Beautiful and easily maintained, porcelain tile is a common and practical choice in modern home decor. The standard thickness for porcelain tile is similar to that of ceramic tiles, with porcelain tile available in a slightly thicker version. Porcelain tile is sold by square footage. Make sure your room or area measurements are accurate to purchase sufficient tile.
How thick are floor tiles? That depends on the type of material and the style of the particular tile. Each material comes in a variety of thicknesses to serve various purposes in the home from flooring to wall tiles. When shopping for floor tile, it’s important to choose a material that is suitable for flooring. You want a tile that is functional and able to withstand foot traffic.
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Floor Tile Thickness
Most floor tiles have a thickness of about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch. When comparing the thickness of wall tile vs. floor tile, the ones made for floors are generally thicker than wall tiles. A tile’s thickness usually depends on the material. Some tile materials can be thicker or thinner than the standard. For example, mosaic floor tiles tend to be thinner, whereas natural stone can be thicker.
Slate Tile Thickness
Slate floor tiles are made of metamorphic rock that is a combination of quartz, mica, calcite and chlorite. It’s a natural material that develops when sediment is fused from the heat of the earth’s crust. Slate is a hard stone that is ideal for residential and commercial flooring. Variations in slate thickness depend on the size and type of the tile. Chinese and Indian slate 12-inch by 12-inch tiles can range in thickness from 3/8 and 7/16 inch. Chinese slate tiles of 16-inch by 16-inch can have a thickness of 1/2 to 9/16 inch, whereas Indian slate tiles of the same size can vary between 7/16 and 1/2 inch in thickness. Since the product is installed with medium-bed mortar, adjustments can be made to accommodate for different floor tile thickness to ensure the floor is level.
Ceramic Tile Thickness
Homeowners frequently choose ceramic tile for flooring in their homes because it’s hard-wearing and easy to maintain. It can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, as it’s water-resistant. Ceramic tiles come in a variety of styles and textures to accommodate multiple functions and diverse personal tastes. It also comes in different thicknesses ranging from 1/4 to 3/4 inch. In general, the thicker the tile, the more resilient it is and the less likely to break.
Porcelain Tile Thickness
Porcelain tile looks similar to ceramic tile only it’s denser. It’s highly tolerant to stains, scratches and moisture, which make it a good choice for residential and commercial flooring, particularly in high-traffic areas. Porcelain is available in smooth or raised textures in an array of colours. Select a porcelain tile thickness of 5/16 inch thick or thicker for flooring.
Standard Tile Thickness
Standard porcelain tile thickness ranges between 1/4- and 3/4-inch thick. In contrast, ceramic tiles range from 1/4- to 3/8-inch in standard thickness. The average minimum thickness is the same for both materials, but porcelain tiles come in thicker options. Thicker tiles are less likely to break or crack than thinner tiles because they’re stronger. You may want to choose thicker porcelain tiles for flooring, especially in high-traffic areas, because porcelain floor tile durability is important in preventing cracks and damage.
Thin-Body Porcelain Tile
If you’re looking for a lighter weight porcelain tile option, consider a thin-body porcelain tile. They offer a more eco-friendly option because they use less material, and they don’t take as much energy to produce. Most porcelain tiles are at least 7 millimetres thick. But the thin porcelain tile is only 3 to 6 millimetres thick. That means the tiles could be as thin as 0.12 inches thick.
Because the tiles are so thin, they require special care during installation. They’re much more likely to crack or break, so installers often use special equipment for the process, especially for tiles on the thinner end of the range.
Why Porcelain Tile Thickness Matters
Does it matter how thick your porcelain tile is? Thicker tiles do tend to offer greater durability, but the thickness can also be important to make the tiles fit into your space. For example, you don’t want your new tile floor to be higher or lower than the flooring in adjoining rooms. You also want doors in the space to be able to swing freely. If you get extra-thick porcelain tile, the door might catch or rub on the tile—factor in the subfloor height to choose a tile thickness.
Porcelain Tile Characteristics
Porcelain tiles, generally manufactured by the pressed dust method, are made from porcelain clays. Ceramic tiles are made from red or white clays. The water absorption rate of porcelain tiles is less than 1 per cent, so these tiles make a good choice for outdoor areas in cold climates, as they are frost-resistant if not frost-proof. Besides being impervious to moisture, these tiles are also smooth and dense. You may purchase unglazed porcelain tiles, or choose a matte or high-gloss finish.
Glazed Porcelain Tiles
Glazed tiles have a thin glass coating applied before being kiln-fired. This type of porcelain tile, also known as vitreous tile, is available in many colours and patterns. However, if the tile chips or breaks, the damage will be noticeable and require repair or replacement. Highly glossed glaze tiles may be slippery, making them more suitable for walls and countertops than flooring. Porcelain tiles are heat-resistant for kitchen use but are not heat-proof. Glazed tiles do not require sealing.
