Natural Stone Tile vs. Porcelain
Learn How to Pick the Best Option for Your Project
When remodeling, many homeowners simply don’t know which is the best tile material option for their project. Be it a kitchen remodel, bath reno or new tile installation in the foyer or laundry room, they spend a great deal of time deciding between using natural stone or porcelain. We always tell our clients to look at their lifestyle and the intended use for the space. A home filled with children and pets may best benefit from easy to maintain porcelain tile, while natural stone may be a good fit for a pet-free home with older residents. To help you make the right choice, we have listed the pros and cons of each type of tile below.
Porcelain tile is a very hard type of ceramic tile. It is made from finer, denser clay than typical ceramic tile and it is fired at higher temperatures, making it more durable and resistant to stains.
• Superior resistance to wear and tear, even to rough pet nails
• Resists abrasions and scratches
• Resists bending
• Can be as much as 30% harder than granite
• Less porous than natural stone, it offers more stain resistance
• Lower price point than natural stone
• Highly moisture resistant
• Low maintenance, does not require special sealing or special cleaning solutions
• Easy to clean, water just wipes up without any real damage
• Large range of styles that can mimic the look of natural stone and hardwoods
• Ideal for all types of projects – kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, flooring, countertops and walls
• Its hardness factor makes porcelain tile more difficult to cut, so it should only be installed by a professional
• It tends to be on the heavy side, so you need to make sure the structure can support its weight
Natural Stone Tile
There are many different types of natural stone tile, including: Marble, Granite, Limestone, Travertine, Slate, Sandstone, Quartz, and Onyx. Natural stone tile can work with any type of style and décor.
• Makes a bold, luxurious statement
• Extremely durable
• Conducts heat well, making it a good choice for radiant heating
• Unique colors, textures and patterns
• Needs to be sealed
• More porous than porcelain tile, making it more susceptible to stains
• Absorption rates vary based on the type of stone
• Hardness varies based on the type of stone, increasing the risk for breakage and abrasions
• Polished stone can scratch easily
• More expensive than porcelain tile
• More difficult to clean than porcelain tile as special cleaning agents are required
• Not a green material option as natural stone is not renewable
We hope this breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of natural stone tile and porcelain tile will help you to make the optimal selection for your new home construction or remodeling project.