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What is the difference between vitrified and porcelain tiles?

What is the difference between vitrified and porcelain tiles?
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Many people who are in the flooring market often wonder about the difference between porcelain and vitrified tiles. This is a common confusion as porcelain tile is actually a type of vitrified tile. The two materials have a similar appearance and durability, making it difficult to distinguish between them. To clear up this confusion, we have conducted a comprehensive review of the differences between these two types of popular materials. Please continue reading to learn more.

First, let’s see what a vitrified tile is and what types are there.


Vitrified tiles

Vitrified tiles


Vitrified tiles

Vitrified tiles are made using a mixture of clay, feldspar, silica, and quartz that undergo a hydraulic compression process at high pressure. After this, they are subjected to high-temperature cooking. This process of vitrification occurs during firing at temperatures between 1200°C and 1550°C. As the name suggests, the tiles are given a glass-like quality during firing.

The pressure, heat, and vitrification process give the tiles many benefits, including high mechanical strength and low porosity of 0.5% or less. The high temperature of the solidification process causes all the materials to turn into a molten liquid state, which hardens into an extremely tough solid upon cooling. The tiles produced have a fixed pattern and texture, making them ideal for use in flooring and capable of withstanding high traffic.


Features of vitrified tiles

  • Vitrified tile is frost-resistant.
  •  It is less likely to crack.
  •  It is resistant to staining.
  •  It is very resistant to scratches and other abrasions.
  • It has a stunning and bright appearance.
  • Due to its high resistance, it is suitable for high-traffic environments.
  • It has a higher price than other types of ceramic tiles.
  • Vitrified tiles are waterproof.
  • The weight of the vitrified tile is increased in proportion to its density and material.


What are the four types of vitrified tiles?

Let’s start by addressing a common concern regarding vitrified tiles – their slipperiness. It’s natural for smooth and polished surfaces to be slippery, especially in wet conditions. Therefore, it’s important to take necessary precautions to ensure safety. Moving on, there are several types of vitrified tiles available in the market, and we’ll be discussing four of the most common ones.


  1. Full Body vitrified tiles: These tiles have a fixed color and design throughout the thickness of the tile. They are durable and suitable for high-traffic areas.
  2. Double-charged vitrified tiles: Two layers of pigment are applied to create a pattern or design on the surface. This makes these tiles look more lively and attractive.
  3. Glazed vitrified tiles: These tiles have a layer of shiny glaze that gives them a shiny appearance and increases their attractiveness and beauty. Various designs and patterns of these types of tiles are in the market.
  4. Soluble Salt tiles: These tiles have a layer of dissolved salt on their surface, which is then digitally printed with designs or patterns. These tiles offer a wide range of design options at an affordable price.

It is important to note that many other types and variations of vitrified tiles are available in the market, each with unique features and benefits.


Porcelain tiles

Porcelain tiles


Porcelain tiles

Porcelain tiles are a type of vitrified tiles. They are produced by applying high pressure and temperature, which causes the material to melt and become vitrified. The key difference between porcelain tiles and other vitrified tiles is that porcelain tiles are baked at a maximum temperature of 1300 degrees Celsius, while the baking temperature of other vitrified tiles is much higher.


Porcelain tiles are highly resistant to water absorption due to their low porosity. This makes them frost-resistant and ideal for outdoor paving. The process of powder compression and high-density creation during the production of porcelain tiles reduces their porosity and makes their color more stable.


What are the four types of porcelain tiles? 

Porcelain tiles come in different “body” types, affecting their durability and suitability for various applications:


  1. Homogeneous: Color runs all the way through, making them super durable for high-traffic areas (homes, stores, airports).


  1. Full-Colored/Speckled: Similar to homogeneous, but with richer colors and textures. Great for medium to heavy traffic (kitchens, stores, walkways).


  1. Double Loading or Double Layer: The top layer has the design, while the bottom is off-white. It is more affordable than fully colored but less durable. Suitable for medium traffic (homes, offices).


  1. Off-White: Design only on the surface, making them least durable. Best for light traffic (bathrooms, bedrooms, light commercial areas).


