Porcelain Tiles and Basic Installation

Porcelain Tiles and Installation

Porcelain Tiles are considered by many to be the “hardest” tile product on the market. Porcelain tiles are extremely wear resistant, making them an excellent choice for high-traffic areas of the home, especially those regularly exposed to moisture.

A tile is considered porcelain if it will absorb less than 0.5 percent of its own weight in water. Typically, porcelain is very dense and strong. It is a material made by heating raw material, which includes clay. Although made from somewhat the same material as ceramic tiles, porcelain is a harder material because it’s fired from 2,192o F to 2,552o F and because it contains additional raw materials which are harder.  Because it is fired at such high temperatures, it is also very resistant to staining and has a glazed finish, which can be glossy or textured. The white clay base means a wide variety of colors can be added and different surface textures can be made to resemble other materials, conducive to custom tile designs or simple patterns.


Cost effectiveness also comes into play, as most porcelain tiles cost less than the average natural stone, while providing the same look and stronger durability. Natural Stone is usually “softer” than a Porcelain Tile.

Professional Installation is available, but tile can be installed by many “do it yourselfers”. Initially, one has to decipher two or three basic things when considering the layout of tile installation. If the room is square, running a center line for layout and/or deciding what the focal point will be to make the finished job look right, (example: having a full tile instead of a cut piece near most visible entry areas, etc.).

The basic tools needed will be a ½” squared notch trowel, a wet saw, a hand tile cutter (or both), tile spacers, sponges, grout float, other small cutting tools for tile, (pliers with carbide bit, hand grinder, etc.) drill with paddle (for mixing) and of course, protective gear (knee pads, goggles, etc.). Additionally, you will need a modified Thinset Mortar and the Grout of choice, sanded or non-sanded, depending on the application.

Interior uses of Porcelain Tile: High Traffic Flooring, Showers, Counter tops, Fireplaces and Backsplashes.

 Exterior uses: Water features, Waterline in a pool and spa, Outdoor flooring, BBQ counters and Outdoor Fireplaces surrounds