Porcelain Countertops: Everything you need to know in 2022
If you’re in the market for a countertop surface that has both beauty and durability, porcelain may be the perfect option for you. Porcelain is growing in popularity as a countertop material, thanks to its sleek look and tough composition.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss all you need to know about porcelain countertops – from their pros and cons, to design options and cost, to care and durability. So if you’re considering making a porcelain countertop a part of your kitchen or bathroom renovation project, read on!
Granite and quartz countertops, in particular, are currently popular, but people are becoming more practical and gradually moving to a cheaper option that still provides attractive aesthetics and usefulness.
The use of porcelain as a countertop and other remodeling innovations originated in Europe. In general, the industry seems to be drawn to the usefulness and aesthetics of this product available at an affordable price.
Porcelain slabs are a wonderful choice for remodeling your kitchen or property. As a result, if you want to redesign your kitchen or house, porcelain slabs may be an interesting alternative.
What are porcelain countertops made of?
Porcelain is a vitrified ceramic that can be clear or translucent. Even though the first porcelain was supposedly developed during the Eastern Han Dynasty in China, the earliest versions, known as “primitive porcelain,” appeared during the Shang Dynasty over a thousand years earlier. However, the art of porcelain manufacture blossomed in the Tang dynasty (618–907) during the sixth and ninth centuries.
At around 1450°C, porcelain is formed by heating a combination of powdered china stone and white china clay, also known as kaolin, together. The high temperature causes the china stone to vitrify, forming a dense, highly durable material that retains its form due to the kaolin.
The clay, which consists of impurities such as silica, mineral oxides, and feldspars, has a higher percentage of titanium dioxide than porcelain. Rather than detracting from the quality of the porcelain, these contaminants contribute to its strength and color.
Porcelain slabs used for countertops are coated with a colored glaze after they’re manufactured. This is done to give them the appearance of natural stone or even a marble look.
Should I use porcelain for kitchen countertops or the entire kitchen island?
The first thing you should consider when searching for a kitchen countertop material is its usefulness, and the second is its appearance.
Why? Because kitchen countertops are more exposed to harsher elements, compared with bathroom countertops and vanity tops, you’ll need a material that has enough strength and hardness to resist chips, scratches, stains, and heat.
In terms of ingredients, porcelain is mostly composed of kaolinite, commonly known as “china clay.” It is also produced from a variety of minerals including feldspar, metal oxides, and silica. Under high heat, these elements are combined and homogenized to create the porcelain substance.
Porcelain’s structural and physical qualities, as well as the procedure used to create it, contribute to its high strength, hardness, and heat resistance. Furthermore, in light of its manufactured nature, the shape and color of porcelain may be varied during the last stage of production.
Overall, these factors make porcelain slabs an excellent and gratifying countertop material for your kitchen and bathroom.
Porcelain Countertops Vs. Dekton Countertops
The terms “porcelain” and “dekton” are frequently misused. Before we get into the nuances of porcelain worktops, let’s go over the distinctions between them.
Dekton is an “ultra-compact surface,” and Neolith countertops, as well as other brands, are composed of the same raw materials used to make porcelain.
However, the difference is that Dekton and Neolith also include the raw materials used to create quartz and glass, making these “ultra-compact surfaces” even more durable than porcelain.
The Pros and Cons of Porcelain Countertops
Advantages of installing porcelain countertops
Stain-Resistant: Porcelain is stain-resistant to a certain extent. It is non-porous, so liquids do not soak into it, and stains are typically on the surface and easy to remove.
Furthermore, porcelain is resistant to most chemicals and will not get etched or dull from acidic foods and beverages as marble countertops can.
Heat-Resistant: Because porcelain countertops are created at extremely high temperatures, they can withstand heat. Hot dishes set on the surface will not scorch or harm it, however recommended trivets should be used for hot cookware.
Scratch-Resistant: Porcelain is one of the few materials that can resist being scratched. It’s nearly as difficult to scratch as granite and quartz. Ceramic blades, on the other hand, can occasionally scratch porcelain.
Easier Installation Process: When it comes to kitchen remodeling, ripping off the old material is usually the norm which is costly, time-consuming, and requires a lot of effort.
Porcelain slabs, on the other hand, are considerably lighter in weight and thickness, ensuring that they can be readily installed over most surfaces.
Unfortunately, because porcelain slabs are so light in weight and thick, you don’t need to remove the original material of your countertop; instead, you may simply place them directly on top.
All you have to do is cut away the required size of the porcelain slab and apply an epoxy adhesive to affix it to the countertop surface.
