Porcelain Tiles for Flooring: Pros and Cons

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Looking for a flooring upgrade that's both stylish and incredibly durable? Porcelain tile might be the perfect fit for your Cincinnati or Columbus home! This popular material offers a stunning combination of elegance and practicality, making it a favorite among homeowners and designers alike.

But before jumping on the porcelain bandwagon, it's smart to consider all the factors. Let's dive into the pros and cons of porcelain tile flooring to help you decide if it's the right choice for your lifestyle and home's unique character.

Understanding Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is made from fine-grain clays and natural materials. Here's how it's crafted:

  • Mixing: Clays are blended with water to create a workable paste.
  • Shaping: The paste is carefully formed into tiles using pressing or extrusion techniques.
  • Drying: Excess moisture is removed to prepare the tiles for the next step.
  • Firing: Tiles are fired in kilns at extremely high temperatures (over 2,000°F!), creating an incredibly strong bond.
  • Treatment: Optional glazing or polishing adds a decorative touch and can enhance durability.

The result? A versatile and beautiful flooring option ideal for homes and businesses, known for its resilience and stunning designs.

Pros and Cons of Porcelain Tile Flooring

Pros Cons
Wide design variety Higher cost
Incredibly durable Complex repairs and installation
Easy maintenance Heavy weight
Water resistant Can be cold
Beautiful appearance Slippery when wet
Great for high foot traffic

Pros of Porcelain Tile

Pros of Porcelain Tile

#1 A Wide Range of Design Options

For example, maybe you're looking for textured porcelain tiles for flooring that differ from standard ceramic tile. You will find plenty of options that align with your design aesthetic.

In many cases, this offers more affordable solutions compared with other flooring solutions, especially if you're covering a large area or you consider the price per square foot. 

You will find plenty of options that align with your design aesthetic, such as limestone, unlike other tiles that might be more limited in their appearance.

#2 Porcelain Tile Floor Is Highly Durable

Are porcelain tiles durable? If you're wondering how durable porcelain tile is, know that some of the most durable flooring types include those that are made from fired clay. Porcelain tile durability is at a high level because it is produced at higher temperatures and pressure. It is made from high-quality components that are highly resistant to scratches and stains, appealing to many business owners and those running rental properties if they need flooring in high-traffic areas. Therefore, porcelain tiles are more durable than most other kinds of floors.

If you are particular about a flooring type that won't get damaged easily while offering adequate aesthetics, porcelain tiles fit into these roles adequately. They are fit for homes where pets and children are likely to mess things around or commercial spaces that use heavy equipment. In general, porcelain tiles can withstand years of rough use and the fact that they are scratch-resistant makes them superior to other tile alternatives.

#3 Minimal Maintenance Required

Unlike some other flooring options, porcelain tile boasts a secret weapon for effortless upkeep: its low porosity. Imagine spilling a glass of red wine or tracking in muddy paw prints. With porcelain tile, there's no need to panic. The dense, non-porous surface prevents liquids and stains from seeping in, making cleanup a breeze.

Forget about special sealants or harsh chemicals. Regular sweeping, mopping with a mild detergent, and occasional spot cleaning is all you need to maintain porcelain tile's pristine beauty for years to come. This translates to less time scrubbing and more time enjoying your stunning floors.

#4 Water Resistance

If you're considering porcelain tile installation in an area that gets exposed to a high amount of water, this is another benefit of porcelain tile floors. Overall, it has fewer air pockets and it's a dense material, meaning porcelain floor tiles are harder and thicker versus other natural stone options you might be considering.

It's common for porcelain floor tiles to last for years and they're a leading choice for businesses and homeowners as they are well worth the initial investment. Many business owners find that they're worth investing in because they hold up so well over time. They are also a luxury product made from denser material that is less prone to breaking and damage. Some people even opt to use these gorgeous tiles as wall coverings. 

#5 Incredible Visual Appeal

No matter the style or pattern you choose, porcelain tiles are designed to be stunning. They give that posh and luxurious effect when used and their hardness makes them even more beautiful.

Besides, porcelain tiles can incorporate different kinds of designs. While you may not be able to decide on the design of porcelain tiles from the manufacturing company, you are sure to find stunning designs in the market all the time.

A good example of a porcelain tile that does it aesthetically is the Vulkon Nero porcelain tile.

#6 Excellent for High Traffic Use

Experienced flooring professionals often recommend porcelain tile over standard ceramic tile in areas where there's a lot of commotion and usage. As we've mentioned, porcelain tile floors are resistant to wear and breakage, even against instances of pet nails, dragging furniture, etc. If there is extra weight and pressure applied to the flooring, they are incredibly strong and resistant to damage.