What to consider when buying?

  • Assess your needs
  • To choose the right tiles for your needs, you should first determine their application area and purpose. Factors to consider include foot traffic for floor tiles or the possibility of scratches for wall tiles, dirt absorption, exposure to water or humidity, and the overall design you want to achieve.
  • Porcelain tiles offer a wider range of design options for your decoration needs.
  • Assess your budget for tile installation. In general, vitrified tiles are more affordable than porcelain tiles.
  • If you need tiles for high-traffic areas or wear-prone spaces such as commercial spaces or corridors, porcelain tiles are more suitable due to their strength and higher scratch resistance.
  • Porcelain tiles are suggested if you need tiles for areas exposed to water, such as bathrooms or kitchens. The reason lower water absorption rates are offered.


vitrified tile Vs. porcelain tile

Vitrified tile Vs. Porcelain tile


General comparison of vitrified tile and porcelain tile

When it comes to buying tiles, it’s important to understand the difference between vitrified tiles and porcelain tiles. Although they belong to the same group and look similar, their uses, your expectations, and your needs from the tiles should be taken into account. It would be best if you also considered the aesthetics of the surrounding area and decoration. It’s essential to know whether the tile is for indoor or outdoor use and how important moisture absorption and strength are. Additionally, factors like foot traffic, potential damage, and scratches should be considered when choosing the right tile for your space. Therefore, it’s necessary to choose the appropriate tile accordingly.

Comparison in terms of water absorption:

Porcelain tiles are better suited for areas exposed to water, such as bathrooms and kitchens because they absorb less water than vitrified tiles.

Comparison in terms of installation:

Porcelain tiles are typically thicker and denser than vitrified tiles and, therefore, require installation tools and expertise. In comparison, vitrified tiles are easier to install.

Price comparison:

Vitrified tiles are generally more affordable than porcelain tiles. However, the price of this material varies depending on factors such as design, brand, quality, and country of purchase.



Vitrified tiles are created through a process of vitrification involving high pressure and heat. Porcelain tiles, on the other hand, are a type of vitrified tile made from clay, which makes them more durable. 


To choose between vitrified tiles and porcelain tiles, you need to consider your specific requirements. This includes your budget, the level of water and scratch resistance needed, and the design you are looking for. Once you have identified these factors, you can compare and select from different types of vitrified and porcelain tiles available.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1-What is another name for vitrified tile?

Polished tiles are another name for vitrified tiles.


2-Can porcelain tiles be glazed?

Porcelain tiles are completely vitrified and are presented in two ways: glazed or unglazed. These tiles are made using a white or colored body consisting of a mixture of clay and feldspar.


3-Which is better, vitrified tile or porcelain?

In general comparison, vitrified tiles have an absorption rate of less than 1%, while porcelain tiles have an absorption rate of less than 0.5%. As a result, porcelain tiles are more suitable for areas with high humidity.


4-Do vitrified tiles scratch?

Due to the unique production process, vitrified tiles are resistant to wear and scratches and have higher resistance than other types of flooring and wall coverings such as parquet and wood. However, if we do not take proper care and maintenance, and sometimes there is heavy movement of heavy goods on the floor, the tiles are prone to scratches and scratches.


5-Is vitrified tile the same as porcelain?

The raw materials for producing vitrified tiles are silica and clay. Porcelain tile is also made from the same composition with a higher percentage of clay and higher pressure in the firing process. As a result, porcelain is sometimes called vitrified tile, while there are differences between the two.


6-What is vitrified porcelain tile?

Vitrified porcelain tile is a type of tile that is made from very pure kaolin clay with minerals. These minerals include quartz and feldspar, as two common examples. Then, it is fired at 1200 degrees Celsius. This makes it harder and much more durable.


7-What are the grades of porcelain tiles?

Most of the residential floor tiles are classified as grade 3-4. These tiles can withstand moderate traffic as well as normal wear and tear


8-Is vitrified tile expensive? 

Not in terms of benefits and applications, but it has a higher price than other common types of tiles.


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