Difference Between Ceramic Tiles And Vitrified Tiles

Knowledgebase

Ceramic and vitrified tiles come in a wide variety of colors, styles, shapes, and sizes. They can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications.

The main difference between ceramic tiles and vitrified tiles is their composition. Ceramic tiles are made of clay, while vitrified tiles are made of a combination of clay and other minerals that have been heated to very high temperatures. This high-temperature firing process makes vitrified tiles dense than ceramic tiles, giving them higher stain resistance and water absorption levels.

Difference in Manufacturing

What Are Ceramic Tiles, And How Are They Made?

Ceramic tiles are a type of flooring tile made from clay, shale, or porcelain. The process of manufacturing ceramic tiles involves forming the raw material into the desired shape and then firing it in a kiln at temperatures between 1,200° and 2,000°F. This process not only hardens the material but also gives it its distinctive color and finish. Ceramic tiles are usually glazed to create a more attractive look, improve durability and give them resistance against water and stains.

What Are Vitrified Tiles, And How Are They Made?

Vitrified tiles are also a type of flooring tile, but instead of clay, shale or porcelain, they are made from silica, feldspar, and clay. These materials are heated too much higher temperatures than ceramic tiles, usually around 2,200°F, which causes them to vitrify (or partially fuse into glass). This process gives the tile a very hard surface finish that is similar in look and feels to natural stones like granite and marble.

How To Identify Ceramic And Vitrified Tiles?

Identifying the difference between ceramic and vitrified tiles can be difficult. There are a few key indicators that you can use to determine which tile is which.

  • Ceramic tiles have a matte finish with a slight sheen and generally feel more porous than vitrified tiles. The surface of ceramic tiles also tends to be more glossy than vitrified tiles. Furthermore, ceramic tiles are usually harder and more porous than vitrified tiles. When they are tapped with a finger or other object, ceramic tiles typically produce a hollow sound while vitrified tiles have a dull thud-like sound.
  • Vitrified tiles tend to be smoother and less porous than ceramic tiles. They often have a glossy finish and are usually harder and less porous than ceramic tiles. Vitrified tiles also produce a duller sound when tapped with an object compared to ceramic tiles. Additionally, the edges of vitrified tiles tend to be more rounded or chamfered than those of ceramic ones.

Comparison

Major differences between ceramic tiles and vitrified tiles:

Comparsion/Differnce in Ceramic Tiles Vertified tiles
Composition: The composition of ceramic tiles usually comprises clays and other natural materials, which are then fired at high temperatures. Vitrified tiles are made from a combination of clay, quartz, feldspar, and silica (sand). These components are fused together by firing at very high temperatures.
Texture: Ceramic tiles usually have a matte finish with a slight sheen, and they feel more porous than vitrified tiles. Vitrified tiles tend to be smoother and less porous than ceramic tiles, often with a glossy finish.
Sound: When tapped with a finger or other object, ceramic tiles typically produce a hollow sound. Vitrified tiles have a dull thud-like sound when tapped with an object compared to ceramic tiles.
Edges: The edges of ceramic tiles are usually sharp and straight. The edges of vitrified tiles tend to be more rounded or chamfered than those of ceramic ones.
Durability: Ceramic tiles are generally less durable than vitrified tiles and may require more frequent maintenance. Vitrified tiles have a higher resistance to scratches, stains, and wear and tear over time, making them more durable than ceramic tiles.
Porosity: Ceramic tiles are usually harder and more porous than vitrified tiles. Vitrified tiles tend to be smoother and less porous than ceramic tiles.
Price: Ceramic tiles are usually more affordable than vitrified tiles due to their lower production costs. Vitrified tiles tend to be more expensive than ceramic tiles as they require higher temperatures and more materials for production.
Installation: Ceramic tiles are easier to install compared to vitrified tiles. Vitrified tiles require special tools and skills for installation, which can be more time-consuming and costly than installing ceramic tiles.
look: Ceramic tiles have a wide array of designs, textures, and colors that allow for greater personalization in terms of aesthetics. Vitrified tiles come in a variety of shades, patterns, and finishes that can give any space an elegant appearance.
Glazing: Ceramic tiles can be glazed to give them a glossy finish and make them more resistant to dirt, stains, and spillages. Vitrified tiles already have a glossy finish due to their production process and do not necessarily require additional glazing.
Strength: Ceramic tiles are generally less strong than vitrified tiles and can be prone to breakage. Vitrified tiles have a higher resistance to wear and tear, making them more durable than ceramic tiles.
Water absorption: Ceramic tiles typically have higher water absorption rates than vitrified tiles. Vitrified tiles have lower water absorption rates due to their denser composition, making them more suitable for wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Maintenance: Ceramic tiles require more frequent maintenance and cleaning due to their higher porosity and vulnerability to scratches, stains, and breakage. Vitrified tiles often require less regular maintenance and cleaning as they are stronger and less porous than ceramic tiles.
Ease of fixing: Ceramic tiles are easier to fix than vitrified tiles due to their lighter weight and size. Vitrified tiles can be heavier than ceramic tiles, making them more difficult to install but ensuring they stay firmly in place once they are fixed.
Frost resistance: Ceramic tiles are not suitable for outdoor applications as they lack frost resistance and can be easily damaged in cold weather. Vitrified tiles have a higher level of frost resistance and are better suited for outdoor installations compared to ceramic tiles.
Environmental impact: Ceramic tiles can be made with up to 50% recycled content, making them more eco-friendly than vitrified tiles. Vitrified tiles are not as environmentally friendly as ceramic tiles due to the higher temperatures and materials needed for their production.
Resistance to scratches: Ceramic tiles are less resistant to scratches, stains, and wear and tear over time than vitrified tiles. Vitrified tiles have a higher resistance to scratches, stains, and wear and tear over time than ceramic tiles.
Staining resistance: Ceramic tiles are less resistant to staining due to their higher porosity. Vitrified tiles have a lower porosity and therefore offer better resistance to staining than ceramic tiles.
Slip resistance: Ceramic tiles can be made with a rougher surface to offer better slip resistance than vitrified tiles. Vitrified tiles often come with a smooth finish and therefore do not provide as good of a slip-resistant surface as ceramic tiles.
Color resistance to UV light: Ceramic tiles do not have the same level of color resistance to UV light as vitrified tiles, meaning their colors can fade over time. Vitrified tiles are more resistant to UV light and therefore retain their original color for longer than ceramic tiles.
Size: Ceramic tiles come in a wide range of sizes, from small to large, depending on the needs of the project. Vitrified tiles are usually available in larger sizes than ceramic tiles and can often be found in sizes up to 60x60cm or bigger.
Anti-bacterial Characteristics: Ceramic tiles have lower anti-bacterial characteristics and can be more prone to the growth of germs, making them less suitable for wet areas. Vitrified tiles are highly anti-bacterial and therefore make a better choice for wet areas as they are less prone to germs and bacteria.
Finish and Areas of Use: Ceramic tiles come in a variety of finishes and can be used for both interior and exterior applications.  Vitrified tiles are best suited for interior areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens, due to their low moisture absorption rate. They also have a glossy finish that can add a touch of sophistication to any project.
Wastage: Ceramic tiles have a higher wastage rate than vitrified tiles due to their more fragile nature. Vitrified tiles are less likely to break or crack during transportation and installation, leading to less wastage overall.
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Applications  of Vitrified vs. Ceramic Tiles:

