Which is best, Porcelains or Natural Stones?
The age-old questions that everyone asks themselves before making the final leap of faith.
Should I go for man-made porcelain or natural stone tiles?
Well, the truth is, there are very valid reasons to choose either of these 2 fantastic options for your home, it all depends on what you prioritise, is it appearance or maintenance? Is it availability, price and ease of installation or is it natural beauty and history?
With our many years of experience within the sector, what we’ve come to understand is that simply considering the pros and cons of both types of material makes the selection side of it much easier for the consumer.
I guess the first question to ask yourself is, what is my budget? If your budget is limited then you are already limited to more porcelain ranges than natural stones, man-made porcelain is available in abundance with many different finishes, shapes sizes and colours and due to the operational costs in terms of manufacturing porcelain tiles being much lower, you will surely find a range that is suitable for you. Although, this does not mean there aren’t any fantastic natural tiles for lower budgets, suppliers like ourselves often have flash sales that are a fantastic way of finding a premium natural stone for a much cheaper price. It is of course still possible to find a natural stone tile without the need to look out for sales offers, that could be perfect for your needs, it just probably means a little more searching and patience is required.
A higher budget means no restrictions on the type of material you can pick out your next tiles from, we consumers never seem to mind the headache of more options to choose from.
Pros and cons
Yes, we always like more options but, we eventually always do want to narrow things down to a few to choose from right? A smaller list makes the picking easier.
Now, back to the pros and cons, below are the main aspects of your new tiles you should take into consideration.
Price: What’s my budget?
What’s my budget? Can I go for the more expensive natural stones? These are both valid questions we ask ourselves as every project ever taken up is dictated by the budget available to us. We can maybe push our budget a little but ultimately, over-stretching a budget for your new tiles can mean you are taking away from other areas of the project therefore, this requires very careful consideration. Deciding on the correct and most suitable budget first will help set out the rest of your project plan.
Ease of use/maintenance or natural beauty:
Do I want to maintain natural stone over its lifetime, or do I want to lay my tiles and only do a minimal amount of work on the man-made patterned porcelains?
As you probably already know, porcelains are quite easy to maintain, you lay them and from this point on probably need to mop them once a week or so. You don’t have to seal them, you can use much harsher cleaning solutions on them. With natural stone tiles however, there needs to be that initial sealing of your newly laid tiles, then further re-sealing periodically, typically once a year or so, you also need to ensure the appropriate cleaning solutions are used for natural stone cleaning, these can even vary between different natural stone types, between marble and limestone for example.
So in the maintenance category, we have a clear winner, porcelain tiles.
This usually relates to either outdoors or bathrooms, although, some natural stones can have a textured finish for more grip, they will never be as slip-resistant as specially designed anti-slip certified porcelain tiles.
So when safety is your priority porcelain trumps again.
Ease of installation:
Porcelains in this aspect are the easier material to cut, re-size and handle. Whereas natural stones may often require specialist tools and can be more fragile.
So if you have a fussy tiler, then again the clear winner here is porcelain tiles but, and this is a big BUT, this aspect of any project is usually not taken into account by the consumer, so, fussy tiler or not, if the consumer wants real natural stone, then they get real natural stone.
So there is so clear winner here after all.
The potential of unique prints when it comes to porcelain is vast, porcelains are also available with textured effects like our range of Turin wood effect porcelains for example, of course not only means you get the appearance and feel of wood with your tiles but also the ease of maintenance it terms of long term care over real wood for example.
But, as with some of our natural stone ranges, you only get the ever-popular patterns like the French and Grand Opus with natural stone, almost all claddings are made up of natural stone as well as have many other tile sizes and naturally beautiful surfaces.
Personal preferences dictate what each of us would pick in this section so no real clear winner here.
Budget, ease of use, natural beauty & history, availability and suitability. Considering these points we hope this helps you in making your final decision.
Whatever you decide on, you can check out our full range of amazing porcelains or the vast range of beautiful natural stone ranges on our website and request your free samples to view them in person.