Which should I choose? Ceramic or porcelain?

That answer depends on how you plan to use it because, although the differences are subtle, they do affect their behavior in certain installations.

No longer thought of as only flooring for the kitchen or bath, ceramic tile can be used for backsplashes, accent walls and low traffic inside the house. Porcelain is especially good for the kitchen, high traffic areas, and outdoor jobs.

In all cases, be sure the material is clearly marked that it can be used for flooring (or walls, or however you plan to use it).

Tile flooring is beautiful and, with such a large assortment of colors, patterns, sizes, shapes, and designs, it's easy to make your unique style statement. It's also durable, being almost impossible to crack. If you do break it, though, it's no big deal because you just replace the broken one and not the entire floor.

It's easy to clean, and a great heat conductor which is a benefit for that Florida sun and heat. If the room is already chilly and you walk in with bare feet, that will be transferred to your entire body and you'll feel cool.

Checkpoint Flooring has been in business for 20 years and we have a large inventory that includes not only ceramic and porcelain, but also carpet, hardwood, luxury vinyl, and waterproof WPC. We've done over 100 tile installations for both residential and commercial jobs. Our showroom is in Clearwater, FL and we service the surrounding area: Tampa, St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor, and Safety Harbor.

A tale of two tiles

They're all often referred to as "ceramics," but that's not technically true. Although porcelain is a ceramic material, it is white, heavier, mixed with sand, and has an almost translucent appearance.

The main difference is that porcelain is impervious to water. Ceramic tile has to be glazed in order to be completely waterproof.

Because of the liquid absorption capability and the amazing durability, you can use porcelain outside on walkways or patios or decks, as well as in commercial facilities, or anywhere that gets a lot of foot traffic.

Ceramic tile should be glazed every two years. It is thinner, so it's more suited to low traffic areas such as home libraries, bedrooms, or on backsplashes and accent walls. Ceramic is never recommended for outdoor installation.

There is a little debate going on about whether to use porcelain or ceramic in the bathroom. Some say it is high traffic while others see it as a place where people usually are barefoot, so it will depend upon your household.

Caution: Tile flooring is tricky to install. It's incredibly difficult to cut and if you make a mistake laying it out, you can't go back to try again. Leave it to the professionals.

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