When you think of porcelain, you tend to imagine some common things made of this material. These include cups and dishes, toilets, sinks, and those creepy dolls everyone’s grandmother has. You may be surprised to know that, due to the versatility of this material, there are quite a few other uses for it.
Porcelain tile flooring is growing in popularity, being scratch and stain-resistant, durable, and easy to clean. Its aesthetic versatility is also to be reckoned with. But the bigger surprise may be countertops. Yes, porcelain when thin and delicate, is fragile, hence plates and cups breaking if dropped or handled too roughly.
However, when treated properly, and made thick enough, it’s actually one of the toughest and most reliable materials for countertops. Today, we’d like to talk about the many positive aspects of porcelain, as we like to encourage people to consider various materials they may not have previously given much thought to.
Before you dismiss this out the gate, remember that porcelain can take on any color, and any texture, meaning that if you want the look of some kinds of stone, that’s not the deal-breaker you’d initially expect.
Other synthetic materials have a lot of drawbacks. Formica for example, will crack, buckle and peel over time, as well as be easily scratched and heat damaged. Wood is fragile all around, and some other modern synthetics will also crack and yellow, as well as easily stain.
Porcelain doesn’t really stain. It can be hard to clean of crud is allowed to build up over enough time, but with the proper cleaning supplies and elbow grease, porcelain can always be restored to a glossy, new look. Notice that your toilet doesn’t permanently stain, after all.
Even if you decide to paint your porcelain countertop, you can remove tough paint without scratching, chipping or otherwise damaging the countertop. Its heat resistance isn’t quite as high as granite or marble, but given porcelain casserole dishes and the like endure oven and burner heat themselves, you can imagine that thick, strong porcelain can stand up to hot containers like a champ.
Porcelain, unless textured a certain way, is a very hygienic material. It’s not used for plates, cups, sinks, and commodes for no reason – bacteria have a hard time taking hold and breeding on this impenetrable surface. You can use strong and even abrasive cleaners on porcelain, to kill anything that might be trying to take hold.
Countertops need to be hygienic and safe because you will eat food prepared on them. Porcelain is about the most hygienic material you can use for a countertop aside from perhaps some varieties of steel or aluminum.
We touched on this earlier, but it bears merit to look at this in closer detail. For example, you will see porcelain floors that look like marble or ceramic tile, or even like hardwood flooring (I in fact have said flooring and it’s fantastic).
Porcelain is manufactured, and thus during the process of creating it, any variety of colors and graining appearance can be added, same for shape and size of the pieces, and their physical texturing.
Porcelain can look and feel just like granite, travertine or even marble. So, if you’re not sure about your design style, choice of stone, or overall ambient appearance, porcelain can be made to fit your needs and blend in seamlessly with your overall motif without any problem whatsoever.
Porcelain can even stand up to some treatment tough stone cannot. As we mentioned, using acidic or abrasive cleaning supplies on stone is a terrible idea, as it will etch and scratch the granite (repairing it is costly).
Porcelain is easy to maintain because, to put it bluntly, if you can clean a porcelain tub, sink or commode with it, you can clean your countertops with it too. This means you can really scrub and sterilize your countertops, without it costing you tremendous nervous care nor elbow grease to make it happen.
Easy maintenance is a very helpful thing, and bad maintenance concerns are why some various otherwise desirable materials are shied away from by those who don’t want maintenance headaches.
The versatility mentioned earlier is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg – being a manufactured material, porcelain can be made into any size sections you want, and supports every style of backsplash, edging and so on that, you could possibly want. You can even really throw people for a loop, choosing a style of edging that granite or marble cannot do, but having your porcelain look just like said stone.
We’ve got a lot of experience helping homeowners get the best countertops for their needs, and installing them with the same care we’d show our own home. If you’re ready for porcelain or really any quality countertop, fill out our contact form today!