If you’re renovating your home and interested in the latest innovations and getting the best possible materials and guidance to ensure the job is handled correctly, then you owe it to yourself to visit the experts at Tiles Unlimited of Queens. Case in point: porcelain vs. natural stone.
Let the Battle Begin
For nearly two decades, the construction industry has seen a move to building products that are not what they appear to be, including porcelain tile that is a dead ringer for natural stone. Both porcelain and natural stone tile are hard, dense and durable flooring choices, but knowing the differences between the two can help you guarantee a perfect installation for the job.
Porcelain tiles that mimic natural stone are popular and often indistinguishable from natural stone. Think you can tell the difference? There are four images below (labeled 1, 2, 3 and 4). Are they porcelain or natural stone? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers. We will draw five random names from all correct answers received by April 30, 2016, and send you a free Tiles Unlimited T-shirt.
What is Porcelain?
Porcelain is a man-made product, made using the fruits of this earth. Raw materials, such as clay and sand are combined with water and ground to sludge or liquid form. A drying process then takes place to evaporate excess water and a powdery form is left. The powder is pressed under immense pressure to form what is called the “biscuit” of the tile. Some ingredients are ready for the oven straight away; others have a magical finishing touch added. These tiles are then covered in a glaze and fired in a kiln at extreme temperatures.
Most porcelain is non-porous, essentially making it stain-proof and not needing to be sealed (many grouts will require sealing). Porcelain is highly resistant to moisture, making it an ideal solution for wet areas like showers and kitchen backsplashes. Porcelain tile is easy to clean, with water or a suitable tile cleaner, like FilaREFRESH or FILA Neutral Cleaner. It is also highly resistant to scratches and is available in a wide range of colors, textures and patterns, including many excellent imitations of natural stone such as limestone, marble, granite and even wood, one of today’s most popular design trends.
What is Natural Stone?
Natural rocks are quarried from the earth, sliced with huge powerful saws, then finished by polishing, honing, bush-hammering, tumbling, brushing and many other elaborate techniques. While porcelain tile can be made to imitate natural stone, the natural color variations give it a unique look not easily mimicked by porcelain. Tile made of natural stone come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and textures and is one of the most durable flooring materials you can use.
As a porous material, natural stone requires regular sealing and must be cleaned with proper cleaners, such as FILAREFRESH. Some natural stone is also prone to scratching.
Located in Glendale, Tiles Unlimited is the source for premium tile products. Tiles Unlimited has the largest selection of ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, glass and metal tiles in Queens, and partnerships with the finest distributors and manufacturers in the world. Park for free in their indoor garage, grab an espresso and let their expert designers help you create the project of your dreams, no matter your budget. QNS.com readers can save up to $600 and receive a free, premium tile cleaner by clicking here.