Ceramic Tiles vs Vitrified Tiles – Select the Best Tiles for Your Home

Civil Engineer / Content Writer

Nowadays, tile flooring is the most popular flooring option due to its clean, smooth, impervious, durable, colourful, hard and attractive surface. There are various types of tile are available in market like ceramic, vitrified, porcelain, etc. You will need to think about how you are going to use each room, before you make any decisions of buying tiles.

Also Read: 18 Different Types of Flooring Materials

Both ceramic and vitrified tiles, both can be used on walls and floor tiles. Both types of tiles are available in different variety of colours, design pattern and sizes. Though being used for the same purpose, there is some major difference between ceramic and vitrified tiles, i.e. their properties, availability, cost, etc. Hence, here we have tried to provide a brief comparison of ceramic tiles vs vitrified tiles which will help you to make the correct choice.

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Courtesy - 123rf

CERAMIC TILES

VITRIFIED TILES

01. Composition

  • Ceramic tile is made up of mixture of clay (which is generally known as earthen clay) and water only.
  • The term “Vitrified” means to convert into the glass like substance. It is made by a mixture of clay silica, quartz, feldspar which is a constituent mineral found in granite rock.

02. Uses

  • It is used in indoor as well as outdoor areas. But it is widely used material in interior decoration, due to their low cost.
  • Ceramic tiles flooring are ideal for wet areas like bathrooms, kitchens, etc. as the tiles are not very slippery. But they are less resistance to water.
  • It is used in indoor as well as outdoor areas. But they are often used in indoors due to their pleasing appearance.
  • Vitrified wall tiles are most suitable for wet areas like bathroom, kitchen, etc.
  • It is the most suitable for high traffic areas like public area, i.e. bank, corporate offices due to their aesthetic look and more durable.
  • Its pleasing appearance and comparatively large sizes, makes it more popular used for in interior and exterior.

03. Look

  • Ceramic tiles have natural and earthly look in comparison to artificial look of vitrified tiles.
  • The vitrified tiles have an artificial look compared to the natural look of ceramic tiles.
Also Read: Basic Things to Know about Ceramic Tile

04. Texture

  • Comparatively rough and external glaze is applied for the glossy look.
  • It is smooth and glossy. So it will give you an aesthetic look and it is easy to clean.

05. Glazing

  • Ceramic tiles always have to be glazed for protection.
  • Vitrified tiles need not be glazed. The shine can be given with manual polish.

06. Properties

a) Durability

  • It is less durable as compared to vitrified tiles.
  • It is more durable as compared to ceramic tiles due to their glass like surface.

b) Strength

(Flexural Strength and Breaking Strength)

  • It is weaker as compared to vitrified tiles.
  • It has a low flexural strength (22N/mm2) and low breaking strength (200N).
  • It is a stronger as compared to ceramic tiles.
  • It has a high flexural strength (35N/mm2) and high breaking strength (700N).

c) Water Absorption

  • It is very porous and hence absorbs water quickly. So the use of ceramic tiles in the outdoor area will cause the tiles to develop cracks quickly.
  • It is non-porous and hence absorption of water is negligible. So, it is most suitable for wet areas.

d) Frost Resistance

It has low frost resistance as these types of tiles absorb water easily. It has high frost resistance because its water absorption is low as compared to ceramic tiles.

e) Resistance to Scratches

  • It has low resistance to scratches. So the colour of the ceramic tiles does not remain same throughout its surface over a period of time.
  • Vitrified tiles have more resistance to scratches. So even when tiles are scratched, the colour of the tiles will remain same.

f) Staining Resistance

  • Low resistance to stains.
  • For example, when the oil falls on the surface of the ceramic tiles, it is difficult to remove the stain of oil as compared to vitrified tiles due to texture on top.
  • High resistance to stains due to its low porosity, glossy finishes and also easy to clean.

