Vitreous China vs. Ceramic vs. Porcelain

What Material to Choose? Use a Ladder.

Think of the ceramic vs. porcelain vs. vitreous china debate as a step ladder. Every rung is vital to the stability of the whole and we must use each rung to reach the top. Following this logic, let's look at the step ladder of plumbing fixture manufacturing materials.

Bottom Rung – Ceramic

Ceramic is a type of pottery hardened by heat. It is started by mixing clay, powders and water. This mixture is then pressed into a form of a specific shape (anything from a teacup to a toilet). And finally, it is fired in a high-temperature oven or kiln. Ceramic is scratch and chip resistant.


Middle Rung – Porcelain

Porcelain is considered the hardest clay available today and it starts out as... ceramic. It is heated in a kiln at an extremely high temperature (higher than ceramic), so it is less porous and dense. Porcelain is very strong with a smooth finish.


Near-Top Rung – Vitreous China

Is vitreous china a different material? Actually, it's not. 
Vitreous china is liquid made by heating powdered glass. This enamel coating is applied to porcelain after it is heated, to make it even more resilient, dense and sanitary with the added benefit of a high-gloss shine.


Top Rung – Grade A Vitreous China

So what's the difference between Vitreous China and Grade A Vitreous China, you might ask?  Well, Grade A Vitreous China has gone an extra layer of inspection and meets tighter tolerance levels.  This means it won't be off-center, slightly out of balance or otherwise just a little "off".  Grade A will be the same product each time, fitting consistently without fail. 

Bottom line: While any of these materials will transform a bathroom, reaching for the top has no downside. Grade A Vitreous China is the ultimate choice for plumbing fixtures... it brings added durability, consistency and offers a crisp white that coordinates with any design style.