Porcelain & Ceramic Tile

Porcelain & Ceramic Tile 2018-03-29T13:40:49-04:00

All tile is not created equal.

Chances are when you see a commercial tile floor, it is likely ceramic or porcelain tile. These two material terms are often used interchangeably to refer to the most popular tile used on the market today.

The truth is, ceramic tile and porcelain tile are inherently different and behave a little differently when installed.

American Tile Company is the industry leader in commercial tile installation across Kentucky. We install more ceramic and porcelain tile than any other company in the area. We break it down for you to make your next tile renovation simple and straightforward.

The Family of Ceramic Tile

Porcelain and ceramic tile are essential siblings that both come from the larger category of tiles we call Ceramic. If we assume the family of Ceramic has two children, Ceramic Jr. and his brother Porcelain, we can see how these two materials share similar traits, but are still different and distinct.

What’s the difference?

A fair amount of marketing and branding portrays porcelain as the more expensive, luxurious, and elegant sibling, even comparing it to porcelain china. The truth is, none of the elements of fine porcelain china apply to porcelain tile. It is a completely different ball game.

The main difference between ceramic tile and porcelain tile is the rate at which they absorb water.

To determine which is which, the American Society for Testing and Materials defined porcelain tile as a material with less than .5% absorption rate.

In real terms, this meant that after sitting in water for 24 hours, the tile must weigh less than half of one percent more as a result of water absorption. Non-porcelain (AKA: ceramic) tile absorbs more than .5 percent water.

What should I use?

Although porcelain is naturally more impervious to water than ceramic, ceramic floors often have a glaze which provides a protective layer making them watertight as well.

So, which one should you use? That depends on several factors:

Interior or Exterior: Ceramic is not durable enough for exterior use because it can crack under freezing conditions. You can find porcelain that is expressly designated for exterior use.

Kitchen and Bathrooms: Porcelain clays are denser and less porous than ceramic clays, which makes them basically waterproof. In areas where there is a high moisture content, like commercial kitchens, bathrooms, etc. Porcelain tile is a no-brainer because you don’t have to worry about water damage.

However, that doesn’t make ceramic a bad choice, it still provides a decent barrier for kitchens and bathrooms if porcelain is out of the budget.

Maintenance: Both ceramic and porcelain have a smooth surface that is easy to clean. Dirt, dust, pollen, and even liquids stand out against the surface, making it easy to wipe them away with a mop or sponge.

Regular maintenance for both materials just consists of sweeping or vacuuming with a soft brush attachment to keep the floor free of dirt and loose debris.

Durability: Because porcelain is denser, it is slightly more forgiving when it comes to spills and scratches and it is hard to damage. For especially high traffic areas, porcelain tile provides more long-term resistance.

It also has a through-body composition, which means if you chip porcelain tile, the color keeps going throughout, whereas if you chip ceramic, you’ll find a different color underneath the top glaze.

Cost: If you’re on a budget and all other factors are equal, ceramic tile is cheaper than porcelain tile.

On average and across all sizes, porcelain costs about $2 more per square foot than ceramic, this translates to a total cost of about 40% more for porcelain. It’s nearly impossible to find a quality porcelain for under $3 per square foot.

Ceramic, however, has lots of affordable styles under $2 per square foot.

Why Choose Us

We have been in the commercial tile business for over 40 years, serving the Louisville, KY area and beyond. From hospitals, schools, restaurants and churches to government buildings and commercial plants, we make sure your business has a strong foundation in quality flooring. We treat our customers like our own family to deliver quality products and personal customer service.


Over two decades, our customers have come to rely on us as their number one source for commercial tile and flooring installation. We provide every customer with a one-on-one consultation to determine what your needs are and how to get you the best product at the best price.

We come fully equipped and ready to go to work with our own qualified and professionally trained installation crew.

Honesty and Transparency

As a family business, we treat every customer like a member of our own family. Our services are fair and reasonably priced with each product and service quoted clearly.

We provide honest service at a fair price without surprises costs or hidden fees. Give us a call today to find out just how affordable our prices are and various payment methods available to you.


When you need new flooring, you need experts you can rely on. We know you can’t afford to close business for an extended period of time which is why we work quickly and efficiently.

We are thorough and extremely skilled at what we do, with nearly 100 years of combined experience in the industry. All of our installers are highly trained and continuously undergo new and updated training to make sure that we have the best equipment and the necessary skills to get in, get it done, and get out.

Ready to get started? Give us a call today and our professional design team will work with you create a space you can be proud of.

Let us help you select and install the best tile for your upcoming project!
Call (502) 585-4497 today!

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