Chances are that you already have porcelain material somewhere in your house. But, have you thought of porcelain slab countertops? Most people think that quartz or granite make the strongest countertops. While these two are undeniably strong, the toughness of porcelain slab is a force to reckon with. This ceramic is stronger than the former two making it the go-to material for the kitchen and bathroom.
While porcelain slab countertops may not be famous for kitchen renovations, they are worth a look. In fact, their popularity has grown steadily over the last few years, and soon these products will grab a sizable market share. They are more than a passing trend; they add value to the interior design. Below, we discuss the reasons why it’s a great idea to try these sleek and versatile ceramic tiles. But before diving into the specific reasons for investing in porcelain countertop, let’s first cover the basics.
What is Porcelain?
The formal description of porcelain is a white translucent ceramic that is rich in kaolinite. It is part of the family of engineered stone derived from kaolinite clay baked at high temperatures. Kaolinite clay contains several minerals, which include silica, feldspar, mineral oxides. These impurities contribute to the strength and richness in colors of porcelain.
Why is it Great Idea to Use Porcelain Slab Countertops?
Durable and Heat Resistant
To ensure the final product is strong and durable, porcelain counterfeits are fired at extremely high temperatures, usually over 1000 °C. The fact that they endure such high temperatures during fabrication makes them resistant to hot environments such as the kitchen. A porcelain countertop can handle hot pans and pots placed on its surface. The porcelain won’t smoke, burn, or emit any harmful substance.
As mentioned earlier, porcelain is one of the strongest ceramic tiles. The surface strength is achieved through the firing process. Its strength surpasses that of granite by 30%; therefore, you can dice and slice food on the countertop with no fear of damages. Its rigid structure makes it scratch resistant. Likewise, the high strength of the raw materials makes this countertop long lasting.
Water and Stain Resistant
A porcelain countertop has less than 0.5% water absorption rate. This is a requirement to pass the uncompromising AST C373 material test. This means you don’t have to worry about wiping the counter every time there is a spill.
Aside from non-porous feature of the porcelain, the surface tile is also stain resistant. While no surface is 100% stain-proof, porcelain comes close. The fired glazing prevents water penetration and provides substantial stain resistance.
Unlike engineered stone and solid surface counters, porcelain slab countertops are rated for exterior use. You can, therefore, create continuity between outdoor and indoor kitchens.
Available in a variety of colors and finishes
One aspect that can boost the appearance of your kitchen is countertops. The diverse pigmentation of raw materials yields porcelain of different colors and hues. Unlike other materials, porcelain slab counter rarely discolors due to direct exposure to sunlight. Therefore, you can decorate your kitchen countertop without worrying about where the windows are located.
Besides color, you can also choose from several finishes. Polished and matte surfacing provides you with valuable choices for the final appearance. You can even enhance the appearance by mitering the edges according to your liking. If you want to experiment further, why not apply pigmentation to give your porcelain a marble appearance? Patterns and pigment blend to give captivating options.
Available in Large Sizes
Porcelain countertops are available in large sizes. It is not unusual to a find a countertop supplier in San Francisco who stocks slab measuring up to 10” x 5”, which is much bigger than stone labs. If you have a small kitchen, one piece is enough to cover the kitchen island. Working with larger slabs means you require fewer grout joints, which speed up the installation process.
The initial generation of porcelain was a 3/4” thick slab, so they were heavy. It has since evolved to thinner slabs, usually 3/16” thick, though thicker slabs are still available. Using a lightweight slab is advantageous because you don’t have to cover the countertops or install plywood before fitting the countertops.
Since the slabs are thin, they can make good backlashes and panels for walls or the Kitchen Island. On top of this, porcelain slab countertops can also be installed directly on top of existing countertops. Even though this is unnecessary for every situation, it offers you the opportunity to reduce installation costs. This is a huge cost saver since you don’t have to damage the existing counter. That is why they are an attractive option for bathrooms and kitchen renovations.
The surface of the porcelain is waterproof making it easy to clean. Warm-water wiping or cleanup is enough to keep the surface clean and hygienic. With that being said, a porcelain countertop can sustain harsh cleaning, for instance, using harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia. Unless you source your products from a reliable natural stone supplier in San Francisco, you cannot be guaranteed that a natural stone countertop will be easy to clean.
A porcelain slab is not only appealing, strong, easy to maintain, and durable, but it is also moderately priced. It is comparatively cheaper than quartz and marble, so if your budget can gather for these countertops, you will definitely find porcelain countertops affordable. If you already have countertops but want to improve their appearance in the most cost-effective way, installing porcelain over these countertops is a smart option.
Moreover, the porcelain can be recycled. It always feels good to know you can recycle a product at a future time when it is time to replace. Porcelain countertops come in a variety of colors and slab sizes; you will hardly miss finding your right fit from a natural stone supplier in San Francisco.