g) Slip Resistance

  • It is not very slippery as compared to vitrified tiles. Ceramic tiles can be treated to prevent slipping either by adding an abrasive grit to the glaze or texture to the surface.
  • They are very slippery as compared to ceramic tiles. Vitrified tiles are very slippery when wet.

h) Colour Resistance to UV Light

  • Direct exposure to sunlight will cause to remove the colour of tiles frequently and the tiles may get fade off over a period of time.
  • There is no effect of sunlight in this type of tiles as the colour will remain over a period of time.
Also Read: Know the Properties of Ceramic Tiles

07. Advantages

  • Ceramic tiles installation is easy as compared to vitrified tiles as the ceramic surface will quickly respond to the adhesives than vitrified tiles.
  • Ceramic tiles are less expensive than vitrified tiles.
  • Ceramic tile can also help to reduce your energy use (and bills) by keeping your house cooler in the summer. They also add some insulating qualities to your home in the winter.
  • Vitrified tiles are smooth, glossy and stronger as compared to ceramic tiles.
  • Vitrified tiles are non-porous. Hence they are more resistance to water as they are best suited for wet areas.
  • They are pre-polished and do not need polishing on site.
  • Available in large sizes. Hence the number of joints less.

08. Disadvantages

  • The tiles are hard and cannot be cushioned, which is less comfortable for walking and standing.
  • Ceramic tiles do not hold on to heat very well. It can get very cold in the winter, which can be a shock to your toes first thing in the morning. On the other hand, ceramic can be quite comfortable underfoot on a hot summer day.
  • Ceramic tiles are quite heavy which means they are not appropriate for upper storey installations as it increases weight.
  • Ceramic tiles absorb more water, so the tiles may get dislodged.
  • Not available in large sizes. Hence number of joints increase.
  • One of the major disadvantages of vitrified tiles is that they are expensive when compared to the cost of ceramics tiles.
  • In order to ensure the steadiness, high quality adhesives are used. Hence, these are expensive than ceramic tiles.
  • It is slippery when wet. So there are chances of an accident.
Also Read: Tile Grout: Know Its Functions & Types

09. Maintenance

  • The maintenance of ceramic tiles is not easy as compare to vitrified tiles.
  • The maintenance of vitrified tiles is easy because of shiny surface, it is easy to clean.

10. Installation

  • Ceramic tiles installation is difficult as compared to vitrified tiles, special skilled person is required.
Installation is easy as compared to ceramic tiles. They do not required special skilled person.
Also Read: All about Tile Installation & Its Precautions

11. Size

  • Usually the ceramic tiles are available in size smaller size
  • Thickness: 6 mm to 12 mm(0.23’’ to 0.5”)
  • General sizes of ceramic tiles
    • 3’’ × 6’’
    • 9’’× 12’’
    • 8‘’× 8’’
    • 4’’× 8’’
    • 12’’× 12’’
    • 12’’× 24’’, etc.
  • Usually the vitrified tiles are available in size 2 ft×2ft (24” × 24’’) or more.
  • Thickness: 8 mm to 12 mm (0.3” to 0.5”)
  • General size of vitrified tiles
    • 23” × 23”
    • 32” × 32”
    • 30”× 30”
    • 40”× 40”, etc.

12. Cost

  • It is economical as compare to vitrified tiles.
  • It is more expensive than ceramic tiles.

a) Material Cost

  • The price approximately ranges from Rs. 30-400/sq.ft
The price approximately ranges
  • For Regular Size 32’’×32’’- Rs. 30 to 160/sq.ft
  • For Medium Size: >32’’×32’’- Rs. 100 to 200/sq.ft
  • Big Size: 1m × 1m – Rs. 160 to 500/sq.ft

Special Comments

  • From the above brief comparison of ceramic tiles vs vitrified tiles, both the tiles used for the same purpose can be used on walls and floor tiles. Ceramic tiles can be used in indoor as well as outdoor whereas vitrified tiles are mostly recommended in indoors only. You need to make the judicial choice according to your need and budget!

The popular manufacturers of ceramic and vitrified tiles are:

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