A fun fact before we begin, porcelain is actually a type of ceramic, which might make the distinction between porcelain and ceramic tiles a bit difficult.  For the purposes of this article, ceramic will describe the other kinds of ceramic except for porcelain.

So, which one do you choose? That depends on a few factors and what you intend to use the tiles for.

Water Absorption

Porcelain does not absorb water at the high rate that other ceramics might, which makes it an ideal material for flooring and walls, especially in bathrooms or around sinks. Standing water is sometimes unavoidable, and ceramic tiles would not hold up as well in that kind of situation.


Porcelain is the hardest kind of ceramic tile available, due to the purity of the materials and the extremely high heat that is is fired in. This makes it very durable, and not prone to cracking. Other types of ceramic tile, such as stoneware, aren’t quite as strong. Due to this, porcelain is typically chosen for flooring and other high-impact projects, while other ceramics are used for things like kitchenware and decorative projects.