How To Identify High-Quality Porcelain for Construction Projects

  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: April 11, 2024
  • Updated On: April 12, 2024

Porcelain tiles are a popular choice for construction projects due to their durability, low maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. This growing demand resulted in an overall market size of USD$186.70 billion for the global ceramic and porcelain tiles market. With this figure, it’s evident that more contractors and homeowners are discovering the benefits of this material. (1)

However, not all porcelain tiles are created equal. Have you ever wondered how to separate the high-quality porcelain from the rest? This article will explore the factors that determine a porcelain’s quality so you can make the right decisions for your project. 

Water absorption rate

If you’ve had cheap ceramic tiles before, you know how quickly they can get stained and start looking unappealing. That’s why low water absorption is a major factor that separates the premium tiles from their bargain bin counterparts. The best porcelain tiles have a low water absorption rate of less than 0.5%. (2)

A low water absorption rate means that the tiles don’t soak up any moisture, stains, or spills. It also makes them resistant to freezing and thawing cycles, which can crack normal ceramic tiles over time. As a result, the tiles stay looking fresh and unblemished for years of use compared to cheaper options with high absorption.

Designer architect checks and accepts work of master tiler on laying porcelain tiles on floor.

However, with porcelain tiles gaining a lot of demand today, many manufacturers produce tiles that don’t meet the right absorption rate. This is when a certified porcelain tile service comes into play. With this testing, you can determine if the porcelain tiles you will be using comply with this crucial requirement. 

Once you’re already assured that it has an excellent water absorption rate, you can now consider the other factors below.

Hardness and density

For construction projects, you need durable materials that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. That’s why quality porcelain tiles are so valuable—they have exceptional hardness and density. Top porcelain tiles rate over seven on the Mohs hardness scale. This extreme hardness allows the tiles to resist heavy foot traffic, scratches, abrasions, and more without showing signs of damage or scuffing over time.

So, how do manufacturers make porcelain tiles so dense and durable? It comes down to the firing process. The tiles are fired in extremely hot kilns at temperatures around 2,250°F. This intense heat turns the clay into an incredibly dense, non-porous material. The result is a tile that can withstand even the toughest conditions on a construction site without any issues. (2)

Glaze quality

While the dense porcelain tile itself is already durable, the glaze on top is also crucial for both appearance and protection. A high-quality porcelain glaze has a completely smooth, even surface free of any cracks or imperfections. This well-applied glaze gives the tiles a beautiful finish while safeguarding them, too. 

A poor-quality glaze can discolor over time, absorb stains, and potentially deteriorate from chemicals or UV light exposure. However, a properly fired glaze forms a glistening yet highly protective coating over the tiles. 

Dimensional stability 

Dimensional stability is important for tilework to look good. If tiles warp or change shape, it can ruin the appearance of the installation with uneven grout lines and surfaces. This happens when tiles have poor dimensional stability. 

High-quality porcelain tiles don’t have this issue. During manufacturing, they go through extreme heating that sets their dimensions permanently. After firing and cooling, the tiles retain their precise shape and flatness. This allows for consistent grout lines and an overall flawless look when installed. While subtle, dimensional stability makes a big difference in the professional appearance of a porcelain tile job.

Slip resistance

Slips and falls are among many incidents that affect thousands and even millions of people worldwide. In fact, 2020 data shows that 18% of the recorded 1 million nonfatal work injuries were slip and fall incidents. That is why your flooring material should be slip-resistant, and that is one benefit of quality porcelain. (3)

High-quality porcelain tiles have textured surfaces or use special materials to increase traction and friction. This helps prevent slips and falls, whether the tiles are used in bathrooms, commercial kitchens, or outdoor spaces prone to moisture. With proper slip resistance, the tiles provide a safe surface for walking without worry of injuries or lawsuits. It reduces hazardous slip and fall incidents.

Manufacturer reputation

While technical specs are important, a manufacturer’s reputation is a major factor in porcelain tile quality. Top brands may have higher prices because they have rigorous quality control and meet strict certifications. One of those certifications is ISO 9001. If a manufacturer has this certification, it means that they comply with the quality management standard. 

Fortunately, the International Organization for Standardization has issued over 1 million ISO 9001 certificates across 189 countries of different industries. Hence, you can easily find a reputable porcelain tile manufacturer that meets this standard.

Companies producing quality porcelain tiles invest in the latest technology and expert artisans. Every step is calibrated to create flawless porcelain that passes all tests before shipping. Buying from these types of manufacturers gives you the assurance that you’re getting tiles made to the highest standards. 

Another certification is the ISO 14001. A manufacturer possessing this certificate means they are implementing an environment management system and are conscious of the impacts of their operations. In turn, they deliver excellence when making their products, thus establishing trust and authority in the industry. 

Bottom line

If you’re planning on using porcelain in a new construction project, carefully research and compare different porcelain tile options based on these quality criteria. Investing in premium porcelain upfront pays off through a long-lasting, high-value installation that truly stands the test of time. Skimping on quality can lead to costly problems down the road. Prioritizing high-quality porcelain tiles made to stringent standards is essential for a successful, durable project you can be proud of for decades. Don’t overlook this critical foundation.


  1. “Ceramic Tiles Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Glazed Ceramic Tiles, Porcelain Tiles, Scratch Free Ceramic Tiles, Other Tiles), By Application, By End-use, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2024 – 2030″, Source:
  2. “A Guide to Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile”, Source:,Porcelain%20Tile,-Porcelain%20tiles%20are
  3. “Traumatic Occupational Injuries”, Source:
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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.