Ceramic tile has a nearly infinite number of uses, and owning it does not mean you consider yourself wealthy. In commercial buildings, where durability and beauty are considerations, ceramic tile is found in restrooms and lobby areas.
Few modern homes in the U.S. are without a ceramic or porcelain tile bathroom. Fast food restaurants would not be the same without tile floors. Industries, where floors and walls must resist chemicals, choose porcelain or ceramic tile. The Space Shuttle never departs Earth without a protective jacket made of high-tech, heat-resistant tile.
Ceramic tile is not a 'natural' tile. It is comprised of natural products such as water, feldspar, and clay. Ceramic tile varies in form and performance. A glazed surface, depending on the composition and application, affects the chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, slip resistance, and imperviousness. Unglazed, or through body ceramic quality, also depends upon how it is manufactured and the clay body composition.
Porcelain tile consists of highly ground, ultra-purified kaolin clays with feldspar and silica additives that make it impervious. Porcelain tile can be glazed or unglazed. The choice has an impact on the performance and visual characteristics.
The price of porcelain tile varies. It depends upon the manufacturing process. Porcelain tile is a durable finish, but in some cases, other tile is more suitable for special designs and applications regarding flexibility and aesthetic appeal.