The bathroom tile debate: porcelain vs. natural stone

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: BathFlooringInterior
September 22, 2013

Selecting the right flooring can be mind-boggling. Natural stone is beautiful, no two pieces are alike. The uniqueness of each piece of natural stone can be desirable; however, sometimes more consistency is needed. That’s where porcelain tile comes in. Porcelain tile is a great alternative to natural stone. Porcelain tile is made of clay, quartz and feldspar. Porcelain tile is fired at 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit, making it harder, denser, less porous and less prone to staining. Not only is porcelain durable, but the latest options are nearly indecipherable from the look of natural stone — without the inconsistency.

Armadale bathroom designed by Jean-Pierre Hearteau

What else is great about porcelain tile? Here are some other attributes that make porcelain a smart choice:

Low maintenance

Porcelain tile is less porous than natural stone and does not require sealing. Natural stone requires at least one sealing application initially, depending on the sealant used. However, sealing once a year is typical for natural stone.

Durable

Porcelain tile is resistant to freezing, fading, expansion, chemical effects, friction and abrasion, water absorption and bending. Natural stone is also durable, but comparatively, porcelain tile is a better choice for enduring the test of time and environmental factors. Porcelain tile also does not rot or burn.

Pricing flexibility

Porcelain tile can be less costly than natural stone, but it can also be more, depending on the type of porcelain tile you opt to use. Porcelain tile comes in three styles: through-body, in which the color runs the same throughout the entire tile; glazed, in which there is color only at the top of the tile; and color-body, in which the color is similar through the tile, but not exact to the top of the tile.

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Through-body tile is going to cost more than glazed tile. Consider the application and select what is best for your home. A floor is going to sustain more exposure to damage than a wall tile, so a through-body tile would be a great selection for the floor. A wall may have limited exposure to damage, therefore a glazed tile may be the best option.

Hawaii Home Expo has exceptionally beautiful porcelain tile options. As the exclusive distributor for StonePeak Ceramics, the company has its latest collections on display — the Rome and Classic series, which bear an uncanny resemblance to real travertine. The Rome and Classic series both come in large format, 24 by 48 inches, as well as a variety of other sizes. Come check out your options at 2933 Koapaka St. in Honolulu.

HAWAII HOME EXPO
contact // 695-3976
address // 2933 Koapaka St.
web // www.hawaiihomeexpo.com