Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles?

April 2024
Anton White

Deciding between ceramic or porcelain tiles for an outdoor patio can be a puzzling endeavour, yet it's crucial to the ambience and functionality of your space.

At Ovaeda, we've navigated this terrain extensively, evaluating each option's merits based on durability, water resistance, ease of installation, and overall value.

This article aims to demystify these two popular choices, drawing from our wealth of experience to highlight key differences and suggest the most suitable option for enhancing your outdoor living area.

What this article covers:

What Are Porcelain Tiles?

Porcelain tiles are a specific subset of ceramic tiles, known for their superior strength and minimal water absorption. They are crafted from a highly refined type of clay, often including elements like quartz and feldspar, which contribute to their dense, robust nature.

After putting them to the test, we’ve found that this high-density attribute not only enhances their durability but also makes them an ideal choice for areas exposed to high traffic or moisture, ensuring they maintain their integrity and appearance over time.

How Are Porcelain Tiles Made?

The creation of porcelain tiles is a meticulous process that starts with the selection of fine clay and mineral blends, known for their purity and quality. This mixture is then subjected to significant pressure, forming the raw shape of the tiles.

What follows is a critical step: the firing process. These shaped tiles are placed in kilns and heated to incredibly high temperatures, often reaching up to 1200°C.

It's this intense heat that initiates a process called vitrification, where the tile's body becomes glass-like, immensely hardening the tile.

What Are Ceramic Tiles?

Ceramic tiles are a classic staple in the tile world, made from natural clay mixed with various minerals and water, then fired at temperatures around 1000°C.

This traditional method results in a tile that's somewhat more porous, giving it a distinctive, welcoming texture that's perfect for interior use.

The beauty of ceramic tiles lies in their diversity; available in an array of colours, glazes, and finishes, they offer endless possibilities for personalizing any space.

Whether it's the glossy sheen of a kitchen backsplash or the matte elegance of a bathroom floor, ceramic tiles bring both functionality and aesthetic allure to homes, embodying a perfect blend of tradition and versatility.

How Are Ceramic Tiles Made?

The creation of ceramic tiles is a blend of art and science, starting with a blend of clay and minerals shaped into tiles. After drying, they're coated with a glaze that adds colour and pattern, transforming each tile into a piece of art.

This glaze also acts as a protective layer, making the tiles more resilient against water and stains, despite their inherent porosity. The tiles are then fired, which hardens them and brings the glaze to life, resulting in a durable, attractive finish.

porcelain vs ceramic

While they're best suited for indoor environments due to their porosity, the glazing process equips ceramic tiles with sufficient water resistance for use in areas like bathrooms and kitchens, marrying practicality with visual appeal.

Porcelain vs Ceramic Tiles: What's the Difference?

When it comes to selecting tiles for your outdoor space, knowing the key differences between porcelain and ceramic can greatly influence your decision. Here's a deeper dive into each aspect to help you weigh your options:


Porcelain tiles are the heavyweight champions in the tile world. Their tough exterior is not just a facade; it's built to withstand heavy traffic and the harsh elements of the great outdoors.

This resilience comes from their dense composition, which makes them ideal for areas that see a lot of action. With porcelain, you're investing in a surface that will stand the test of time.

Water Resistance

In our experience, water resistance is where porcelain truly shines. With a porosity level of less than 0.5%, these tiles are virtually impervious to water.

Whether it's a sudden downpour or accidental spills, porcelain tiles remain unphased, making them perfect for British weather and outdoor settings where moisture is inevitable.


Both tile types boast low maintenance, but porcelain has a slight edge due to its density. This means less absorption of dirt, liquids, and potential stains, making cleaning a breeze.

ceramic vs porcelain tiles

A quick mop or wipe is often all that's needed to keep porcelain tiles looking pristine, freeing up your time for more enjoyable activities.

Ease Of Maintenance

While both porcelain and ceramic are low maintenance, porcelain's non-porous nature places it a step ahead.

Its resilience against stains, dirt, and liquids means that upkeep is as simple as a swift clean, allowing you to spend less time on maintenance and more on enjoying your beautiful outdoor oasis.


Considering the long-term, porcelain tiles present unmatched value. Their unparalleled durability and resistance to wear mean they not only last longer but also maintain their aesthetic appeal over time, negating the need for frequent replacements.

This longevity translates to cost savings in the long run, making porcelain an astute investment for your outdoor space.


In today's eco-conscious world, porcelain tiles stand out for their sustainability. Made from natural materials and requiring less water in their production compared to ceramic tiles, porcelain is a greener choice for environmentally mindful homeowners.

Additionally, their longevity means fewer replacements, reducing waste over time. Opting for porcelain tiles not only elevates your space but also aligns with a commitment to preserving our planet.


Porcelain tiles are not just about strength; they're also a haven for creativity. With advanced printing technology, porcelain can mimic an extensive range of materials like natural stone, hardwood, and even intricate textiles, offering unparalleled design versatility.

ceramic vs porcelain tile

This ability to adapt to any style, from rustic to contemporary, allows porcelain tiles to effortlessly enhance any space. Whether you're aiming for the warm look of wood without the maintenance or the modern chic of grey outdoor porcelain tiles, porcelain provides the perfect solution.

Should You Choose Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles?

When deciding whether to choose ceramic or porcelain tiles, especially with the unpredictable British weather and the multifunctional nature of outdoor spaces in mind, our porcelain patio tiles stand out as the superior option.

Their exceptional durability, combined with an inherent resistance to frost and a minimal water absorption rate, positions them as the ideal candidate for outdoor environments.

Porcelain tiles are not only built to withstand the elements, ensuring your patio remains beautiful through every season, but their low maintenance requirements also make them a practical choice for busy homeowners.

Whether you're creating a cosy garden retreat or a lively entertainment area, porcelain tiles offer both the resilience and aesthetic versatility needed to enhance your outdoor living space, making them a sound investment for any project that aims to combine style with longevity.


When faced with the choice between ceramic and porcelain tiles for your outdoor spaces, porcelain tiles emerge as the clear frontrunner. This is thanks to their unmatched durability, frost resistance, and minimal water absorption rate.

ceramic or porcelain tile

These attributes make porcelain tiles not just a practical solution for the often unpredictable British climate but also a versatile option that complements a wide range of design aesthetics. 

By choosing porcelain tiles, you're investing in the longevity and beauty of your outdoor area, ensuring it remains a welcoming and resilient haven for years to come.

For those ready to elevate their outdoor living spaces with the unmatched quality and style of porcelain tiles, Ovaeda is here to help bring your vision to life. Explore our collection and embark on your next outdoor project with confidence.

Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles? (FAQs)

Are porcelain tiles slippery when wet?

Porcelain tiles come in a variety of finishes, including textured options that provide slip resistance.

For bathrooms, pool areas, or any wet environment, choosing a porcelain tile with a matte or textured finish can greatly reduce slipperiness, ensuring safety without compromising on style.

How does the colour of porcelain tile hold up to prolonged sun exposure in outdoor settings?

Porcelain tiles are known for their colour permanence, even when exposed to prolonged sunlight. The manufacturing process ensures that the pigments are baked into the tile, making them fade-resistant and ideal for outdoor settings where sun exposure is a factor.

Is there a significant difference in the weight of porcelain tiles compared to ceramic?

Porcelain tiles are generally denser and, therefore, can be heavier than ceramic tiles. This should be considered for wall installations, particularly for larger tiles.

However, with the correct installation techniques and appropriate wall support, porcelain tiles can be safely installed on walls, adding durability and style to any vertical surface.

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