Easier Cleaning Process: Porcelain countertops are best cleaned with mild soap and water. A wet and clean cloth can be used to wipe the surface, as well as a neutral soap solution or cleaner. However, make sure you don’t use an abrasive cloth to clean it.
Chemical-Resistant: The surface finish of porcelain is not dulled or etched by acidic foods, beverages, or chemicals. Additionally, the color and brightness of porcelain countertops are not affected by chemicals in the same manner that other natural stone countertops are.
Hard & Durable: Porcelain kitchen countertops are extremely durable and can endure most impacts. In fact, their endurance is second to stone alone, and they are generally unharmed by use and wear. However, chips and breakages are still possible.
Ultraviolet Light Resistant: It’s also resistant to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, so it won’t fade from exposure to sunlight. It makes a fantastic choice for outdoor kitchen counters because it is not susceptible to fading due to sunlight.
Numerous Colors and Patterns: Colors for porcelain countertops can be found in a wide range of tones and styles. With many that appear like marble or other natural stone, you may create your own design.
Sealing is Not Usually Necessary: Porcelain does not require sealing in most cases, as the fire glazing prevents staining and dampness from getting inside. However, in certain situations, it may be required.
Environmentally-Friendly and Recyclable: Porcelain is composed entirely of natural, raw, and clay-based components. As a result, you may easily recycle your old porcelain kitchen counters after many years of usage.
Disadvantages of installing porcelain countertops
Patterns are only surface: Ceramic doesn’t offer designs pre-installed, as it does not have a design built in like stone or other countertop materials. The surface of porcelain is essentially printed with patterns.
This isn’t a significant disadvantage, but it’s still a minor drawback. For example, your printed design would not be visible where edges are rounded.
Both the interior and exterior of the porcelain slab countertops will be the same color if there is a chip, but the design does not extend all the way through.
Easy to Crack: There are a few drawbacks to porcelain countertops. One of them is that it can fracture under heavy impact. It’s strong, but not quite as sturdy as you’d think. It’ll survive a hammer or a meat cleaver, so long as you don’t use one on it.
Limited Supply & Availability: The only other disadvantage is locating a supplier and then a fabricator who understands the material well. Because it isn’t yet very popular as a countertop material, there isn’t much of a market.
You should factor in the cost of labor and shipping if you plan on removing your existing countertops. In addition, if you shop around to discover someone who produces porcelain counter tops, costs may differ widely.
The Cost of Porcelain Countertops
The cost of the countertop is a major consideration. When working with high-density materials, the fabrication process is always more difficult. Even locating the proper fabricator for full-sized slabs is challenging because the material is so thin.
However, porcelain is less expensive than granite, marble, and quartz. And the good news is that after installation, your maintenance cost will be minimal.
How to Clean Porcelain Countertops
The secret to a longer lifespan for your countertop is regular cleaning and maintenance. Even if the material shows remarkable toughness and hardness, you must take appropriate care and caution to preserve its attractive features.
Cleaning a porcelain countertop is simple and quick. Here are some of the most important porcelain countertop cleaning tips to keep in mind:
Neutral Soap: You may clean its surface with neutral liquid soaps or detergents. The sanitary operation of porcelain countertops will be further enhanced by this process.
Non abrasive wipers: To avoid scratches and loss of lustre, make sure to clean with non-abrasive wiper or cloth.
Rinse & dry well: Wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue, then dry it using a clean microfiber cloth.
Acidic Spills: You can just use hot water to clean up any spills and then wipe it off with a clean cloth afterward. Even though porcelain slabs have enough resistance against acidic substances, avoid spilling them off the surface to preserve their shine.
Is porcelain cheaper than granite or quartz?
Porcelain countertops are less expensive than granite and quartz, and they tend to be less expensive than granite. The price range is comparable to that of granite and quartz counters, however.
Granite countertops can be purchased for a lot less in some situations, and considerably more in others based on the granite color selected.
Quartz prices have increased significantly in recent years, therefore porcelain countertops are frequently less expensive than quartz counters.
When it comes to comparing the cost of porcelain vs. granite or quartz worktops, there are a few things to consider. One material is not always more costly or less expensive than the others. For your unique installation, you’ll need precise quotations from installers.
The good news is that once installed, porcelain worktops require little to no maintenance.
Final thoughts on porcelain countertops
A high-quality porcelain countertop is a versatile and long-lasting product that provides excellent performance and isn’t difficult to install, as you can see.
It may be the ideal addition to your décor since it’s fashionable, durable, and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Though it has a few drawbacks, on balance, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
They’re not only beautiful, but they’re also cost-effective and practical. With a little forethought and attention, they may be the most fashionable and functional kitchen item you’ve ever seen.