Ceramic tile production by the wet route requires clay suspensions with a high solid content and low viscosity. In this work the deflocculation of clays in aqueous suspensions was investigated by varying the type of clay and additive. Three kaolinitic and two illitic clays were characterized and dispersed with deflocculants based on lithium, sodium and potassium silicates and polyacrylates. The clays were characterized by chemical and mineralogical analyses, particle size distribution, zeta potential, organic carbon content, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and specific surface area (BET). Deflocculation curves were determined by measuring the viscosity for 50 wt.% clay slips. The results indicate that additive consumption is closely related to CEC and BET, which correspond respectively to the chemical and physical characteristics of the clay mineral’s surface. Moreover, viscosity values at the deflocculation point are closely related to BET.