Nonporcelain tile is easier to work with
Buy what looks good. Even though damage to nonporcelain tiles is more noticeable than with some porcelain tile, they can be purchased in grades that are perfectly suited for high-contact areas like kitchen counters and floors.
Nonporcelain tiles are made primarily of clay mixed with minerals and water. The material is then fired to solidify the tiles into a bisque form. This process creates tile that isn’t as hard as porcelain, so it can be worked more easily with basic snap cutters and nippers instead of a wet saw.
In most cases, a sealer and a glaze are applied to the surface of nonporcelain tile to create color and texture before the tile receives a second firing. The glaze applied to nonporcelain tile can make it extremely durable, but never as durable as porcelain.
Nonporcelain tile’s main weakness is that it has a water-absorption rate of greater than 0.5%. As a result, the tile doesn’t perform nearly as well as unglazed porcelain tile in outdoor freeze/thaw environments.