Full-Bodied Porcelain Tiles
Full-bodied porcelain tiles, also known as through-bodied tiles, include the tile colour or pattern throughout the entire thickness of the tile, no matter how thick they are. These tiles, suitable for residential or commercial use, easily hide any wear or damage. To further protect your full-bodied porcelain tiles, you may want to apply a sealer on the grout lines.
Porcelain Tile Flooring: The Most Durable Tile Flooring
Porcelain tile is a special type of ceramic, harder, stronger and more durable than other ceramics.
Porcelain is extremely resistant to water and frost, and also to scratches, cracks or stains; it provides long-lasting durability. Porcelain can be unglazed (full-body) or glazed, that is, with a top vitreous layer that determines its colour, pattern and texture.
These features – and the fact that glazed porcelain can imitate stone or even wood tile – are making it increasingly popular and an excellent alternative to stone and ceramic flooring in situations where strength, hardness and durability are critical.
Technically, porcelain tile belongs to the ceramic flooring family, and like most ceramic products porcelain tile is a kiln-fired product. The difference is that porcelain tile is denser, stronger and more waterproof and stain-resistant due to the extremely high temperatures used in its manufacturing. Porcelain tile flooring can be an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, basements, entryways and areas where the presence of water or the risk of staining and scratches is very high.
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Durability Of Glazed And Unglazed Porcelain Tile
Like another ceramic tile, porcelain is available unglazed (full body) and glazed.
Porcelain tile sampleGlazed porcelain tiles have a liquid glass coating baked onto its surface, which allows multiple colours, patterns and textures, impossible in unglazed tiles. Porcelain tile flooring residential uses
Porcelain tile flooring is mainly used in kitchens, bathrooms and rooms prone to water, stains, scratches… Porcelain is also a good choice for outdoor areas prone to frost. Porcelain has a very low water absorption rate that makes it frost-proof, contrary to many types of ceramic tile.
The unglazed (full-body) porcelain is pretty much the same as glazed porcelain, just without the coating. That makes it look more “natural”, and less likely to show signs of wear (their colour and pattern extends throughout the tile).
Anyway, glazed porcelain tile is a lot more popular because of its colours and extra-resistance to stains and water.
Ceramic Flooring Durability: The Basics
Ceramic tile is by far the most popular type of tile flooring. It includes 1) traditional unglazed tile – terracotta, quarry tile… – and also 2) ceramic glazed tile, which comes in a wide set of colours and patterns, sometimes to look like stone (or wood). The PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating is an indicator of the hardness and durability of the several types of tile. But it doesn’t say much, besides that…
Durability, low prices, easy cleaning and low maintenance requirements, coupled with many patterns, colours and textures make glazed ceramic tile an excellent alternative to porcelain or stone flooring.
Terracotta Unglazed Ceramic tile quarry Ceramic Unglazed TileThere are several non-glazed ceramic tile flooring products, including… Terracotta and similar red colour tiles (Mexican Terracotta or Saltillo…), quarry tiles (mass-produce unglazed tiles), clay brick tiles and pavers.
These products vary a lot in their colours, patterns, thickness, shape, porosity, hardness and use…
The differences are a direct result of different manufacturing formulas, different clays or different firing temperatures…
Pay special attention to the thickness of the tile; it’s an important criterion for durability.
Porcelain vs. ceramic tile
Though it is often classified in a different group, porcelain is, in fact, a ceramic product, basically made from clays. The difference between ceramic and porcelain is that porcelain is harder, non-porous and stronger, due to the high temperatures and pressures used in its manufacturing.
Most ceramic tile products are kiln-fired at relatively low temperatures.
Terracotta And Other Unglazed Ceramic Tile Can Be Soft, Damageable And Non-Durable
Unglazed terracotta and quarry tile products – without the glazing layer of other ceramic tiles – have a rustic charm.
They are largely used in hot and moderate climates, often in outdoor settings, but also kitchens, entryways and dining rooms.
They do not look as “cold” and aren’t as hard as stone or glazed ceramic tile. Their manufacturing requires little energy as compared to other tiles, which makes them more environmentally-friendly.
Terracotta isn’t a durable tile choice.
Pay attention when choosing terracotta. Some types of terracotta (including Saltillo or Mexican Terracotta) are sun-dried, which makes them soft and easily damageableTerracotta, quarry and other similar unglazed ceramic tiles are prone to wear, stains and water absorption.
They can be “soft” and damageable. Some of them are semi-industrial and handmade products, which explains their prices: often more expensive than expected. They aren’t maintenance-free.
