Talking Tiles Categories

What is the Difference Between Encaustic Tiles & Porcelain Tiles?

Starting download...

The tile terms ‘encaustic tiles’ and ‘porcelain tiles’ each refer to two very different types of tiles. Understanding how these tiles are made as well as what their benefits and limitations are will assist you in choosing the perfect tiles for your home, ensuring a lifetime of use and enjoyment. We explore the key differences between these two very popular tiling solutions while also examining how they can best be used throughout your home’s interior & exterior spaces.

What are Encaustic Tiles?

Encaustic tiles are a type of concrete tile. These tiles are often handmade using traditional techniques; a selection of cement mixtures dyed in different colours are poured into steel stencils to form the tile’s shape and pattern. Each individual tile is then passed through a hydraulic press where the tiles harden almost instantly. Traditional encaustic tiles are available in a wide variety of unique colours and stylish patterns with options available to suit period style homes as well as more modern or contemporary styles.

Atlantic Collection_Encaustic Tiles

Our stylish Atlantic collection includes an extensive variety of colours and patterns to choose from. These luxurious encaustic tiles offer endless charm and appeal, being suitable for use in a wide range of applications throughout your home’s interior spaces.

Boasting a distinct charm and sense of character, encaustic tiles continue to provide a timeless choice for any area of the home, offering a wide variety of uses throughout interior and exterior spaces. These types of tiles are a popular choice as a floor tile throughout entryways, corridors, living spaces and as a kitchen floor tile, offering an immensely durable solution that will last a lifetime with the right care.

How to use Encaustic Tiles in the Home

Being available in an endless selection of rich and vibrant colours and patterns, these tiles are also often used as a feature wall tile throughout the home, being an excellent option in the bathroom or living area. Encaustic tiles are also popular for use as an outdoor tile in covered areas (such as entryways or verandahs for example). These types of tiles are often seen used in this type of application in period style homes where their elegance and charm will tie in with a range of architectural styles.

The Beach Club_Retro Tiles_Encaustic Tiles

An elegant yet playful collection of modern encaustic tiles, the Beach Club range features a selection of repeating patterns using a retro inspired colour palette. Suitable for use throughout your home’s interior spaces, these tiles can also be incorporated in covered outdoor areas, adding a rich and vibrant pop of colour and pattern to your home’s external design scheme.

Although encaustic tiles offer an immensely versatile, strong and durable solution, they do have some limitations which are crucial to keep in mind when selecting your new tiles. If you are looking at tiling your shower base in the bathroom for example, you may be better off using a porcelain tile instead as traditional encaustic tiles can be sensitive when exposed to pressurised water. They can also be discoloured or stained from ingredients found in shampoos, conditioners or other cleansers. Encaustic tiles are porous and as such, they can absorb liquid or powder spills. Sealing these types of tiles is recommended in order to ensure they are best protected; a quality tile sealant is usually applied prior to laying the tiles in order to prevent them from being marked or stained by tile grouts or adhesives. The process is then repeated after installation and then every few years or so thereafter in order to keep the tiles well protected throughout their lifespan.

What are Porcelain Tiles?

Unlike encaustic tiles, porcelain tiles are not made from a cement mixture. These tiles fall under the ceramic category of tiles and are made using natural clays. When shopping for tiles, you will however notice that tiles are available in ceramic and porcelain tile collections; although porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic, they do have certain key differences that dictate how your chosen tiles can be used in your project. For more information on this topic, see our guide here.

Dolce Porcelain Tiles_Kitchen Tiles

A stunning interpretation of traditional encaustic tile patterns, the Dolce series is a porcelain tile alternative that combines the elegance and timeless qualities of traditional encaustic tiles with the durability or modern porcelain.

Porcelain tiles are formed into their shapes, glazed and then baked in a kiln at an extremely high temperature in order to ensure all moisture is removed from the tile. This process results in a material that is almost completely non-porous, meaning that most porcelain tile collections will not require sealing. Furthermore, porcelain tiles are resistant to heat, moisture, staining and scratching, making them a popular solution for busy homes where a less sensitive material is often preferred. Due to the popularity and affordability of porcelain tiles, you will find that they are available in an endless array of luxurious options, including tiles that are designed to mimic the appearance and texture of other materials (including encaustic tiles!), allowing for a suitable alternative solution that can be used in a wider variety of applications. These types of tile collections use tile printing technology where a high definition image of a specific material is applied to the surface of the tile.

You will find more information on printed tiles in our guide here.

How to use Porcelain Tiles in the Home

Porcelain tiles offer an incredibly versatile design solution for all areas of the home. Thanks to their low maintenance qualities and impressive strength, these tiles offer a range of applications, usually being suitable as a floor or wall tile solution, depending on their texture and finish. An outdoor porcelain tile for example, offers an excellent solution for creating pathways and zones in outdoor spaces. These types of tiles will not require the same level of care and maintenance as other outdoor floor tiles would while still offering an immensely durable design solution that includes a roughly textured surface finish to ensure a level of slip resistance in outdoor applications.

Huski Timber Tiles

Designed to emulate the look and feel of real timber, the Huski collection is a stunning chevron tile solution that allows you to introduce luxurious timber textures in wet areas of the home such as the bathroom or laundry room traditional timbers are most often avoided.

Given their heat resistant qualities, porcelain tiles make for an exceptional kitchen tile, being an excellent choice as a splashback tile or kitchen floor tile. Their resistance to staining and scratching also make porcelain tiles a popular solution for the bathroom and as they do not require sealing, porcelain tiles are the perfect choice for those after a low maintenance solution.

What is the Difference Between Encaustic & Porcelain Tiles?

In short, these two different types of tiles are made of different materials which in turn, dictate how they can be used throughout your home’s indoor and outdoor spaces. Encaustic tiles are a type of handmade tile that is created using a cement mixture poured into a stencil. These tiles are porous and do require sealing in order to be best looked after throughout their lifespan. Porcelain tiles on the other hand, are created using natural clay. These tiles are formed, glazed and then baked in a kiln at extreme temperatures, resulting in an almost non-porous tiling solution that will not require sealing. Given their unique characteristics, each of these tiles will offer its own range of uses and limitations throughout the home.

Whether you are shopping for encaustic tiles or porcelain tiles in Melbourne, our Richmond tile showroom houses an endless variety of luxurious options to suit all styles and budgets. We encourage you to take home samples of your selections after visiting our showroom to see how your chosen tiles will show in your own home’s natural lighting, allowing you to make the best informed decision when curating your home’s new colour palette. Can’t visit us in person? Shop for tiles online instead in our online tile store where you can also order tile samples to be delivered directly to you.