You’ve heard of granite, quartz and marble, but have you ever considered porcelain countertops?
When it comes to finding a durable and beautiful counter for your kitchen, porcelain countertops are fast becoming the material of choice for many homes. In this post, we will be talking about the pros and cons of this beautiful and incredibly resilient material and everything you need to know about to decide if porcelain slab countertops are a good fit for your kitchen renovation.
What are Porcelain Countertops?
Porcelain is a ceramic subset made from a special type of clay called China clay. It contains a significant amount of mineral kaolinite, feldspar (or flint), silica, and other materials.
Generally, porcelain describes a broad spectrum of ceramic goods that have undergone high-temperature baking (around 1450°C). This process is what gives them their glassiness, low porosity, translucence, and other distinctive characteristics.
Pros of Porcelain Countertops
Porcelain countertops are all the rage nowadays for these reasons:
- Durability and Hardness: As we mentioned above, porcelain is one of the most durable choices for kitchen countertops. They’re also hard enough to resist various impacts and don’t succumb to wear and tear.
Porcelain is stain, scratch, and chemical-resistant. In fact, porcelain is 30% more durable than granite! There’s hardly any other countertop material as durable as porcelain.
- Easy To Maintain: Low maintenance is one of the most important factors when choosing a kitchen countertop material. Fortunately, porcelain ticks the box in this regard. With porcelain, stain removal is a walk in the park. A simple clean with warm water and your favorite mild soap is enough to keep it as good as new.
- Heat Endurance: Cooking up a storm? No worries. Since porcelain is made at exceedingly high temperatures, it is able to withstand any heat your kitchen dishes out. As such, you can place your hot pots on the surface without burning or damaging them.
- Several Color Options: Who doesn’t love having many choices when it comes to choosing colors? Porcelain offers you that. It has numerous color and shade options to fit your style, preferences, and kitchen design.
- Larger Sizes: Unlike stone, you can get very large slabs of porcelain, which means fewer grout lines and a speedier installation process.
- Eco-friendliness: With the increasing clamor for climate action, there’s no better time to think about eco-friendliness than now. Fortunately, besides its durability and hardness, porcelain is a sustainable choice for kitchen countertops. Porcelain is made from natural clay-based materials and can be recycled after many years.
- Ultraviolet Light Resistant: Porcelain slab counters won’t fade in the sun because they are resistant to UV light.
Cons of Porcelain Countertops
Porcelain also has a few disadvantages, here are a few of them:
- No In-Built Designs: Porcelain lacks in-built designs, in contrast to stone and other tabletop materials. Instead, you’ll notice that the patterns are only “skin-deep.” So, rounded edges may not carry print designs, and your slab’s interior will be plain if it chips off.
- Limited Availability: Porcelain is still new and is not a common choice for countertop material. So, finding a supplier or fabricator who knows so much about porcelain is pretty challenging.
- No Scratch-Resistance To Ceramic Knives: While porcelain is generally resistant to scratch, the only exception are marks from ceramic knives. So, if you love ceramic knives and want to maintain your porcelain countertop, it’s advisable to use cutting boards too.
- Cost: While porcelain countertops are not the most expensive countertop option, they are not exactly budget-friendly either and could be cost-prohibitive to some.
Porcelain vs. Other Countertop Options
Now that you know the advantages and cons of porcelain countertops, how do they fare alongside other countertop options? Let’s take a look:
Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile
Porcelain countertops have striking similarities with ceramic tile countertops. For example, they’re clay-based adjustable, dependable, and present numerous style options. However, porcelain is significantly more durable than ceramic tile and has a lower absorption rate. Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, are more affordable than porcelain.
Porcelain vs Marble
Marble is one of the best materials for kitchen countertops. When it comes to aesthetics, marble, especially white marble, has been known for its timeless beauty. However, unlike porcelain, marble isn’t resistant to stains and will require constant resealing to maintain.
Porcelain vs Quartz
Quartz is one of the closest countertop materials to porcelain in terms of durability. However, porcelain countertops may get thinner and become more delicate during installation.
Cost of Porcelain Countertops
How much do porcelain countertops cost?
This is one of the most important questions to ask when considering porcelain for your kitchen countertop.
Generally, porcelain is affordable, ranging from $8 to $12 per square foot. However, as we mentioned above, porcelain is pretty difficult to work with. So, fabricating and installing them as countertops can be challenging and add to its costs. As a result, the average cost of porcelain slabs will cost around $55 to $120 for a square foot if you factor in installation.
We wouldn’t consider this a good budget option, but is not as expensive as some other options out tehre. Again, there are also numerous other factors to consider when determining the price of your porcelain countertops. Luckily, you can get a more precise estimate from your countertop supplier.
Porcelain Kitchen Countertop Trends
There are different porcelain slab countertop designs to choose from. Porcelain countertops can be glazed, matte, or high gloss and can be made to look like stone or ceramic. These are a few notable options:
- Nuba white
- Aged timber
- Concrete taupe
- Nero greco
- Carrara polished
- Basalto dark satin
- Iron copper
Countertops are one of the most important choices in your kitchen remodel or design, so choosing the right one will depend on your stage of life, your preferences and what you envision for your design. We think porcelain is a great choice and should be in your list of contenders. However, before you commence your remodeling, it’s advisable to count the costs with Kitchen Remodel Budget Planner to avoid surprises.