All of these factors combined make it ideal for using this type of flooring in high-traffic areas, appealing to business owners and homeowners alike. Don't feel as though you need to baby the floor or walk lightly to avoid causing damage. Your everyday activities are perfectly suitable for this type of flooring and you can enjoy yourself without having to worry about causing damage.

#7 Fireproof

Another instance of positivity when comparing porcelain tile floors' pros and cons is that they're fireproof. While this material doesn't mean that the house is immune to catching on fire due to these tiles, instead, these tiles will not feed into making the fire worse. If there are smaller fires within the kitchen, for example, porcelain tile floors will be able to withstand the heat. 

Cons of Porcelain Tile


These are some of the cons of porcelain tiles and disadvantages of porcelain tiles that are worth considering before making a decision.

#1 Porcelain Tile Floors Have a High Cost

Regarding the materials themselves, you can expect to pay anywhere from $0.50 to $10 per square foot. Other options such as slate can cost anywhere from $5 to $15 per square foot. If you have designer or customized tiles, these will cost even more than non-porcelain ceramic, which is usually the least expensive type.

Labor and installation costs can add anywhere from $4 and $35 per square foot depending on the exact type of porcelain tile you're using.

#2 Complex Repairs and Installation 


Expanding on this, the installation process is highly precise and rushed and imperfect installation will only cause additional problems in the future. If you attempt to DIY the installation process, you can expect to pay anywhere from $9 to $55 per square foot versus hiring a professional that will cost anywhere from $13 to $85 per square foot, in addition to the material cost. It's always better to make the investment in quality at the beginning. 

#3 Heavy Weight 

While porcelain's strength is a huge plus, it comes with a downside - significant weight. This can be a concern for upper floors, especially in older homes.

The good news is, it can be done!  But before you start tiling, it's crucial to ensure your floor joists (the beams supporting your floor) can handle the added weight. A structural engineer can assess your home and recommend any necessary reinforcements to prevent future problems.

Potential installation challenges:

Even if your structure is sound, porcelain's weight makes installation on upper floors more challenging. Hauling those heavy tiles is physically demanding and could impact your installation costs. Discuss this with your contractor in advance so they can plan for any additional labor needs.

#4 Coldness: The Brrr Factor

Porcelain is a fantastic choice, but those chilly winter mornings can make you wish you had carpet! 

Fortunately, you don't have to sacrifice porcelain's style and durability for warmth. Radiant heat flooring installed underneath your tiles transforms them into a comforting treat for your feet. If that's not in your budget, don't despair. Strategically placed area rugs offer both a touch of warmth and a chance to express your personal style in high-traffic areas.

#5 Slippery When Wet: Safety First

Some porcelain tiles, especially those with a glossy finish, can be a safety hazard when wet. But fear not – there's no need to compromise style for safety!  Opting for tiles with a textured finish provides the grip you need for peace of mind – especially crucial in bathrooms, entryways, or any area prone to spills. This way, you can enjoy the elegance of porcelain without worrying about taking a tumble.

Is Porcelain Tile Right for You?

Is Porcelain Tile Right for You?

If you dream of a floor that combines stunning looks with incredible durability, porcelain tile might be the answer!

Here's how porcelain tile can be a winning choice for you:

  • Style & Strength: Porcelain offers both high-end beauty and the toughness to handle everyday life – perfect for busy homes, kids, or pets.
  • Easy Living: Simple cleaning and minimal maintenance make porcelain a breeze to care for, freeing up your time for more important things.
  • No Worries in Wet Areas: Bathrooms, laundry rooms, entryways... porcelain's water resistance lets you relax, knowing your floors can handle spills and splashes.

Porcelain tile might not be ideal if:

  • Tight Budget: While worth the investment, porcelain does come with a higher initial cost than some other flooring options.
  • DIY Dreams: Porcelain's hardness requires specialized tools and skills for a perfect installation. If you're a DIY enthusiast, other materials might be easier to work with.
  • Warmth is a Must: Porcelain can feel cool underfoot. If cozy floors are a top priority, consider alternative materials or explore options like radiant heating.

Choosing the perfect flooring is personal! Weigh the pros and cons carefully.  A flooring expert can offer tailored advice to help you decide if porcelain is the best fit for your home and lifestyle.

Get Started on Your Project

Experience the Stone Center difference! Since 1952, we've proudly served Ohio and surrounding states, offering high-quality stone products and unmatched service.

Ready to discover your perfect porcelain tile?  Explore our stunning collection in Cincinnati and Columbus and let Stone Center help you elevate your home! Contact us today – we're here to help!


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Jon Smiley

Jon, the owner of Stone Center, is a knowledgeable expert in natural stone products, specializing in various types of stone for landscaping and architectural projects. Passionate about promoting the beauty and versatility of natural stone, Jon aims to use these blogs to inspire readers with creative ideas to upgrade their homes.

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