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Choosing Tile: Ceramic, Porcelain, or Glass?
Saturday, July 23, 2016

With so many materials, shapes, colors, and sizes available, how do you decide which kind of tile is right for your kitchen, bathroom, or mudroom? Start by considering three factors: location, budge, and functionality.


Depending on the room and even the location within the room, you’ll be able to narrow down your tile choices pretty quickly. Are you looking for tile for a kitchen or bathroom counter, a backsplash, an entire wall, or for flooring? Typically, stone, ceramic, and porcelain are used for flooring; and glass is generally used for walls and backsplashes.

Floor tiles need to be strong enough and have enough texture to make them safe to walk on. Porcelain is a great choice for flooring because of its natural durability and texture that makes it slip-resistant.

Bathrooms and ceramic tile are a natural pair. Ceramic tile is easy to clean, simple to install, is waterproof, durable, and can be inexpensive.

Natural stone is a great choice for floors that need to be particularly durable. Some types of stone flooring need to be sealed to avoid getting stained, so make a note about maintenance before you install it. Another factor to consider is the texture of the stone—smooth stone is easy to clean but stone floors with a little texture will help prevent slips and falls.


Consider your budget when looking at different types of tile. In general, ceramic tile is the least expensive, porcelain comes in second, natural stone tile will usually be more expensive, and glass can be the most expensive.

If you have a small budget and lots of space to tile, your best bet is probably going to be ceramic; if you have a small space to cover, you may be able to afford something more expensive.


Technically there’s no industry standard for durability but most tiles can be rated on the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) scale:
  1. No foot traffic
  2. Light foot traffic
  3. Moderate to light foot traffic
  4. Moderate to heavy foot traffic
  5. Heavy to extra-heavy foot traffic
Because a lot of porcelain tile is classified as 4 or 5, it’s an excellent choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchen floors especially need to be able to withstand all kinds of abuse: foot traffic, spills, pets, scratches, and drops, just to name a few.

Stone also has a high PEI rating and because it typically has a naturally rough texture, it can be a great choice for bathrooms where slips are more likely.

You have a little more freedom when choosing tile for a backsplash because you obviously don’t need to worry about foot traffic. And because these areas tend to be much smaller than a room’s floor, you may also be able to choose a tile that’s on the more expensive side of the scale.

When you’re ready to pick out the perfect tile for your kitchen, bathroom, entryway, or mudroom, give us a call. Our experienced team will help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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