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The Difference between Ceramics and Porcelain

One of the most common characteristics of many collectibles is its innately charming and fragile look. The most common collectible that people love to collect is those that are made of ceramic or porcelain. These items that are made of the two materials are unbelievably beautiful, delicate and just a drop away of being broken. The elegant look the ceramic or porcelain based materials have been the most favorite of many collectors that are willing to go to great lengths and pains just to be able to locate such rare collection. Finding the perfect item only means that you know what you are looking for. But what really is the difference between ceramic and porcelain?


Ceramic has been around and present thousands of years ago. The earliest ceramic used is ornamental than practical. This is the indication of the beginning of the ceramic use that is prized for its aesthetic qualities. As the years gone by, the use of the ceramic has eventually become functional. Up to these days, ceramics is being used to create such items like garden statues, decorative tiles, figurines and dishware such as cuenco ceramica. Ceramics is also used in creating practical items such as electrical insulators and fiber optics.

In truth, ceramic is just a broad term that is used if such item is not categorized as made of pottery, porcelain or stoneware where, in fact, pottery, porcelain and stoneware can be referred as ceramics. An item that is made of the ceramic material cannot be referred as the lesser quality than the porcelain item.


Though ceramics has been present for thousands of years, porcelain is comparatively the latest development. It is made from clay that has the paste-like quality. For the porcelain to be used, it requires high temperatures like fire to mold and create a new look for the material. This process was first mastered by the Chinese in China in the 1300s. Technically, porcelain is the specific type of ceramic. It is highly prized mainly for its fine quality. Though many of the items that are made of ceramics are highly prized, it is still incomparable to the qualities of the porcelain based items.

Below is the main difference between the porcelain and ceramic:

  • Porcelain is often translucent the in some degree allows a vague shadow to be seen through it while ceramic has a dense structure that blocks the light from passing through.
  • The type of clay that the ceramic was used to can be determined by its color, porcelain, on the other hand, are generally white, cream or gray colored.
  • Porcelain is thinner and gives a more delicate look which is quite the opposite of ceramic the offers thicker and a more strong appearance.
  • Ceramic requires the application of glaze for it is too porous while porcelain is watertight without the need for the glaze.
  • The biggest and probably the most obvious difference of the two is its appearance. Ceramic is not applied with glaze has a chalky and grainy surface structure, while porcelain is naturally smooth on the surface even without the glaze.