Not all tile is the same. Many people confuse ceramic and stone to be the same. Ceramic tile is a man-made tile, whereas porcelain/stone is nature-made. Ceramic tile tends to have lower variance in color compared to porcelain/stone tile. When shopping for tile, you will often see a high variance tile labeled as V5, and a low variance tile at V1.

Ceramic tile and porcelain are classed by their densities. Ceramic tile is typically classed 1-3; whereas porcelain tile is typically classed at a 4 or 5. Classes 1 and 2 tiles are designed for walls only. Classes 3, 4, and 5 may be applied to the floor or the wall. Class 5 may also be installed outdoors.

Porcelain/stone has an additional classification: through-body or glazed porcelain tile. All ceramic tile is glazed. A through-body tile means that the color goes all the way through the tile. This is especially important for darker tiles. If you were ever to chip your tile, you wouldn’t lose the color. If a product is not a through-body tile, you will often see a white or red body where the chip occurs.

When installing porcelain tile, you must cut it with a wet saw. Ceramic tile is easier to cut manually by utilizing a score and snap method with a ceramic tile cutter. 

In terms of affordability, ceramic tile is the most economical for a budget. It is often a little less expensive than a glazed porcelain tile and about half the price of a through-body porcelain tile. The cleanability for both tiles are about the same.

If you intend to put tile in the shower, bathtub, or pool we would suggest a porcelain tile. Porcelain has a lower water absorption rate than ceramic does, so it is better suited for an environment frequently exposed to moisture.

For years Dane county has trusted Bisbee’s Flooring Center for their tile needs! We service the Sun Prairie, McFarland, DeForest, Madison, Stoughton, Marshall, Waterloo, Deerfield, Cottage Grove areas. Stop by our showroom today!