close up of purple, blue and red tiles with intricate designs

The Difference Between Ceramic And Vitrified Tiles

March 25 2020

Renovations are fun, especially when you get to choose different furniture and wall applications for kitchens and bathrooms. One of the most popular items on anyone’s list these days is tile. Walk into any home improvement store, swing on over to the tile department, and see for yourself the variety of tiles to choose from. Here, we’ll help you decide what works best for you by looking at the difference between ceramic and vitrified tiles.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are made using natural clay that is mixed with water then baked in a kiln. They come in many, many colors, sizes and designs and are often glazed for protection. Because of their glazing, ceramic tiles are perfect for bathroom walls, flooring, backsplashes, and countertops. Ceramic tiles are easy to clean, water-resistant, and don’t hold on to germs as other surfaces can.

What’s to like about ceramic tiles? Just about everything.

  • They are easy to clean. All you need are soap and water, though you can use stronger cleaning elements on them, without fear of damage to the tiles.
  • Ceramic tiles are cost-effective. Compared to other types of tiles, ceramic tiles are usually cheaper. Your wallet will love that.
  • Choose from endless designs. The colors, patterns, and shapes available may make it difficult to choose only one (perfect for decorative accent tiles).
  • Each tile is replaceable. If you damage one or more tiles, you can easily find replacement(s).
  • Ceramic tiles are durable. Ceramic tiles stand up to years of making your rooms look great. In many instances, they don’t seem to change their appearance over time.

Vitrified Tiles

Vitrified tiles are similar to ceramic tiles in that the clay is mixed with extra ingredients, such as quartz, feldspar, and silica before being put in the kiln for baking. When these ingredients hit the high temperatures in the kiln, the results are tiles that are hard and glossy. These tiles have gone through the process of vitrification.

What’s to like about vitrified tiles?

  • Vitrified tiles are hard and virtually nonporous. Almost nothing stains or scratches them. This makes them ideal for not only indoor projects, but outdoor ones as well.
  • Should the vitrified tile ever be scratched, it will retain its color. The color retention of vitrified tiles is due to the dye used in the manufacturing process.
  • They don’t take much preparation before use. Vitrified tiles need no setting time or polishing when they come out of the kiln.
  • These types of tiles are available in large sizes. One of the advantages of using larger tiles is that fewer joints will be visible.
  • More useful qualities than ceramic tiles. While vitrified tiles are more expensive than ceramic tiles, they also have qualities that ceramic tiles do not.

The one drawback to glossy vitrified tiles is that they are extremely slippery when wet. You should take this into consideration when deciding on the placement of vitrified tiles.

Which Tile Should You Use?

You don’t have to choose one tile over the other. Both ceramic and vitrified tiles work nicely on floors. Just be aware that, in addition to being slippery when wet, vitrified tiles tend to have a slightly industrial look that you may or may not like. You know your home and what ‘look’ you are trying to achieve. Either kind of tile can work well in any room.

For all of your high-traffic areas, such as the living room or bedrooms, as well as the outdoors, we recommend that you use vitrified tiles. For kitchens, bathrooms and stairs, we prefer ceramic tiles.

Remember that there is no rule that says you MUST use one over the over, but knowing the difference between ceramic and vitrified tiles can help you to make better decisions when it comes to creating the home of your dreams.

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