Is stoneware or porcelain better? This is one of the questions which most frequently comes up with those looking to design (or redesign) a tiled floor or wall. There are many elements to take into consideration: the technical characteristics, the durability, the ease of cleaning and care, the toughness, the esthetic possibilities…
The question of porcelain vs stoneware plays out over different and complementary factors. In this article, we will analyze the differences between the two materials, take a look at the advantages and disadvantages and the most practical uses, and answer some of the most common questions: is porcelain lighter than stoneware? Is porcelain stronger than stoneware? And what is better, porcelain or stoneware?
Starting out with the theory and composition of the two materials, we will also take a look at some examples of collections of porcelain stoneware tiles which highlight the design and aesthetic advantages, and drop ceramics into our every-day environments.
Let’s start out with the basics: the difference between porcelain and stoneware.
What is the difference between stoneware and porcelain?
Porcelain or stoneware, that is the question.
To answer it, we need to start out with the basics: what is porcelain, and what is stoneware.
They are two ceramic products, composed of a base of clay and a mixture of inert materials, fired at high temperatures. To simplify, we can define porcelain as being the most refined and advanced material in the world of ceramics, due both to its more refined composition and its production process which makes it a very tough and minimally porous material, as well as its extensive and wonderful decorative tradition (think about precious Chinese porcelain or the refinement of French dinner services).
Porcelain stoneware is a more recent composition which offers greater technical and material performance. It is obtained from a mixture of fine, dense clay and other inert substances fired at high temperatures and pressed through a process of synthesis. This specific production process makes stoneware tough, impermeable and long-lasting.
Another key characteristic to bear in mind is stoneware’s chameleonic ability. Thanks to the most advanced ceramic technology and careful observation of materials, porcelain stoneware is able to replicate the esthetic properties of some of the most popular materials traditionally used for wall and floor coverings: wood, concrete, metal and marble. All this while retaining the excellent technical performance of the base material.
In order to get a more concrete idea of how stoneware is able to combine esthetic appeal, technical performance and surface protection, you only need look at the Elegance Pro by Ergon tiles. This range gives form to elegance, inspired by the texture of sandstone. A stone reproduced in its most authentic appeal, a harmonious solidity with a strong architectural vocation. The Elegance Pro range stands out for its meticulous esthetic offering, its technical performance and hygiene characteristics. The tiles are indeed made from anti-bacterial porcelain stoneware, thanks to Shield: the innovative technology used in the production process which is able to reduce bacterial growth on ceramic surfaces by up to 99.9% – a guarantee of reliable, long-lasting protection.
The collection features a refined palette of seven nuances, ranging from White to Anthracite, available in four different finishes. An expansion of the design potential of stone in order to satisfy contemporary design tastes.