The term porcelain tile is often used interchangeably with ceramic tile. There is a difference though. Porcelain tile contains specific clays and minerals and is fired at extremely high temperatures. Many prefer porcelain because, due to its intense manufacturing process, it is harder, denser and more durable than most ceramic products. Porcelain also features color that extends through the entire tile so scratches and chips are less visible. Homeowners also like porcelain because they can select tighter grout joints which offer a clean, classic look.

But, don’t discount ceramic tile. Ceramic tile provides design benefits that are attractive to buyers who are looking for a modern, glass like coating. A popular composition of natural clay-based products, minerals and water, this “glaze” is kiln-fired, resists stains and can be cleaned and damp mopped with household cleaners. Unglazed ceramic tile such as terra-cotta pavers offer a unique rustic look, but do require a professional sealing treatment.

Either of these choices offers an affordable alternative to real stone. The wide variety of styles, colors and sizes often replicate the warmth and beauty that residents want for their homes. And, design opportunities are endless. From intricate patterns to sophisticated inset designs, brickwork and square format flooring options, both porcelain and ceramic tile are a great choice for today’s savvy homeowner.