Glazed Ceramic Tile Is Water And Stain Resistant
Common liquid waxes and linseed oil provide water- and stain-protection to unglazed ceramic tile. But some products may require proprietary sealers, namely some terracotta tiles. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. New manufacturing processes have created new patterns, textures and colours… And this, and its competitive price and easy installation, are important advantages.
Glazed tile hasn’t the strength and the durability of porcelain, but can be very wear-resistant and largely maintenance-free.
On the other hand, glazed ceramic hasn’t the warmth of hardwood and some other flooring materials. Ceramic is often too “cold” for bedrooms and living areas, in cold climates. Besides, glazed tile is not as natural in its appearance and feel as other flooring materials, including unglazed ceramic tiles…
Frost-resistant ceramic tile can be important for durability If you live in a cold climate with freezing temperatures, choose a frost-resistant ceramic tile for outdoor applications. Is glazed ceramic better than porcelain? Glazed ceramic is cheaper and easier to install than porcelain tile; and also very strong and stain- and water-resistant. But porcelain tile can be a better choice for high-traffic rooms.
Tile Flooring Prices Has Little To Do With Durability
Ceramic tile used to be a lot cheaper than porcelain tile, which is not the case anymore. It varies with dealers and the types of porcelain and ceramic tile… You can find porcelain tile at very low prices.
Prices can be as low as $1 per square feet for ceramic tile, and $1,5 for porcelain, for large online orders. But be cautious. Low prices can lead to low quality (and less durable products).
What Is More Durable And What To Choose: Porcelain Or Ceramic Tile?
Porcelain tile is more durable and denser than ceramic tile flooring, which makes it more resistant to scratches, staining, moisture and frost, and very easy to clean and virtually maintenance-free.
Porcelain tile has experienced a huge improvement in its technological processes and is now highly competitive with other types of flooring, namely stone flooring. As mentioned, its colours and patterns are now more varied.
Anyway, porcelain is more difficult to install (it is harder) and on average more expensive and without the natural appearance and rustic charm of some unglazed ceramic tile.
If you don’t need the hardness and strength of porcelain, ceramic glazed tile is a good and less expensive choice.
How To Choose High-Quality Porcelain Tiles
The fact that our vast range of porcelain tiles are inexpensive does not necessarily mean they are low quality. Prices vary considerably from the high street where some retailers sell porcelain tiles at nearly double the price of those sold by online retailers. The best way to know which tile is worth the price is by getting samples of tiles to compare their quality. When you receive your samples, the finish should not have marking, dimples, scratches or imperfections on the face, and if you’ve purchased solid colour tiles, those colours should be clean and crisp and free from fading.
Some porcelain tiles have rectified edges – this means that they have machine-cut, straight edges that allow them to be positioned closer together during installation meaning smaller grout lines. You can check the quality of rectified tiles by running your finger along the edges to ensure that they are straight cut and free from bumps and protrusions. Also, you’ll want to consider the practical side of things – if you are working on a kitchen or bathroom remodel, you want to be sure they are sent in sturdy boxes, and adequately wrapped to ensure they are protected during transit and to make easier work of moving the tiles into and around your project area.
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How thick are tiles?
Tile thickness may not be something you’d notice in a finished job, but knowing how thick tiles are can be very useful when planning a renovation, especially for understanding how high your floor may end up.
There’s no single standard thickness for wall and floor tiles – different types of tiles for different purposes are likely to be different thicknesses. That said, any tiles that are the same and from the same batch will be the same thickness.
If your tiles are different thicknesses, there’s likely been an issue with that batch. Read this page for more information and contact your Beaumont Tiles store before you start laying the tiles to get this fixed.
The exception to the above is with some naturally quarried stone products. These are split from larger slabs, and there is sometimes a range of natural variation in thickness. Any good tiler who is experienced with natural stone products will be able to account for any thickness variations when laying the tiles.
In general, porcelain tiles may range from as thin as 3.5mm, like our ultra-slim yet ultra-large slab tiles through to 20mm thick for the toughest porcelain tile pavers. The vast majority of porcelain tiles are 6mm to 10mm thick and a tile in this range will serve most purposes.
We recommend asking our expert staff about the thicknesses of your tiles before laying. Dry laying before you apply your tiles with adhesive is also a great way to ensure the thickness is even, and the tiles will be level.
Whether you’re using porcelain tile on your floors or walls, you have options when it comes to thickness. Understanding the different types and thicknesses of the tiles helps you pick the best option for your project.
When selecting floor tile, compare the thickness on different tile options. A thicker tile can interfere with doors opening or cause an uneven transition between rooms, so choose a tile that works in the room.