Porcelain is the material of choice for many bathrooms. Due to its durability and beautiful appearance, porcelain is starting to see a boost in popularity. These countertops are quickly becoming a great addition to other spaces in the home.
Over the years, there has been a demand for porcelain countertops throughout Europe. Recently, American homeowners have discovered the advantages of installing this material in their kitchens and bathrooms. Porcelain countertops have a long list of benefits. Find out why this material should be a strong contender for your next bathroom or kitchen remodel.
What Are Porcelain Countertops?
Porcelain is made from a type of clay known as China clay. This clay contains a high level of a mineral known as kaolinite. Feldspar, silica, and other mineral oxides are also found in porcelain. Those materials help make porcelain a solid product. The clay is placed into a kiln and fired at a scorching temperature. As a result, the porcelain is dense, and it is impervious to heat, stains, UV rays, scratches, cracks, and chips.
Pigmented glasses are added to create different patterns and colors for the porcelain slab during the manufacturing stage. Porcelain can come as a glazed or unglazed material. A high-gloss or matte glaze is applied to the surface. The porcelain is fired for the second time to set the gloss. With that glaze, the porosity is reduced, giving the porcelain a durable and shiny surface. Any patterns or colors of the glazed porcelain stays on the surface. Those colors and patterns will not penetrate the whole body of the tile or slab. If you were to look at the interior color, it would have a different appearance from the surface.
You can use porcelain countertops in almost any space in and out of your home. If you want a great-looking surface, think about using a porcelain material. It is perfect for kitchen countertop wall coverings, showers, and bathroom walls. The non-porous surface is a safe option for food preparation. Since it is frost and heat tolerant, porcelain can be placed outdoors. Finally, porcelain is also resistant to water, making it an exceptional choice for bathrooms.
Are Porcelain Countertops Durable?
Porcelain countertops are heat-resistant, making them highly durable. For that reason, they are an excellent choice for many places in the home. Porcelain is second only to stone in its durability. This material is not affected by wear and tear. However, chips and cracks are still possible with porcelain. While porcelain kitchen countertops are a very durable choice, they are not considered indestructible. Some manufacturers claim that you can chop and slice on the surface of a porcelain countertop. While that may be true, you still want to use a cutting board on the surface, especially if you have ceramic knives. Over time, sharp materials will damage the surface.
Along with that, porcelain is resistant to UV rays and scratches. For that reason, you can use porcelain as a countertop for both indoor and outdoor spaces. These countertops are fired at more than 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Hair tools, hot pans, and other materials will not cause heat damage to the surface.
Porcelain Versus Quartz Countertops
Let’s look at porcelain countertops pros and cons. While porcelain can be used for kitchen countertops, there are some drawbacks. There is a noticeable lack of depth in the surface patterns. When there is damage, it can disrupt the pattern of the piece. Porcelain countertops are thinner than other materials, such as quartz. However, porcelain is easy to clean, and it doesn’t need to be polished to maintain its finish. These colors will not fade with age. Porcelain is also a slip-resistant material.
Quartz is a manufactured material. It consists of natural stones, binders, and polymers. This material is scratch-resistant, dense, and durable. Quartz is also non-porous, and it can protect against staining, moisture, and bacteria. Like porcelain, quartz is easy to maintain. It can also mimic the appearance of natural stones, such as marble.
However, there are noticeable differences between quartz and porcelain. These two materials have various levels of heat resistance. Porcelain can withstand high levels of heat. It is also unaffected by direct sunlight, making it a great choice for outdoor use. The same cannot be said about quartz. Over time, quartz can become discolored and lose its vivid color.
In addition to that, both porcelain and quartz are very slip-resistant. These materials are an excellent option for flooring. Porcelain can be used in indoor and outdoor applications, but you can only place quartz in indoor spaces.
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