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Porcelain is a man-made product whereas stone is a natural material that is quarried. Stone, being porous, will need to be sealed on installation and re-sealed with some degree of frequency throughout it's lifetime. Porcelain, being non-porous does not require sealing and can also be cleaned with everyday cleaning products whereas stone will need specialist soaps to maintain and protect the floor.
Porcelain tiles are reasonably thin when compared to other hard flooring such as stone. This means that the heat is able to rise through the porcelain tiles relatively fast. Porcelain tiles retain heat well. Due to the makeup of the material the tiles are insulating so once the heat has risen through they will retain their heat very well and keep the room warmer for longer.
Porcelain does not need to be sealed as it is a man-made product and is non-porous. However the grouting can be sealed as it is naturally porous and can stain easily.
In the past, it was common for a tile to only have a few different design variations. However porcelain tiles are now ‘digitally printed’ using industrial ink-jet printers – the end result is more natural looking floors with more variation and fewer repeats. The majority of our natural looking porcelain tiles are printed using high-definition machines which give an incredibly lifelike surface.
Porcelain tiles for the floor can usually be installed on walls as the thickness of the tile is generally suitable. Porcelain tiles for the walls may also be suitable for the floor however only certain grades of ceramic tile should be used for flooring.
Porcelain tiles are made from a fine, dense clay and are fired at high temperatures so they can vitrify and become non-porous, making the tiles extremely durable. Additionally, porcelain tiles are tougher, more scratch resistant than other varieties, and more durable and resistant to stains. Porcelain tiles are the hardest, most crack-resistant option, followed by stone.