What are the differences between ceramic and porcelain tiles?
Learn the different uses and applications.
Ceramic, also called red body “pasta roja”, was the only one that existed 20 years ago. With the arrival of porcelain in the 90’s different design possibilities emerged due to the ability to heat it at higher temperatures. Porcelain resists very low temperatures and can be used in cold places, in Florida both materials could be used because neither of them are going to be exposed to cold temperatures.
Which one should I buy? Porcelain or Ceramic?
Honestly, when it comes to functionality, in a place like Florida either one will be fine. The reality though, is that the variety of different designs offered in porcelain can’t be found in ceramic. Also, porcelain is harder, therefore it requires a stronger diamond in order to cut it.
Rectified porcelain, or not rectified?
These days almost all of the materials are rectified but this doesn’t mean that unrectified porcelain is a bad option. Rectifying means that the manufacturers cut the porcelain with a sharp disc leaving a perfectly straight cut line on all four sides. The technology used today is so advanced that even the tiles that aren’t rectified can be installed with a 1/16” joint separation (The minimum thickness recommended). For example, in China they rectify all the tiles because it is easier for them. They don’t have the technology to make them without rectifying. Also, they don’t need to because they have a competitive advantage against Europe in pricing.
Porcelain from Spain or Italy?
There is no difference between one or the other. The technology used by both is the same, usually Italian machinery. The difference between factories are in design and customer service.
What are porcelain slabs?
Porcelain slabs are large version of the normal tiles. This is an important novelty in the industry. Similar to marble, granite or quartz slabs, they are mostly used for kitchen and bathroom countertops as well as an alternative for large format tiles on walls and floors. These slabs usually measure 130”x60” (320cm x 150cm). One of the most recognized industry leaders is the i-TOPKer brand manufactured by the Torrecid group, a world leader in ceramic enamels. They have the most advanced factory with revolutionary technology. I-TOPKer is produced in Inalco’s plant in Alcora, Castellon, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain. The design and quality of their slabs are excellent and allow for interior and exterior use. These slabs will stay in pristine quality under very low as well as high temperatures. Their qualities surpass the industry known products like Statuario, Calacatta and others. The advantage they possess is that they don’t absorb anything, which makes it ideal for both commercial and domestic use. Not only are they more practical but arguably more consistent with color schemes compared to natural stones. This is a perfectionist’s ideal product due to the consistency quality, which you won’t find with a natural stone like marble. Being man-made, porcelain slabs allow for unimaginable perfectionism in detail and quality that has yet to be competed against.
Shapes and sizes
The sizes commonly used for tiles has been increasing and will continue to increase. The most frequently used sizes that Iberia carries are 36” x 36” (90cm x 90cm); 24”x48” (60cm x 120cm); 40”x40” (100cm x 100cm); 30”x60” (75cmx150cm); 48”x48” (120cm x 120cm). Iberia Tiles has always been ahead and will continue to be up to date with market trends. When it comes to installing these products it requires the same amount of work but it does also require knowledge about the product and certain specifics stated on the installation manuals.
Porcelain is ideal and economical for exterior uses like in pools, patios, and gardens. This requires very little maintenance. For pools, Iberia Tiles is an exclusive distributor of Rosa Gres outdoor and pool tiles. These Rosa Gres products have been requested and used by architects in some of the most iconic buildings in Miami, other areas of the US, as well as the Carribean Islands. Some of the projects include Brickell City Center, Miami Bay Club, O´Residences, Intown and other projects as well. For these projects their pools were an important part of their property.