Vitrified vs. Ceramic Tiles: A Detailed Comparison

Flooring is one of the top priorities when you are planning to redo the home interiors. Since it forms the base of your place, it must make you tick the durability, appearance, and many others at the time of selection. While many of you would like to leave the floor design responsibility to the hired professionals or interior designers, it is always advantageous to know a little bit of the trade by yourself. This will not only help you get more involved in the ongoing renovation but also make an informed selection.

To put together your dream house bit by bit, you can follow the trend of installing tiles for impressive flooring. Different types of tiles accentuate the natural radiance of your place. But the availability of a plethora of designs isn’t the only confusing part of tile selection. Before that, you need to understand the difference between ceramic and vitrified tiles.

To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together this detailed guide on ceramic tiles vs. vitrified tiles. 

What are Ceramic Tiles?

Ceramic is basically an umbrella term that is used to refer to a mixture of sand, clay, minerals, and solvents. This is then used to create a wide range of things - tiles, cutlery, and fine art. During the manufacturing process, ceramic tiles are heated to very high temperatures, which makes them resistant to stains and force. 

Since they are water-resistant, they are a perfect fit for installation in bathrooms or shower enclosures. Similarly, their easy-to-clean feature makes them a popular choice for kitchen areas. Depending on your preference, you can also install them on decks, patios, or courtyards. 

These days, ceramic tiles are easily available in a myriad of designs and patterns - be it natural stone, geometric shapes, or solid colors. Furthermore, even ceramic tile flooring is of different types, which are: 

Glazed ceramic tiles


These types of ceramic tiles are coated with a liquid coloured glass (frit) and then heated for over 1000 degrees celsius in a kiln to bake the glaze over the tile surface.

Unglazed ceramic tiles


Unglazed tiles are more dense than the glazed alternatives and are heated without an additional layer of glaze coating on the surface during the manufacturing process. 

What are Vitrified Tiles?

Vitrified tiles are also a type of ceramic tile that has extremely low porosity. They are manufactured under the vitrification process that involves mixing 60% silica with 40% clay. In this process, both clay and silica melt together to form a glass-like element inside the tile that allows them to retain the original sheen for a long duration. 

Since these tiles are available in a variety of patterns, styles, and colors, they are highly regarded as a viable alternative to granite or marble. Since their manufacturing includes use of clay and silica, they are more expensive than the plain ceramic tiles. 

Another unique characteristic of vitrified floor tiles is the low setting time which makes them a suitable choice for a time-constrained home renovation project. Similar to ceramic tiles, they can be used for backsplash in your kitchen area, kitchen flooring, and bathrooms. Because of their capability to withstand considerable foot traffic, they can also be used for living room or garden renovations.

Major Differences Between Vitrified and Ceramic Tiles

Many individuals think of ceramic and vitrified tiles to be the same. However, there are several clear differences between these two, including the following:

  • Composition 

  • In terms of composition, ceramic tiles are made using clay and water and are then heated in a kiln. The addition of another layer of glassy liquid gives them a glazed appearance while the unglazed options are also available in the market. Most colors and patterns of these tiles have a somewhat earthen appearance.

    Vitrified floor tiles, on the other hand, are made of silica, clay, and other solvents. They develop a glossy substrate over the surface when a mixture of all these materials is heated at a high temperature. You can also find them available in wooden, textured, and solid colors. 

  • Surface finish and areas of use

  • The availability of elegant patterns and designs makes glazed ceramic tiles a highly preferred choice for walls, flooring, countertops, and even backsplashes. Another supporting feature that adds more value to the selection is their durability which helps define a long-lasting impression in kitchen and bathroom spaces. You can also select patterned ceramic tile flooring to create a decorative base for the interiors.

    Vitrified tiles are largely selected for flooring use cases because of their easy availability in big sizes. They can be placed in a close-knit manner across the floor and last longer because of their high durability.

  • Porosity

  • Installation of tiles also comes with a slight risk of tripping over wet floors. Ceramic tiles have high porosity because of which they may absorb water. Vitrified tiles, on the other hand, have low porosity because of which they absorb the least volume of water. This is an exception where vitrified floor tiles turn out to be a better choice than ceramic tiles. 

    If your place is already a victim of dampness, it makes sense to go for vitrified floor tiles that prevent the water from seeping down into the floor.

  • Maintenance

  • For high footfall areas like the kitchen and bathroom in a home, you would want to install a tile that will have a long life and is easy to maintain. For such particular needs, ceramic tile flooring is quite popular. If you see dirt and grime accumulating over their surface, you can easily get them cleaned with soap and water. Also, regular cleaning of ceramic tiles does not cause stains or scratches over the tile surface in general.

    Vitrified tiles can be maintained similarly and they are highly durable. You do not need to worry about stains and waterlogging in between tiles. The final selection of tiles for your home depends on your budget.

  • Cost

  • Vitrified tiles are more expensive than ceramic tiles for a variety of reasons. Every tile undergoes careful inspection and manufacturing before it is packaged and sold. The consistency of design, shape, and dimensions is yet another valuable feature that keeps their price on the higher side. 

    Ceramic Tiles vs. Vitrified Tiles: Which One Should You Choose?

    Now that you know the finer differences between these two types of tiles, it would be fair to leave the final tile selection decision up to you. Depending on your liking, preferences, and budget, you can select a range of tiles that looks suitable for your place.

    However, we recommend you buy the right type of tiles in different use cases, as given below:

    • Select ceramic tile flooring if you want to add an earthen appeal to your home.
    • If you are renovating your place for a short time and have plans to move to a new home later, you can go for ceramic tiles which are comparatively less durable than vitrified tiles. 
    • If water-absorbency of floors has been a long-lasting home improvement issue, buy vitrified tiles that are less water-absorbent.
    • Vitrified floor tiles are more suitable for your place in case you prefer a seamless floor appearance with minimum space between grouts/tile joints.
    • The surface of ceramic tiles may absorb stains in less time. While they can be easily cleaned, you can keep tile care off your checklist with vitrified tile installation.
    • If high pricing is not a constraint for your home renovation project, vitrified tiles win over the other alternatives for their features and benefits.

    As detailed above, not every individual has the same liking for their home renovation preferences. Hence, it is advisable to pick what is best suited for your needs and budget. If you want to step up the ladder of technology, you can also order tiles online from the comfort of your home. 

    Explore Exclusive Tile Collection at Shankara Buildpro Online Store 

    Being a leading name in online retailers of home improvement products, Shankara Buildpro offers a wide range of ceramic and vitrified tiles for your home renovation needs. Besides tiles, you can also buy other sanitary and kitchenware items. Visit Shankara Buildpro store today!

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