The main difference is in the types of clays used. Ceramic tiles are generally made from red or white clay mixtures and then finished with a durable glaze that carries the colour and pattern of the finished tile. They are softer and easier to cut than porcelain. These non-porcelain ceramic tiles are usually suitable for very light to moderate traffic.
Porcelain tiles are generally made by the dust pressed method from porcelain clays which result in a tile that is denser and more durable than ceramic tile. The finish is a finer grained and smoother with sharply formed faces. Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and are more wear and damage resistant than non-porcelain ceramic tiles. They are excellent for light traffic and heavy traffic.
How many tiles do I need?
The area to be tiled needs to be carefully measured to establish how many square feet or meters are involved. This can be done by your architect, builder or your tiler.
You can use our very handy Tile Calculator to work out an approximation, or check results.
Note that there is always a degree of wastage resulting from the cuts required to achieve your tile layout. The contingency allowance for wastage is best estimated by your tiler, but is typically between +5% and +15%, depending on the tiles being used and the complexity of the particular design and layout. Also, consider that it is always wise to keep several spare tiles just in case replacements are required at a later date.
Why should I use tile adhesive or grout instead of cement in tiling?
If you use regular cement or mortar to lay tile, in the long term the tiles will eventually come loose and your grout will crack as well. Tile adhesive is designed specifically to bond tiles to a subfloor. It may be a little more expensive up front, but you will save the cost and hassle of having to buy new tiles and retile your floor at a later date.