Caring for Sintered Stone & Porcelain
At first glance, porcelain and sintered stone may seem to be the same thing. Yet, these materials are different. Additionally, the procedures for maintaining sintered stone compared with porcelain are distinct. In this article, we look at what distinguishes each of these materials from its counterpart. As we do, we will look at the similarities and differences in the care and maintenance process.
Similarities and Differences In Materials
It can be easy to confuse porcelain with sintered stone. This confusion can happen even if you read up on the two materials. In this article, we won’t delve into the specifics of why this happens but if you are interested in a more informative explanation you might find Porcelain and Sintered Stone – What’s the Difference? an interesting read. What it boils down to though, is that these materials are different and that means they need to be cared for in a way that is best for each. So, let’s briefly consider these differences and similarities now.
Care & Maintenance Similarities
The similarities between the care and maintenance of sintered stone compared with porcelain is that they both have a high resistance to a variety of cleaning products. Because of the way these materials are engineered (to learn about the differences between natural and engineered stone, see the article Natural Stone vs. Engineered Stone), they are both resistant to scratching, chipping, and chemicals.
Although sintered stone and porcelain have similar properties regarding resistance to chemicals, they each have clear direction on which chemicals to use for each type of dirt, stain, or discoloration. Therefore, when deciding which cleaner or other product to use on your surface, choose the type that is recommended by the stone manufacturer or producer. They will recommend acidic or alkaline cleaners for all sorts of substances that can discolor your surface. Some of these substances include:
- Fruit Juices
- Tire Rubber
- Ice Cream
- Candle Wax
- Nail Polish
- Cement Residue
Again, the stone producer should be able to tell you specifically which type of cleaning solution will work the best for a given substance. It will most likely be one of the following:
- Acidic Cleaner
- Alkaline Detergent
There may be requirements as to whether certain kinds of the above substances should or should not be used, but these will most likely be indicated in the care and maintenance information for the stone. So what are the differences?
Why the Difference In Care?
The differences in how you care for sintered stone versus the care and maintenance of porcelain are as numerous perhaps, as the quantity of materials themselves. As we mentioned above, different stains require different cleaners; and this can change depending on the stone you are cleaning or caring for. Why is this the case?
Nuances Determine Specific Care
The reason there is a difference in care and maintenance from one stone to the next is that each stone is produced using variations of the sintering process. These variations ultimately produce different materials. Because of this, you will find that various brands will refer to its specific material by specific names. Lets look at an example.
DEKTON® is a surface produced by Cosentino. Some might think that it is a sintered stone and in fact, often times you will see it classed with sintered stone products on third party sites that offer care products. Yet, when reading the information provided by Cosentino (the company that engineers the material) about DEKTON® you will find that they deem the material to be in a class of its own. This class is referred to by Cosentino as Ultra-compact surfaces. This unique classification stems from the fact that the surfaces use a unique blend of raw materials and a specific sintering method.
That is only one example of how the variations in engineering result in materials that have nuances in their makeup. Because of this, you will find that each company will have various lists of which care product(s) to use on its surfaces. And although you might be able to use one type of cleaner on a specific material, it is generally best to use an acidic cleaner if the stone producer recommends it for the kind of stain you are treating. Similarly, choosing an alkaline detergent is the best choice if the company that engineered your surface calls for it.
In closing, caring for porcelain and sintered stone surfaces will take a bit of research. Even though there are similarities in how the materials are engineered and the chemicals to which they are resistant. You will no doubt realize the best results if you carefully follow the recommendations provided by the stone manufacturers and the companies that make cleaners designed for the type of stone you have.