Porcelain popularity is undeniably on the rise. Having once been reserved for things like ceramic pottery and bathtub coating, porcelain is now increasing its reputation as an alternative to natural stone or standard quartz for Benchtops and cladding.
There are several pros and cons to the use of this material for benchtop applications, and even though porcelain suitability is dependent on the specific use, we have outlined the basics below:
Porcelain is a reasonably lightweight material, and depending on the brand, colour or supplier used, can come in slabs as thin as 6mm thick. This makes porcelain ideal for splashbacks and wall cladding.
Like its standard quartz stone counterpart, porcelain is a non-porous material. This makes it easy to clean and maintain as it isn’t prone to bacteria or stain absorption. This also means that it isn’t necessary to seal and re-seal your porcelain benchtops, as the material naturally blocks against moisture and marks.
Porcelain is a very hard, durable material. This can be considered both a pro and a con, but if durability is of any concern then porcelain will certainly reach expectations.
Unlike standard engineered stone, porcelain is heat resistant and thus suitable for applications such as fireplace cladding and outdoor BBQ benchtops. As a non-porous and easy maintenance material to begin with, porcelain is now approaching the popularity of marble and granite for heat sensitive applications. The heat resistance of porcelain comes from how the material itself is fabricated; under extremely high temperatures in a kiln.
Although porcelain comes in an impressive variety of colours, patterns and finishes, the surface pattern is only surface deep – and thus any chipping of the stone will expose a plain, un-patterned surface.
As porcelain does not contain resin like its standard engineered stone counterpart, it is a less flexible and more brittle material. Because of this, porcelain can break if too much force is applied or when subjected to stress (such as when cabinets move or settle over time).
Once installed, the material is reasonably durable, however the production and installation process requires extra care due the material fragility. Due to this thinness and inflexibility, the lead time for porcelain fabrication is longer to account for the additional time and precautions needed to ensure no damage occurs to the slab during the manufacturing process.
So far porcelain has been a popular choice for home improvement purposes, but keep in mind it has only been used for Benchtops and general home applications in recent years, meaning longevity of the stone for these uses is yet to be determined. At Stone-Tech, we ensure that we only work with suppliers that provide reasonable warranty on their product.
Any chips or scratches will be harder to fix than damage occurred to standard quartz benchtops. This is due to the firmness of the surface and the fact that breakages will likely leave sharp edges that are harder to buff out or fill; thus, requiring a professional to fix.
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