of cleaning, and resistance to surface wear. They are used in high-traffic areas for flooring, as well as in the interior and exterior surfaces and facades.

  • Semi-Polished Porcelain Ceramic:

The surface of these ceramics is partially polished, and in addition to having higher resistance to wear (compared to polished surfaces), they provide a somewhat glossy appearance similar to polished porcelain ceramics. These ceramics are used in flooring and interior surfaces, including facades.

  • Textured Porcelain Ceramic:

These ceramics have raised patterns and textures on their surface. Textured porcelain ceramics can be used in flooring and interior and exterior surfaces, around swimming pools, as well as in facades.

Applications of Porcelain Ceramics

Porcelain ceramics are suitable for use in all spaces and applications due to their high density, very low water absorption, and increased resistance. Some of these applications include:

  • Residential buildings and homes
  • Office and commercial buildings
  • Hospitals
  • Factories and industrial centers
  • Parking lots, stairs, and entrances
  • Interior and exterior building facades
  • Outdoor areas of buildings
  • Terminals and airports
  • Educational and sports facilities

Dimensions of Porcelain Ceramics

The requirements and technical specifications of Porcelain Ceramics by PMA are described in the European standard EN 14411 and are produced accordingly. These ceramics are manufactured and supplied in various dimensions, including 320×160, 280×120, 160×80, 120×120, 120×60, 100×100, 120×20, and 80×80 centimeters.

Classification of Porcelain Ceramics

Porcelain ceramics are classified into four grades based on surface quality according to the Iranian National Standard. Manufacturers are only permitted to package and distribute porcelain ceramics within these categories. According to Iranian National Standard No. 2-9169, ceramic defects are classified into 13 types, including body cracks, glaze cracks, lack of glaze, surface unevenness, pinholes, un-melted glaze, stains, underglaze defects, decoration defects, chipping, warping, edge irregularities, and core defects.

For the classification of porcelain ceramics, these ceramics undergo testing, and based on certain criteria, they are classified as follows:

Grade 1 Porcelain Ceramic: If none of the 13 surface quality defects (except for body cracks, glaze cracks, and chipped or fractured corners and edges) are observed within a one-meter distance from the tested porcelain ceramic sample, it is classified as Grade 1 porcelain ceramic.

Grade 2 Porcelain Ceramic: If the tested porcelain ceramic sample has fewer than 3 defects from the 13 surface quality defects within a one-meter distance (except for body cracks, glaze cracks, and chipped or fractured corners and edges), it is classified as Grade 2 porcelain ceramic, provided that the same number of defects are not visible from a two-meter distance.

Grade 3 Porcelain Ceramic: If the tested porcelain ceramic sample has fewer than 3 defects from the 13 surface quality defects within a two-meter distance (except for body cracks, glaze cracks, and chipped or fractured corners and edges), it is classified as Grade 3 porcelain ceramic.

Grade 4 Porcelain Ceramic: Porcelain ceramics that do not fall into Grade 1, Grade 2, or Grade 3 based solely on surface quality are considered Grade 4 ceramics.

Installation Methods of Porcelain Ceramics

The installation of porcelain ceramic, whether as a floor covering or wall cladding, requires delicacy, expertise, and experience. Below, we describe the methods for installing this ceramic:

  1. Wet On Wet Installation of Porcelain Ceramic using Mortar-Adhesive: In this traditional method, similar to the installation of other tiles and ceramics, cement mortar is used to install porcelain ceramic. However, it should be noted that due to the low moisture absorption of porcelain ceramics, an adhesive must be used on the back of the ceramics according to the recommended method to ensure their firm attachment to the surface.
  2. Installation of Porcelain Ceramic using Adhesive: The method of Installing porcelain ceramic using adhesive involves using polymer-based adhesives in powder, paste, or resin form to bond the ceramic to the surface. Porcelain ceramic adhesives are available in various forms on the market.
  3. Installation of Porcelain Ceramic using Scoop-Adhesive on the Body: In this method, specific cuts are made on the back of the ceramic using specialized equipment. Then, scoops are applied to designated areas for installation. Additionally, adhesive is used on the back of the ceramic in accordance with the recommended method, along with scoop mortar, considering the low moisture absorption.
  4. Dry Installation of Porcelain Ceramic for Facades: In this method, neither adhesive nor mortar is used. Mechanical connections in the form of visible or invisible fixtures are employed to install dry porcelain ceramic on facades. This method is commonly used for facades and offers exceptional durability.

Online Purchase of Porcelain Ceramics

Fortunately, just like buying any other product, you can also purchase porcelain ceramics online. However, before making an online purchase of porcelain ceramic, it's better to consider the following points:

  • Identify reputable sources and make sure to buy from reliable and trusted centers.
  • List all your requirements and desired features before making the purchase. Also, determine your budget.
  • Take your time to choose a suitable design that matches your space. You can seek assistance from interior designers for this task.
  • Select the dimensions accurately according to your needs.
  • Seek advice from specialized experts before making the purchase.


In conclusion, in this article, we familiarized ourselves with porcelain ceramics. The low porosity is the main characteristic of porcelain ceramics, which enables them to have excellent technical and chemical performance and high resistance. As a result, they are widely used for covering floors, exterior surfaces, and even facades. For online purchase of porcelain ceramics, or to receive consultation and further information, feel free to contact us.


  1. What is porcelain ceramic?

Porcelain ceramic is a type of glazed or unglazed ceramic that has various applications and requires high firing temperatures. Its main characteristic is low porosity, which allows for excellent technical and chemical performance and high resistance to freezing. It is commonly used for covering floors and exterior surfaces in cold climates.

  • How is porcelain ceramic installed?

The installation of porcelain ceramics differs slightly from regular ceramics due to their low porosity. The installation method depends on its intended use. It involves using ceramic adhesive for indoor and outdoor floor and surface applications, and employing dry installation methods for facades.

  • What is the difference between porcelain ceramic and regular ceramics?

The main difference between porcelain ceramic and regular ceramics lies in the composition of raw materials. It is this difference in composition that creates distinctions. Porcelain ceramics have a higher level of vitrification in their body, while regular ceramics have a lower level of vitrification.