Hey there, fellow home design enthusiasts!
After working in a natural stone design gallery for 8 years, I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go.
But one trend that’s really catching attention lately is porcelain countertops.
Porcelain slabs are quickly becoming the new “it” thing for modern homes.
- I am calling this my Best guide for porcelain countertops pros and cons.
- I will be discussing everything you need to know about Porcelain countertop materials.
So let’s take a deep dive into what makes them so special.
This post is about porcelain countertops pros and cons.
What are Porcelain Countertops ?
Porcelain is a man-made product.
It’s a type of ceramic that’s blasted in super hot ovens at extremely high temperatures to make it really hard and tough.
You’ve probably seen porcelain tiles and ceramic tile on walls and floors, they’ve been popular for years.
So, how do we make porcelain?
Here is the manufacturing process in simple steps.
- To manufacture porcelain, a mixture of raw materials like natural clay, feldspar , mineral oxides and kaolin is used.
- This mixture is also known as China Clay.
- The mixture is wet-milled to a liquid slurry.
- This slurry is then dried and formed into large porcelain slabs.
- The finished product is coated with pigmented glaze that gives it the aesthetic natural materials look.
Here is a little historical information on porcelain. While the inception of porcelain is often credited to the Eastern Han Dynasty in China,
it’s interesting to note that its earliest forms, often referred to as “primitive porcelain,” actually emerged during the Shang Dynasty – that’s over a thousand years prior.
But the real game-changer came in the Tang Dynasty, somewhere between the 6th and ninth centuries. That’s when the craft of porcelain-making really hit its stride and matured.
The Pros of Porcelain Countertops
There are a lot of benefits of porcelain.
- Built to Last porcelain kitchen countertops are seriously tough.
- Porcelain surfaces are resistant to scratches. The reason being, it getting manufactured in high heat. This gives porcelain its hard surface.
- Of course it became a popular choice for busy households.
Porcelain counters are heat resistant.
Which means you can put hot pots or pans directly on the surface of porcelain countertops
This not possible with some natural stone countertops like marble.
Variety of Colors & Patterns
- Porcelain wins in aesthetic appeal as well. it is an excellent choice for all design options.
- There are so many different colors, styles and patterns of porcelain slabs to choose from.
- Whether you’re going for that classic marble ( look of natural stone) or something sleek and minimalist, there’s a porcelain countertop that’s perfect for you.
Porcelain countertops are super easy to clean, which is a big plus for those of us with busy lives.
Regular cleaning involves just wiping up spills, and you’re good to go.
No need to worry about sealing them periodically.
Due to the low maintenance porcelain tile countertops are ideal choice for high-traffic areas.
Porcelain, being man-made material is non-porous.
- That means its water absorption is very low.
- This also makes it stain resistant.
- It does not require sealing as well.
- You should not worry about spilling liquids on the the porcelain slab countertops.
If you have young children, porcelain countertops will be a better choice as compared to natural stone counters.
UV light Resistant
Porcelain is resistant to ultraviolet light.
This is really good news for you if you want to have your perfect countertops outdoors that look like marble.
Porcelain has been a perfect choice for outdoor use because of this reason in the recent years where homeowners want the indoor/outdoor design to blend.
Porcelain full-sized slabs can be manufactured in larger sizes as compared to what you can get from the quarry with natural stones.
This gives you the benefit of fewer seams in your design.
Porcelain is a good choice for bathroom countertops and laundry room as well.
Some Things to Keep in Mind… Nothing’s perfect, right?
So, let’s talk about some potential downsides to porcelain countertops.
I like this video on Porcelain Countertops by H S Design Studio
Cons of Porcelain Countertops
A Bit Pricey.
These countertops aren’t the cheapest option out there.
You need a professional to install them, and the cost of porcelain countertops and labor can add up.
Porcelain slabs can range from $40-$60 per square foot for the material.
The installation can range anywhere from $60-$80 per square foot.
Limited Edge Styles
Because of the way porcelain is made, there might not be as many options for edge designs.
It doesn’t affect how the countertop works, but it might cramp your style a little.
The standard thicknesses are typically around 6mm (approximately 1/4 inch) and 12mm (approximately 1/2 inch).
Due to its thinner width, porcelain offers fewer edge choices. The most common one is the square edge.
Mitered edge is commonly done with porcelain to give an illusion of a thicker countertop surface.
Some Important Bits About fabrication & Installation.
- Porcelain slabs are available in thinner widths as compared to natural stones like granite or engineered stone like quartz.
- Although porcelain is a tough material, the fabrication process is different and requires professional experience.
- You can crack the entire slab if you are not careful or don’t know what you are doing.
That’s why Getting porcelain countertops installed isn’t a DIY job.
It’s crucial to get a pro to do it, so you end up with a great result.
And remember, even though porcelain isn’t porous, a sealant can give it a little extra stain resistance and longevity if you want to use it.
Also, these countertops might be strong, but they still need proper support, especially in areas with overhangs like breakfast bars.
This makes the installation costs higher as compared to granite countertops.
While porcelain is incredibly durable, the edges can chip if they got hit with blunt force.
It’s is important to be careful while washing heavy objects like iron clad pots in the sink with porcelain counters.
That is why it’s not the top choice for everybody.
The not so great news is that, major damage chips can not be repaired.
Comparing Porcelain with Other Countertop Materials
When you compare it to quartz countertops, durability of porcelain is similar to quartz.
- Quartz kitchen countertops do not offer as much variety in colors and patterns as porcelain.
You can read my complete article here :
- Granite has the same durability, however it needs to be sealed and it mostly comes in speckled patterns.
Here is a complete article :
- Porcelain slabs are available in marble look patterns.
- Marble countertops show luxury however they require a lot of maintenance.
- You will need a cutting board to chop your vegetables or fruits.
You can read this for detailed comparison.
Is Porcelain the Right Choice for Your Kitchen?
- Porcelain countertops are a great combo of style, durability, and practicality.
- They give you tons of design flexibility, they’re tough as nails, and they don’t need much maintenance.
- With some thought and the right installation, they can be a fantastic addition to your home, offering a look that’s both timeless and classy.
The benefits definitely seem to outweigh the upfront cost, making these countertops a great investment for your dream kitchen or bathroom.
If you can get pass the not so great reasons like cost, complexity of installation, and potential for chipping, Porcelain is the right choice for your home.
I say this trend is here to stay.
Is porcelain good for kitchen countertops?
Yes, porcelain is an excellent material for kitchen countertops due to its durability, heat resistance, and low maintenance.
Do porcelain countertops stain?
No, porcelain countertops are non-porous and do not easily stain.
Can Porcelain Countertops Be Repaired If Damaged?
Repairing a porcelain countertop can be challenging. For minor chips and scratches, repair kits are available. However, for more significant damage, a replacement may be necessary.
Is Porcelain More Durable Than Granite or Quartz?
While granite and quartz are both durable materials, porcelain tends to surpass them in terms of heat, UV, and scratch resistance.