Why porcelain beats ceramic on the tiles game

Porcelain tiles are sold at about Shs80, 000 per square metre. PHOTO/Promise Twinamukye.

What you need to know:

Just like ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles have a wide range of styles and designs, making it versatile and easy to maintain.

In the process of upgrading her house, swapping old seats with new ones, getting a new coffee table and curtains and renovating the kitchen cabinets, Alice Birungi decided the floor would be brought up to speed as well, .

Next thing on the list was the floor. While her red-coated cement floor was great, she wanted to go with the trends, thus deciding to tile it.

She decided to use two types of tiles; ceramic and porcelain. She used the other tiles in the rest of the house and porcelain in the sitting room. You could clearly tell the difference between the two types of tiles.

While the others are visible square blocks with clear boundaries, the sitting room floor almost seems like a monolithic work of art. It is so shiny and seamless one would be hard-pressed to make out the boundaries of each individual tile. The floor is so glossy and reflective, you could make out your face in them. This is a real upgrade. It is classy.

The marble-like pattern in her porcelain tiles is perfectly complimented by the colorful flowery pattern in the center tiles, which perfectly align with the magnificent chandelier.

Getting the exact look from tiles has never been easier than it is today. You can get any pattern, texture, color and feel with modern tiles these days. You want a woody look without using wood, you will get the woody-look tiles. You want flowers on your floor, you will get the look. Glassy-look, matte, name it.

Porcelain vs ceramic tiles

According to TileAmerica, the major difference between porcelain tile and ceramic tile is how it is made. Both tiles are made from a clay mixture that is fired in a kiln, but porcelain tile is made from more refined clay and it is fired at higher temperatures. This makes it denser and more durable than ceramic tile.

According to Edwin Mukisa, the executive sales manager at Romantic tiles, while there may be a higher chance of breakages during transportation of ceramic tiles, there are very low chances of breakages in porcelain tiles because of the fact that they are simply tougher.

The difference can also be distinctively made by the pricing of the two types of tiles. Porcelain tiles tend to be more costly than ceramic, and the value is gauged from the durability and the look of the finished project.

The other difference is in the body of the tiles. While ceramic tiles can be slim, porcelain tiles come with a thicker body. They are simply more heavy duty than ceramic ones.


Keeping in mind the theme color of the interior of your house is key. The color of the walls, the curtains, and furniture is a good start for getting the tile game right. Buying tiles that complement the rest of the surroundings creates a friendly aura that you and your loved ones can enjoy.

“I cannot buy dark grey tiles when my madam wants a brown theme in the house. That would be a color crash. If you have a partner, when decorating the house, make sure you agree on the themes before venturing into buying the tiles,” Mukisa says.

Size of the space

There are different sizes of tiles in the market. The bigger the space means you have the more variety of tile sizes you have to choose from.

“Let us say I am putting up boys’ quarters and I land on a big slab of tiles like 80 by 260 centimetres. It may not work for small spaces because it is too long. To fit, the tile guys may have to cut it so that it fits. The more they cut, the more the beauty of the tile is destroyed,” he says.

At Romantic tiles, they have sizes ranging from 60 by 120 centimetres, multipurpose tiles for both the wall and floor, 90 by 180 centimetres multipurpose large format tiles that can be used to enhance or spruce up feature walls, balcony, bathroom and 30 by 120 centimeters for staircase tiles.


The bigger the body of the tile, the higher the quality of the tile. Different tiles can have almost similar aesthetics, so considering the beauty may not always give you the top notch quality you need for your house. Therefore, go for the size, alongside beauty.

“The thickness of the body of the tile is important. Good quality tiles have a full body, while other tiles may be joined to make a certain thickness. However, porcelain tiles are seamless,” he says.

The greater the body strength of the tile, according to tileamerica, the less likely it is to crack. It also has a freeze and thaw resistance making it a great choice for outdoor use.


At the moment, Uganda has not yet started manufacturing porcelain tiles because of the things needed to manufacture them, including the technology among other things. Therefore, these tiles are especially imported from countries like Italy, Spain, China and India among other, according to Mukisa.

This makes it a bit high thus pricey. However, the value of one’s money is regained through the beauty and duration the tiles bring to the home.

Porcelain tiles are sold at about Shs80, 000 per square metre. However, the price will depend on where one buys.


There are different classifications that tiles are grouped in. Below are a few main ones:


These kinds of tiles have a slightly rough texture which makes them perfect for bathroom floors and in a house with children.

“Seventy five percent of our clients with young children consider matte because they do not want their children to slide and hit their heads, especially when they are still wet. Matte is also a clam shade that sort of gives you peace away from chaotic work outside of home,” he says.


While both tiles can be durable up to a certain extent, porcelain will take longer than ceramic because of their water resistant nature. Ceramic tiles tend to absorb more water than the porcelain tiles, a determinant of durability. The tiles that absorb water more easily don’t live as long as those that are more water resistant.

“According to the quality assurance, porcelain absorbs water up to 0.5 percent and ceramic absorbs from 5-7 percent making it susceptible to fading and damaging more quickly than the former,” Mukisa says.

The low absorption rate that porcelain has makes it more durable than the latter, giving one the value of their money in the long run.