Which material immediately pops up in your mind when it comes to the toughest kitchen countertop? Some may say it is quartz or granite is the toughest. When it comes to durability, these materials are remarkable. However, people often undervalue the strong point of a porcelain worktop.
Are you aware that porcelain is tougher than granite and is roughly as stronger as quartz? Although porcelain is not the preferred material for a kitchen renovation, it is worth considering.
There’s a well-established need for a porcelain worktop in the UK, and the popularity of this material in other countries like the USA has grown gradually in the past couple of years. This style is anticipated to go on in the coming years. At present, the mainstream of porcelain worktops is imported from European countries.
Porcelain countertops are backed by long lists of benefits, while the advantages are relatively few. This article helps you determine if porcelain is good countertops. So, sit back, relax and keep on reading.
Porcelain Worktop: Overview
Porcelain is a vitrified pottery component that can be translucent or opaque. Even if the initial porcelain is alleged to have been generated during Han Dynasty in China, the earliest types, called primitive porcelain, emerged during Shang Dynasty more than 100 years earlier. On the other hand, it is just during Tang Dynasty, between the 6th and 9th centuries, which techniques in the making of porcelain truly developed.
Porcelain is crafted from heating a combination of white china clay and powdered stone at approximately 1450 degrees Celsius. The high heat causes the powdered stone to become dense and very tough material while keeping its shape due to the china clay. Impurities like mineral oxides, silica, as well as feldspar present in white china clay, but instead of detracting from the quality of the porcelain, they add to its unique colours and strength.
When porcelain is made for application in kitchen countertops, it is covered or painted with pigmented glaze. This is performed to give porcelain an amazing look identical to marble and natural stone.
Is porcelain good kitchen countertops? Here are advantages and disadvantages to provide you with a clear idea about its durability, design choices, cost, and maintenance.
- Endurance to High Temperature: After undergoing a high fabrication temperature, it really makes sense that one perk is its amazing resistance to high temperature. You must have no issue handling hot pans even if you put them straight on the porcelain worktop.
- Hardness and Durability: As stated, porcelain is almost 30 percent tougher than granite. The tough structure of porcelain also makes it resistant to scrape. You can even dice or slice food on it, with no worry about knives harming the surface.
- Low Moisture Absorption: This material is almost impervious to moisture. Research shows that it has less than a 0.5 percent absorption rate. So, worry no more about cleaning spills off your counter the time they happen.
- Maintenance is a Breeze: Aside from easy to clean, this material is also stain-resistant and non-porous. That sounds good to every homeowner as it means there is no need for sealing. Superior porcelain used to make worktops is scrape-proof, aside from being highly durable and heatproof.
- Ultra Violet Resistance: One remarkable perk of porcelain that you can’t get from other materials is that prolonged and direct UV rays exposure would not change its colour. What a respite when you are able to design your worktop layout without thinking or worrying about where windows are situated.
- Patterns and Colors: It depends on the manufacturers; you might have many colours to select from, which is because of its natural pigments. Because this material is an engineered stone, the manufacturer supplements patterns, and colours during the process of fabrication. Now porcelain countertops are available in solid colours or, if you wish, one whose surface replicated marble. You can make porcelain countertops appear like chosen material like wood grain, marble, rusted feel, concrete finishes and it will still look very natural.
- Thickness and Size: You might think if the material is tough as porcelain should also be very thick; however, that is not the case. The truth of the matter is that porcelain is a highly lightweight material with lots of options in installations. What is more, you can acquire extra-large porcelain slabs made, so lesser seams are needed. This makes porcelain the best choice to make a single slab coat look for the whole kitchen island.
- Eco-Friendly: One amazing benefit of porcelain is that it is eco-friendly. It is 100 percent natural, made of clay-based raw materials so, it is safe to use.
Despite the many benefits, porcelain also comes with some flaws such as:
- Easy to Chip: Porcelain tends to crack under direct force. Yes, it strong, but like other materials, it has limitations. So, as long as you don’t take a meat cleaver or hammer to it, everything will be okay.
- Edge Styles: This material has limited but exceptional edge profile choice as opposed to other materials. Usual edges like the beveled, round, cover, straight as well as waterfall are available. Also, you can get the edged mitred to make a consistent style and pattern, the popular option being a square edge. The fact that this material is thin, mitred edges is a good option to provide the fantasy of a thicker slab.
Cost is the main consideration. The fabricating process is trickier if you are dealing with a high-density material. Even looking for the best fabricator for the big-sized slabs is hard since this material is very thin. On the other hand, this is cheaper than marble, quartz as well as granite. The best thing about porcelain countertops is that the installation cost is a bit lower.
A superior porcelain worktop is a tough and versatile product that provides high performance and is not hard to setup. It is stylish, wear and tear-resistant, and available in many patterns and colours; it can be the best material for your kitchen countertops. Even if it has a number of cons, in due course, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. With the right care and planning, it can be the best, stylish as well as practical choice homeowners can make with regards to their kitchen.