What materials come to mind when you hear the term “toughest countertop”? Granite or quartz are candidates. Sure, granite and quartz are strong. People, on the other hand, but porcelain is one of the toughest.
Porcelain is stronger than granite and about as hard as quartz.
What are porcelain countertops anyway?
While different manufacturers may use different processes to make porcelain surfacing material, it is generally made from a mixture of inorganic raw materials. In a heat and pressure sintering process the ingredients merge forming a strong bond with very little porosity. Some manufacturers liken the process to the way metamorphic rock is created.
Porcelain slabs are coated with a colored glaze when they’re produced for use in countertops. This is to give them the look of natural stone or marble and add to their attractiveness.
Pros and Cons of Porcelain Countertops
- Heat Endurance – One advantage of porcelain countertops are that they can handle extremely high temperatures without being damaged. You can place hot pots and pans on them without any problems.
- Hardness – Porcelain is stronger than the hardest granite.
- Scratch Resistant – Porcelain is scratch-resistant and does not usually suffer any harm during regular use. The material will not be harmed when knives or sliding pots and pans are dragged over the surface.
- Non-Porous – In a nutshell, the material will not take on any water. Liquids will remain on the surface.
- Stain Resistant – Because porcelain is non-porous it is highly stain resistant without the need to seal it.
- UV Light Resistance – Material can be in direct sunlight and won’t fade or discolor.
- Wide Range of Colors and Patterns – Colors range from whites to black in solids, patterns, and veins. The slabs are printed, allowing manufacturers endless design possibilities.
- Large Format Size – 120″x60″ is a typical dimension. This allows for one piece island tops without seams.
- Easy to Crack – Though porcelain is one of the most durable materials around, it can be quite brittle. If something heavy falls on it or if it’s subject to a sharp impact, it may crack.
- Limited Edge Styles – Extremely limited choices are available due to the core of the material being different than the surface. A mitered edge is the best option.
- Higher Price – Because of the complexity in producing and installing porcelain, it is more expensive than other materials. Fabrication can be twice as long.
As you can see, high-quality porcelain countertops are a versatile and durable product that gives you high performance and isn’t difficult to install. Since it’s stylish, resistant to daily wear and tear, and comes in assorted colors and patterns, it can be the perfect addition to your decor.
Though it has some disadvantages, overall, the pros outweigh the cons. And with proper planning and care, they can be the most fashionable and practical decision you can make when it comes to your kitchen.