  • Ceramic Tiles: Ceramic tiles are suitable for both walls and floors in residential and commercial spaces, as well as for use outdoors.
  • Vitrified Tiles: Vitrified tiles are best suited for interior areas due to their low moisture absorption rate, making them ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and other areas with higher humidity. They are also more resistant to staining than ceramic tiles, making them a better choice for areas that are prone to spills and messes.

Difference in Usage

Where To Use Ceramic Tiles In Your home?

  1. Kitchen Floor: Ceramic tiles make a great flooring choice for kitchens due to their durability and ease of cleaning.
  2. Backsplash: Ceramic tiles are a popular material for backsplashes due to their wide range of sizes, colors, and finishes.
  3. Shower Walls: Ceramic tiles can be used for shower walls to create an attractive and waterproof surface.
  4. Outdoor Areas: Ceramic tiles are highly resistant to water, low temperatures, and other outdoor elements, making them a great choice for outdoor areas of your home.
  5. Fireplace Surroundings: Ceramic tiles can be used in fireplace surroundings due to their fire-resistant nature.

Where To Use Vitrified Tiles In Your Home?

  1. Kitchen Floors: Vitrified tiles make a great flooring choice for kitchens due to their durability and resistance to staining.
  2. Bathroom Walls and Floors: Vitrified tiles are an ideal material for bathrooms, as they are highly resistant to moisture and can give the space a polished look.
  3. Hallways, Entryways, and Balconies: Vitrified tiles are slip-resistant and come in a variety of colors and finishes, making them perfect for hallways, entryways, and balconies.
  4. Swimming Pool Areas: Vitrified tiles are extremely durable and can easily withstand the harsh environment of a swimming pool area.
  5. Outdoor Areas: Vitrified tiles are highly resistant to water, low temperatures, and other outdoor elements, making them an excellent choice for outdoor areas of your home.
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FAQs

Are Vitrified Tiles Slippery?

Vitrified tiles have a low coefficient of friction and can be slippery when wet. However, the use of anti-skid treatments such as rough texturing or adding gritty additives to the glaze can reduce their slipperiness.

Are Vitrified Tiles More Durable Than Ceramic Tiles?

Vitrified tiles are denser and less porous than ceramic tiles. This makes them more resistant to water absorption, staining, and wear and tear. As a result, they are generally considered to be more durable in areas with heavy foot traffic or moisture.

Can Vitrified Tiles Handle Extreme Temperatures?

Yes, vitrified tiles are highly resistant to extreme temperatures and can be used in areas with intense heat or cold. They usually don’t require extra insulation to protect against temperature changes.

What Are Caring Tips For Your Tile?

  1. Clean tiles regularly to maintain their appearance.
  2. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning materials which can damage the surface of your tile.
  3. For heavier grime, use a mild detergent that is both pH-neutral and non-abrasive.
  4. Seal your tiles periodically to protect them from spills and stains.
  5. Use doormats and rugs to collect dirt and debris from people entering your home.
  6. When moving furniture, use a piece of thick cardboard or felt to protect the tiles from scratches.

How To Clean Ceramic Tiles?

Vitrified floor tiles should be cleaned with mild detergent and warm water. Avoid using harsh abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the tile’s surface. It is also important to regularly sweep or vacuum the floor to remove any dirt or dust that may have accumulated on it. For tougher stains, you can use a soft brush or cloth and a stronger cleaning solution. Always make sure to rinse the tiles with clean water after cleaning in order to remove any residue left behind. Proper maintenance of vitrified floor tiles can help them last for many years.

Conclusion

ceramic tiles and vitrified tiles both have their own unique properties, which make them suitable for different applications depending on the specific needs of the project. Ceramic tiles are more budget-friendly and come in a wide range of sizes, while vitrified tiles offer better stain, frost, and UV light resistance, as well as anti-bacterial properties. Ultimately, the best option depends on what qualities are desired in the tiles and the budget of the project.

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