Tile FAQ

Here are some common questions our customers ask us about tiles.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us and we'll try our best to help.

Ceramic vs Porcelain

There a many technical differences between the two but in practical use, these are the main differences:

  • Cost - Ceramic tiles are cheaper to produce and lighter to transport, so the price is generally lower than porcelain tiles.
  • Density - Porcelain tile is made from a finer, denser clay which makes for a stronger, heavier tile than ceramic tile.
  • Water Absorption - Because porcelain tiles are denser and less porous, they absorb less water than ceramic tiles.
  • Durability - Aside from being stronger to begin with, porcelain tiles are usually colored throughout so damage from wear and tear is not as noticeable.

Floor Tile vs Wall Tile
Generally all porcelain tiles are suitable for floors and walls.All ceramic tiles are suitable for walls, but not all are recommended for floors.  Ceramic tiles made for floors are typically about 12" x 12" in size. Larger floor tiles require more strength to withstand the greater force applied over the larger area. With the current trend for floor tiles moving to larger sizes like 24" x 12" and 24" x 24", porcelain is generally the choice for floor tiles.

Glazed Porcelain vs Full Body Porcelain
Almost all porcelain tiles on the market are a glazed porcelain.

Fully body porcelain tiles are the same color throughout the body and surface of the tile. The finished color is mixed into the clay so the surface finish is identical to the body. This type of tile better for wear and tear because chips and scratches will remain the same color. The limitations are the number of styles and colors that can be created.

Glazed Porcelain tiles are also made by mixing color into the body of the tile but an additional surface glazing is added on top. This allows for more variety of patterns and colors that can't be achieved without a glaze. The drawback is that the body color, although usually similar to the surface color, will not be identical.

Outdoor Tiles
The main concern for using tiles outdoors in Canada is cracking caused by moisture in the tile freezing in the winter. Ceramic tiles absorb more moisture and therefore are not recommended for outdoor use. Porcelain Tile manufacturers generally do not specify their tiles for outdoor use but installing porcelain outdoors is commonly done without any problem.

Production Batches
The same tile produced in different production runs may have very slight differences in color. The differences are usually not too noticeable but can me more obvious with certain colors, finishes and lighting conditions. For this reason, manufacturers label each production batch with a different color code or shade. When buying tiles, it's important to ensure that all the tiles are from the same production batch. Often times, customers underestimate the quantity of tile for their project and need to buy more tile to finish so it's also important to note the production batch when rebuying.

Tile Care and Maintenance
Porcelain tile is a very durable material that doesn't require any care other than cleaning with non-abrasive products.  We don't recommend using any surface glazes or sealants on our porcelain tiles as they already come factory glazed.

Natural stone tiles can be porous and can absorb stains.  It's recommended to seal them regularly to prevent staining.