If you are considering redoing your countertops, you want them to look good and be well-built so that they will last for years to come. Many people recommend porcelain for countertops because it is beautiful, but is it durable and heat resistant?
Porcelain countertops are extremely durable and heat resistant, making them a great choice for countertops in all areas of your home.
Porcelain countertops are durable and heat resistant, and they also have other great characteristics. Having some useful information before picking out your slabs or tiles will help you know exactly how to care for your countertops wherever you install them. Read on to find in-depth information about porcelain countertops and see how they compare to other countertops on the market.
Porcelain countertops are 100% natural, raw, and made from ceramic clay and mineral coloring, so they are environmentally friendly and recyclable. Porcelain, as it is known today, was first made in China around 1279.
It is made from a petuntse that is ground into a powder and mixed with kaolin clay. The clay contains a high percentage of a mineral known as kaolinite along with silica, feldspar, and other mineral oxides that are responsible for the strength and durability of porcelain.
Once installed, porcelain is very hard and durable. It is second only to stone in durability and is unaffected by wear and tear. However, that doesn’t mean that chips and cracks aren’t possible. Porcelain countertops are durable, but you’ll want to remember that they’re not indestructible.
Manufacturers and retailers of porcelain countertops state that you can chop and slice directly on the surface, but it’s recommended to use a cutting board because ceramic knives can scratch the top of your porcelain.
Porcelain is heat, scratch, and UV resistant. This incredible resilience allows the material to be installed as countertops both indoors and outdoors. Porcelain countertops are fired at more than 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, so they are helpful for areas where hot pots, pans, or hair tools are used.
Porcelain does not burn, smoke, or emit harmful substances when subjected to heat. However, while hot pots won’t scorch or damage the surface, it is recommended to use trivets for hot cookware.
Knowing the pros and cons of the material before purchasing it is necessary to make the right choice. The following two sections break down the different pros and cons associated with porcelain countertops, so you can decide if porcelain is the best option for you.
Many unique factors help porcelain stand out among the top contenders for countertops.
Luckily for the consumer, there are only a few cons associated with porcelain countertops.
Porcelain can be used indoors and outdoors - basically anywhere where you want a good looking surface. The most common places you will find porcelain countertops are kitchens, wall coverings, showers, and bathroom walls. This is because:
“One of the best things about porcelain is that it can be used everywhere,” says Sacramento-based designer Kerrie Kelly. “It is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms with their stain, heat, and water resistance. It is also perfect for outdoor applications and eliminates the worry of sun damage, as it is completely UV resistant.”
Porcelain countertops are available in numerous color shades, patterns, and looks, all derived from natural pigments. Choices include:
Remember, if chipped, these pattern designs don’t extend through the material. The pattern and color are applied to the surface during glazing. A chip in a solid color surface or without a pattern can be filled and will be invisible.
Other features of porcelain include:
For slab porcelain countertops, expect to pay $55-$120 per square feet installed. It’s pricing is similar in range to granite and quartz counters. However, because of its longevity, porcelain stands above the rest. The particular color, pattern, texture, and edge style will affect the final price. Also affecting the price will be the sink and cooktop cutouts, seams, and the overall complexity of the installation.
Make sure to get specific quotes from installers for your particular installation. Once installed, the maintenance costs of porcelain counters are extremely low. Choosing porcelain tiles over a porcelain slab will also reduce your final cost.
When producing porcelain slabs to be used in countertops, the kaolinite-heavy material is formed into slabs or tiles, coated with a pigmented glaze, and fired at high temperatures to enhance its strength and beauty. Glazing pigments produce an appearance similar to natural stone with the colors made to look marble, granite, and slate. The variety of colors and patterns is one of the many reasons to consider porcelain countertops.
While you don’t have to glaze your porcelain countertops, it comes with many benefits:
The glaze color or pattern is only on the surface, while the color of unglazed porcelain goes throughout the entire body's thickness. The interior color may be different and will show if the surface is chipped.
Porcelain countertops are low maintenance and easy to clean. Here are some quick tips:
While porcelain countertops are not new - they were introduced in the late 1990s - they have improved over the years against their competition, becoming one of the smartest options for countertops. Porcelain countertops are priced higher than ceramic tile but less than granite and other natural stones. This is because porcelain is harder, more durable, and has a higher water absorption rate than ceramic tile.
A few things to keep in mind when comparing countertops are included in this table.
|Easily cleaned and maintained||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Construction||Manufactured from a mixture of glass, ceramic, and other materials||Genuine natural stone||Genuine natural stone||Genuine natural stone|
|Should you expect scratches?||No||Yes||No||No|
|Wide range of colors||Yes - for surface||No||Yes||Yes|
The FLORIM stone is an impervious porcelain stoneware resistant to high temperatures, UV rays, and atmospheric stress. It is scratch-resistant, waterproof, hygienic, and easy to clean. The FLORIM stone offers durability, design, and customization, along with three different thickness choices.
The SapienStone countertop offers high tech ceramic for kitchens, both large and small using top quality porcelain. Their priorities include easy cleaning, constant hygiene, practicality, resistance to heat, and the possibility of scratching.
Dekton kitchen countertops are versatile, making it possible for indoor and outdoor countertops. Dekton’s raw materials manage to create sophisticated and appropriate material for all cooking styles.
Daltile features porcelain that will last with many designs available for your home. Daltile porcelain is heat, stain, scratch-resistant, low maintenance, offer 6mm and 12mm thickness options, and requires no sealing. Three options are included in Daltile:
Crossville offers the durability of porcelain countertops in sizes you need for residential and commercial applications. They list a few of their countertop qualities.
When shopping for countertops for your home, there are many factors to keep in mind. You should consider the following details as you choose your countertops:
There are plenty of countertop options available for you to choose from, and answering the questions above can help you narrow down the choices so that you are not overwhelmed.
For most homeowners, the cost of the countertops will be one of the biggest deciding factors in their choice. Below is a list of countertops that range from low-cost to high-end, so you can know what is available and figure out which countertop is worth your investment.
Note: Installing these products, whether on your own or professionally, should take some time and consideration. Special consideration should be taken if you plan to resell. Some can add value to your home, while others will not. You can also mix and match patterns and materials within your home depending on the needs of each specific room.
Porcelain countertops are built to last. They are durable, heat resistant, and cost-effective. The variety of color and pattern choices and the incredible durability it possesses makes porcelain a top choice when installing countertops.