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An Honest Review of Porcelain Tile for Home Remodels

May 29th, 2024 | 4 min read

By Elysiah Rainey

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Are you considering a home renovation project and exploring different tiling options? With many choices available, selecting the right tile material requires careful consideration.

That’s why it’s essential to research your options before deciding. At Custom Built, we understand the importance of choosing the perfect tile for your project.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at porcelain tile—a popular option for home remodels:

What Are Some of the Main Characteristics of Porcelain Tile?

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Porcelain tile boasts many characteristics that make it a sought-after flooring option. Its durability, derived from the firing process, ensures longevity, even in high-traffic areas. Unlike other flooring materials, porcelain tile offers various colors and patterns. This allows you to personalize your space according to your preferences.

Installation is straightforward, especially compared to natural stone like marble. Thanks to its durability and ease of handling, porcelain tile allows tile installers to work faster.

Here are four benefits of installing porcelain flooring for your remodel:

1. Water and Stain Resistance

Porcelain tile is great for wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens because it doesn't absorb much water, so spills and humidity won't damage it. Its non-porous surface also repels stains, making cleaning and maintenance a breeze.

2. Versatility in Design

Porcelain tile offers various design options, including colors, patterns, textures, and finishes. Whether you prefer the look of natural stone, wood, or concrete, porcelain tile can mimic these materials, allowing you to achieve the desired aesthetic.

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Porcelain Tile with Marble Design; PC: Tile Club

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Porcelain Tile with Wood Design; PC: Tile Club

3. Low Maintenance

Porcelain tile requires minimal maintenance to keep it looking its best. Regular sweeping and occasional mopping with a mild detergent is usually enough to remove dirt and grime. Unlike natural stone or wood, porcelain tile does not need sealing or refinishing, saving you time and money on upkeep.

4. Cost-Effective Solution

Porcelain tile is a budget-friendly option miming the luxurious look of expensive natural stones like marble and granite. Its ability to replicate the appearance of these high-end materials at a fraction of the cost makes it a cost-effective solution if you want to elevate your space’s aesthetic without breaking the bank. You can achieve the elegant look of natural stone with porcelain tile without exceeding your budget.

For example, porcelain tile ranges between $10 to $20 per square foot - while marble ranges between $10 to $40 per square foot.

Where is Porcelain Installed?

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PC: Tile Club

Porcelain tile is found in various home areas, including:

Its versatility extends to indoor and outdoor applications, making it a stellar choice for your home remodeling project.

What Are Some Cons of Porcelain Tile?

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PC: Tile Club

While porcelain tile offers many benefits, it's essential to consider drawbacks before deciding. 

1. Commonplace Appearance 

Porcelain tile's widespread use can make it seem less unique compared to other materials, potentially impacting the overall aesthetic of your space.

2. Lack of Authenticity  

While porcelain tile can mimic the look of natural stone like marble, it may not fully replicate the authentic texture and appearance of the real material, which could be a drawback for some homeowners.

3. Suitability for Countertops

Porcelain tile, while durable, may not be the best choice for countertops due to its susceptibility to damage from everyday kitchen activities. Its porous nature makes it prone to staining and scratching, particularly in areas with high foot traffic.

Helping Homeowners Decide: A Brief Porcelain Case Study

At Custom Built, we focus on guiding homeowners toward the best flooring option. We understand the decision-making process can be overwhelming, so we offer personalized recommendations based on each client's unique preferences and requirements.

For instance, we recently assisted a client who desired limestone flooring, known for its elegance but high maintenance. After evaluating their needs, we recommended porcelain tile that mimicked the look of limestone. Not only did this option offer cost-effectiveness, but it also provided durability and low maintenance—ideal for their busy lifestyle.

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Porcelain Tile with Limestone Design; PC: Best Tile

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Limestone Tile Flooring; PC: Pietra Stone Gallery

Comparing Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

When choosing the right tile for your home remodel, you may be torn between porcelain and its counterpart, ceramic. Although both are used for many home elements, important differences might affect your choice.

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Ceramic Tile Flooring; PC: Bedrosians Tile & Stone

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Porcelain Tile Flooring; PC: Bedrosians Tile & Stone

Material Composition and Durability

Ceramic tile is crafted from a mixture of clay and other natural materials. It is then kiln-fired at lower temperatures compared to porcelain tile.

In contrast, porcelain tile is made from refined clay and fired at high temperatures, resulting in a denser and more durable product.

This makes porcelain tile less prone to cracks, chips, and wear over time, making it ideal for high-traffic areas.

Water Absorption and Resistance

Porcelain tile boasts a lower water absorption rate compared to ceramic tile. This means that porcelain tile is moisture-resistant, making it suitable for areas prone to spills, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

While still water-resistant, ceramic tile may be more susceptible to water damage over time, especially in areas with high humidity or frequent exposure to moisture.

Design Options and Aesthetics

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles offer various colors, patterns, and finishes to suit various design preferences.

Yet, with remarkable accuracy, porcelain tile often mimics the look of natural stone, such as marble or granite. This makes porcelain tile an excellent choice for homeowners seeking the luxurious stone look without the associated maintenance.

Ease of Installation and Maintenance

Both ceramic and porcelain tile installation is straightforward for experienced professionals. Yet, installing porcelain tile may need special tools and methods due to its durability and density.

In terms of upkeep, both types of tile are simple to clean and maintain, needing regular sweeping and occasional mopping to stay in good condition.

Is Porcelain Tile the Right Material for Your Home Remodel?

You deserve a flooring option that can keep up with your everyday life. Because, let’s face it, no one wants to install new tiling that causes more problems than good for your home.

Porcelain tile stands out as a versatile and durable option for home remodels. It is perfect for many areas, like kitchens and bathrooms, because it resists stains, scratches, and moisture. Plus, it comes in many designs, so you can create the look you want.

Porcelain tile is a popular pick for homeowners because it's durable, easy to care for, and looks great. Whether you're redoing your kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor area, porcelain tile is a dependable and stylish option.

If you're ready to elevate your home, our team at Custom Built is here to help. With our expertise and dedication to quality craftsmanship, we'll guide you through every step of the remodeling process, ensuring your vision becomes a reality. Reach out to us today to get started on your home renovation journey.

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Now that you know more about porcelain, let’s explore the projects where this tile is commonly installed:

Elysiah Rainey

Elysiah is a valuable asset to Custom Built, bringing both professional and educational experience to the team. Prior to joining our company, she assisted clients with their furniture and residential layout needs in the Allendale area.