For those who don’t know: porcelain tile and ceramic tile are different in various aspects serving different purposes.
Ceramic tile is a mixture of clay and other natural materials. The special clay are mined from the earth, shaped, colored and than fired in kilns. Traditional ceramic tile can be naturally colored and left unglazed like terra cotta, or they can feature colored or highly designed surfaces which can be glazed (finished with a glass surface) either in a high gloss or matte finish. Most ceramic tile has either a white or red body coloration underneath the glazed, colored top layer.
Porcelain tile is made in the same way except with porcelain clay heated at much higher temperatures so that the result is much more dense and less water porous. It comes in glazed, unglazed, and rectified.
What this means for you!
Porcelain is comparatively better for high traffic areas and/ or moist/wet areas; essentially, it’s more weatherproof than other materials.
What keeps ceramic tiles around then? Ceramic tiles are much more malleable meaning it’s easier to make precise cuts. Also, it’s generally much cheaper than porcelain.
Some other links to look at for reference:
Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile – houzz.com
Understanding the Difference – homerenovations.about.com