When you are considering a bathroom or kitchen remodel, you have many options when it comes to countertops. Although granite and quartz are very popular today, there is another option you may want to consider. Porcelain countertops are growing in popularity and Marble Concepts offers these pros and cons to installing them in your home.
What Are Porcelain Countertops?
A popular option in countertops in Europe for quite some time, porcelain is fairly new in the United States. The counters are created from vitrified pottery material which is often opaque but can also be translucent. The earliest versions were created by the Shang Dynasty although the process for creating porcelain was perfected during the Tang Dynasty between the sixth and ninth centuries. Mixing powdered china stone with white china clay known as kaolin, porcelain is heated at very high temperatures which causes the china stone to solidify into a highly durable material while still retaining its shape due to the kaolin. The slabs are then coated with a pigmented glaze to give them create the look of natural stone.
Pro: Stain Resistance
One of the benefits of porcelain countertops is that they are extremely stain resistant. Although no countertop can claim to be 100 percent resistant to stains, porcelain comes close. Liquids do not absorb due to the glazing process and should a stain develop, it is often easy to remove. Porcelain is also resistant to chemicals that may cause etching in other types of stone. This includes acidic foods like tomato sauces, juices, and wine. One reason for this is that porcelain is impervious to liquids with an absorption rate of less than 0.5 percent.
Pro: Heat Resistance
Because porcelain is created using extremely high heat, they are resistant to heat damage. A hot pan taken directly from the stove can be placed on the countertop with damage. However, it is still recommended that trivets and hot pads be used as a precaution. Dirt or grains on the bottom of your pan may scratch the surface.
Pro: Scratch Resistance
It is important to note that porcelain is hard to scratch, comparable to the scratch resistance of granite or quartz. However, there are circumstances where the finish may be scratched. Ceramic knives have been known to cause damage to porcelain which is why cutting boards are recommended at all times.
Con: Surface Patterns and Colors
Because colors and patterns are only on the surface of porcelain countertops, if you should chip or scratch the surface, the interior of the countertop does not have the same coloring. In addition, the design may not be visible on rounded edges. Although porcelain is very strong, it may crack or chip under blunt force. Be careful not to drop extremely heavy pans on the surface or use a meat cleaver without a cutting board.
Porcelain stands up to most impacts and is not affected by normal wear-and-tear. Porcelain is almost 30 percent stronger than granite. They are also safe to use in an outdoor kitchen as they will not fade in sunlight. Because they resist stains, they are also a great choice for a bathroom.
Con: Unknown Resale Value
Although porcelain counters are growing in popularity, they are not considered a luxury finish like granite or quartz. This could impact your resale value when you decide to sell your home.
Pro: Variety of Colors and Patterns
You can find a wide range of patterns and colors with porcelain since it is an engineered stone. This means that colors and patterns are added during the fabrication process. This allows you to find porcelain that looks like marble or one that is a solid color, depending on the look you want in your kitchen or bath. It is even possible to create a countertop that looks like wood grain, concrete, or rusted steel. You can also find porcelain in both tile and slab forms.
Con: Limited Supply and Availability
It is important to find a fabricator who is familiar with porcelain, like Marble Concepts. It is not a common material for counters although it is growing in popularity. You want to be sure to choose a fabricator who is able to locate a supplier for your counters and can confirm that the style you choose is available. Because it is a newer material, prices can vary widely. In addition, porcelain has fewer edge options than granite, quartz, or marble. In most cases, the fabricator will recommend a flat polished or mitered edge. If you want bullnose or ogee edges, porcelain may not be the right choice.
When you are working with high-density materials, the fabrication process can be more difficult. Porcelain is often less expensive than granite, marble, or quartz, but it is still more expensive than other types of countertop options.
Pro: Low Maintenance
Porcelain does not require sealing over time like some other types of natural stone. It is easy to keep clean and chemicals will not dull the surface as they may on marble, granite or quartz. Porcelain is also a lightweight material so there may be no need to reinforce your existing cabinets. It is also possible to create very large porcelain slabs which will reduce the seams if you have a large kitchen. Porcelain is also environmentally friendly as it is made of raw and clay-based materials.
Marble Concepts is here to help you choose the perfect countertops for your kitchen or bath to remodel. We have experience working with porcelain counters and can guide you through the entire process, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision. We have more than 50 years’ experience creating the perfect countertop for homeowners just like you. We live by our motto “Set your ideas in stone.” You can arrange for a no-obligation consultation by calling us today or filling out the easy online form to learn more. Our talented staff can assist you with the entire process, from concept to design and through installation. We look forward to helping you create the kitchen or bath of your dreams.