Quarry Tile Vs. Porcelain Tile

Quarry Tile Vs. Porcelain Tile. Choosing the right tile is fundamental to success with tiling projects. There are multiple types of ceramic tile with quarry and porcelain tile being predominate types with distinct functions.

Description of Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is type of ceramic tile that is machine pressed from white clay and fired at very high temperatures, which makes it very tough. Porcelain tiles are available in a variety of colors, glazes and sizes, making them conducive to custom tile designs.

Pros of Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is known for is durability and resistance to scratches. This makes them excellent choices for floors, countertops and outdoor surfaces. They also cost less than other ceramic tile products, making them a dominant option in the market.

Cons of Porcelain Tile

Often, despite its durability, porcelain tile is not the best choice for residential applications. It is more appropriate for commercial use, particularly since the installation process is cumbersome.

Description of Quarry Tile

Quarry tile looks like stone in some respects but is actually made of unglazed ceramic. Quarry tiles are produced on machines by extruding wet clay through a slot and cutting it into squares. In addition, ridges are left on the back of the tile to aid with adhesion during installation.

Pros of Quarry Tile

Because quarry tile is mass produced and left unglazed, it is among the most affordable options on the market. In addition, quarry tile is generally very thick and meant for heavy-duty applications, such as outdoor surfaces and walkways.

Cons of Quarry Tile

While quarry tiles are appealing for outdoor or natural environments, the are prone to stains because they are unglazed. In order for stain resistance to be achieved, a sealer must be applied prior to grouting, making the installation process rather extensive. Quarry tile also requires laying a bed of sand or cement for installation as opposed to simply being stuck using standard floor adhesives.


  • "Tiling: The Essential Guide to Home Decoration;" Cassell and Parham; Time Life Books; 2000
  • "Tiling: Expert Advice To Get the Job Done Right;" Garskof; Sunset Books; 2009