Different tile types will often require different cleaning methods in order to ensure their longevity in your project. It is important to note that the actual finish (i.e. matte, glossy, textured, etc.) of your newly selected tiles will also influence the tile’s recommended cleaning methods to achieve the best results possible in your cleaning routine. Porcelain and ceramic tiles each have different manufacturing methods, resulting in a range of products with a variety of different uses as well of course, as different cleaning and care methods that should be kept in mind when making your product selections.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PORCELAIN & CERAMIC TILES?
These two popular tile options are constructed in very similar ways using very similar materials however the end result is two very different tiling options that each require their own methods of maintenance as well as different applications throughout your project.
The intricately patterned Azra collection offers a range of eclectic colours and designs. Ceramic wall tiles are most often best suited for use as a wall finish only; this quality means that you will find more creative designs on offer as there are no limitations in terms of slip resistance as there normally would be with floor tile options.
Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are made using a combination of raw materials that are then shaped into their final layout and baked in a kiln. This is where the differences start to occur! Porcelain tiles are baked at extremely high temperatures, much higher than ceramic tiles. This results in an incredibly hard surface that is next to completely non-porous. These tiles can usually be used as either a floor or wall option (as they will be able to withstand higher levels of wear and foot traffic) however, it is always important to check your specific tile selection’s recommended application as this can vary depending on the product’s texture or shape for example.
Another advantage of porcelain tiles is that they can be created to mimic a range of different materials such as natural stones, concrete and even timber, allowing you the options of using these finishes in and around the home. Our Driftwood porcelain tile collection is made in Italy and includes two rustic timber-look tile options in dark and light distressed styles.
Ceramic tiles on the other hand, are baked at a lower temperature. The end result is a softer and lighter tile that is most often best suited for wall applications only. If the ceramic tile features a glaze on its surface, this is usually applied before baking the tile which will create a luscious, glass-like finish on the tile. Although these tiles are most often limited to vertical applications, this constraint has led to some creative designer tile solutions in the creation of ceramic wall tiles. You will find many ornate and decorative options available in ceramic tile collections making them an excellent choice as a feature wall solution throughout your interiors.
HOW TO CLEAN PORCELAIN TILES
Porcelain tiles are famously simple to care for and maintain, making them a well sought after tile option for high traffic areas and spaces that will experience a bit of mess, moisture and humidity (such as the kitchen, laundry or bathroom for example). Due the extremely high temperatures that porcelain tiles are kiln baked at, porcelain tiles will be almost completely non-porous. They are an extremely strong and durable option that can often be used as a tile flooring solution and a wall tile option. Of course, this can vary depending on the particular style you choose so it is always important to communicate your intended application to your Tile Consultant to ensure your new tiles are suited for use.
Porcelain tiles can be found in a range of different options with certain specific collections even mimicking the look and texture of natural stones, concrete and even timber, allowing you to incorporate these luxurious finishes in and around the home more freely. Our Carnivale porcelain tile collection for example, effortlessly simulates the texture and colour variations seen in natural stone tiles.
Cleaning porcelain tiles is a breeze! For a regular clean, you should only require a soft cloth or mop with warm, soapy water. This will remove any surface dirt or minor scuffs on the tiles and maintain a luxe surface finish. For high gloss porcelain tiles, it is also a good idea to run over the washed area with a dry mop to avoid water from spotting on the tiles; buff out your freshly washed glossy porcelain tiles with a dry mop or cloth for a perfect streak-free finish.
For a deeper clean however, Perini Tiles recommends the use of our tile specific cleaning products: our Lithofin KG Active-Clean product can be used regularly on porcelain tiles and will be especially handy in the bathroom as it will effortlessly clean up calcium build-up, dirt deposits, soap scum and greasy residue that can build up on your tiles or grout.
In areas that experience higher amounts of foot traffic or in the case of stubborn marking on your porcelain tiles, we would recommend the use of Lithofin KF Intensive Cleaner; this cleaning product offers an intensive clean that will lift any excessive build-up of grime, stubborn dirt, rubber, polymer or leftover wax. This cleaning product is diluted in a 1:10 solution of cold or lukewarm water that you can then distribute evenly across the surface of your porcelain tiles. Allow the product to sit on the surface of the tiles for 10-20 minutes while occasionally brushing to avoid the cleaner from drying up. You can then remove the cleaner off your tiles with a cloth or wet and dry vacuum cleaner and rinsing off the surface afterwards to remove any leftover residue. This product is specifically recommended for use with either porcelain or ceramic tiles and is best avoided when cleaning natural stone tiles (such as marble or terrazzo for example) as it can be too harsh for these more sensitive materials.
HOW TO CLEAN CERAMIC TILES
Glazed ceramic tiles will include a glaze that is applied prior to the kiln baking process. When fired, this glaze will create an almost glass-like surface finish on the tile that also acts as a barrier against moisture (meaning that these types of ceramic tiles will not require sealing to protect them). As their surface is quite sleek and glossy, these tiles can be quite simple to maintain and keep clean, no matter where they are installed. As with porcelain tiles, a regular wipe down with a soft cloth or mop with warm, soapy water will often be all that’s needed on these wondrously low maintenance tiles and once again, the use of Lithofin KG Active-Clean is also recommended for deeper regular cleans as well as Lithofin KF Intensive Cleaner for more thorough, semi-regular cleaning.
Made entirely by hand right here in Australia, our timeless and elegant Speciale collection includes a range of bold colours and shapes to choose from. These stylish glazed ceramic tiles can be used to create the perfect feature wall in the bathroom or kitchen, offering a simple to maintain surface finish.
Ensuring the proper care and maintenance of your new ceramic or porcelain tiles will keep them in the best shape for a lifetime. Our team at Perini Tiles can assist you in the selection of your perfect tiles as well as the curation of a complementary design colour palette inclusive of matching wall paints, benchtops and cabinetry options. Select your tiles online during a free virtual design consultation with one of our team members or visit our Richmond tile store to browse our collection.