Ceramic vs. Vitrified Tiles: Know the Differences

Apr 12, 2022

Flooring is one of the major concerns when planning your home interiors. It forms the foundation of your home and needs to be apt in terms of both aesthetic value and durability. However, the growing number of flooring options can leave homeowners confused. This blog discusses the most used flooring tiles: vitrified and ceramic and  breaks down the difference between both the tiles and how the two very popular flooring options stand against each other.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are made of red, brown or white clay that gets fired in a kiln. The glaze gives ubiquitous shine to these tiles, also they are available in a variety of earthy colours and patterns, that adds a vibrant and bold touch to any space. Their dramatic and colourful appearance make a way to homes that acts as a pop-up to the interior.

Things to remember

  • Scratch resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Might crack if you drop heavy items hence better for walls

Applications

  • Flooring
  • Kitchen backsplash
  • Wall cladding
  • Wall decor

Maintenance of Ceramic Tiles

Usually soap and water is enough to clean glazed ceramic tiles. Their grout line requires regular cleaning.

Since air drying leaves water stains on the tiles, they need to be dried by dry cloth and never use acid to clean ceramic tiles as they get damaged.


Ceramic tiles’ repetitive pattern creates an alluring effect which steals the limelight. That is why, it is better to pair it with a pastel colour choosing from the colour palette of the tiles. For example, in the image above, the focal point is the kitchen backsplash where ceramic tiles have been used. The colours used there are black, blue, white and gray. The cabinets of the kitchen are dipped in the coat of the same blue used in the tiles. This mix and match of colours do not overwhelm the space, instead  accentuates the backsplash and overall elevates the spatial quality.

Vitrified Tiles

Vitrified tiles are similar to traditional ceramic tiles but they include silica in the mix. During the process of vitrification, the silica and clay melt and blend together to form a glass-like material inside each tile, resulting in an evergreen sheen even after years of use.

Things to remember

  • Available in a number of finishes including anti-skid coating
  • Low porosity makes it stain proof
  • Water and frost resistant
  • Durable and can sustain heavy movement
  • Can be installed quickly

Applications

  • Indoor and outdoor flooring
  • Kitchen backsplash
  • Bathroom walls

Maintenance of Vitrified Tiles

The regular sweeping, mopping or vacuuming is enough to keep the tiles clean. Any abrasive methods like acid or metal scrub can damage these types of tiles.

Vitrified tile flooring acts as a platform for various kinds of elements to play a role. It is glazed yet muted, enhancing the other elements of the space besides retaining its own strong characteristic. Not only that, the glazing, vein patterns of the stone resemble marble, which automatically adds a classic touch to the space. Apart from the aesthetics, the flooring pronounces durability and strength of the tile which is worth mentioning.

Comparison between the two:

1: Areas of Application

As ceramic tiles are available in both the forms: glazed and unglazed, they find a larger area of application such as walls, countertops and backsplashes. It can serve to enliven the colour palette in a monotonous kitchen or bathroom setup owing to their durability and colour variations. Also, patterned ceramic tiles clubbed with solid-coloured tiles create a lovely decorative base for your flooring.

Vitrified tiles are largely used for flooring due to their availability in large sizes. They can be placed in a close-knit manner across the floor and are generally very durable. These tiles are a good replacement of granite and marble as they match the look of both and can be  considered as the  affordable flooring option.

2: Affordability and Installation

When it comes to affordability, both the tiles are quite cost-effective. These flooring options are cheaper than expensive ones like granite and marble without cutting corners on functionality.

Ceramic tiles are easy to install and easy to replace. However, the joints can be spaced quite far apart leading to make space  for grout and grime to settle in the gaps. Contrarily, vitrified tiles need hardly 48 hours of setting time before they’re ready for use. One great feature that differentiates the latter from the former is that the tiles have tighter joints than ceramic ones; which makes it difficult to remove.

3. Durability and Maintenance

Ceramic tiles are easy to maintain, thus ideal for heavy-footfall areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Soap and warm water are just enough to remove most of the dirt and grime. The glaze adds on to the advantage of protecting them from scratches and stains, other than enhancing the beauty.

Vitrified tiles are highly durable and inexpensive, making them the foremost choice for commercial and residential areas. They’re almost non-porous which makes them almost stain free and the chance of waterlogging also becomes very less. They can sustain their colour well over time.

You can find a variety of construction materials on the Arkihive app! Download the app now on Google Play Store & the App Store to explore and browse through an endless resource of construction materials.

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Ranjinee Mallick

The pen is mightier than the sword. I take this very personal. I read more books, articles and write more than designing spaces. Got all the passion to keep up the zeal till I’m able to hold the pen!!