Benefits & Drawbacks of Porcelain Countertops
Pros & cons, advantages & disadvantages, benefits & drawbacks, or pluses & minuses. Whatever lingo you choose to use, there are always positive aspects and negative aspects to using a given material for a project. It is no different with porcelain countertops. In this post we will consider some of the characteristics that cause consumers to seek out porcelain as their preferred countertop material. We will also take into consideration qualities that might move buyers to choose another material over porcelain for a kitchen countertop.
Porcelain Countertops – A Growing Trend
It seems like every year there is a new countertop surface emerging in the industry. Each of these materials seem to be working at dethroning the long time champion of household surfaces, the granite kitchen countertop. One of the most recent rivals to good old granite is porcelain. This material has some definite advantages over granite and other materials as well. Yet, it’s no miracle material by any means.
Why Porcelain Countertops?
Some wonder why anyone would want to use porcelain as a countertop surface in the first place. After all, it seems like a pretty delicate material to use for a coutnertop doesn’t it? Well, there are a number of reasons why this relatively new material is chosen as the material for kitchen countertops. Let’s consider some of those reasons now.
Extremely Hard & Resists Scratching
Porcelain is a very hard material that is resistant to scratching very well. This is an appealing option for homeowners that are often times worried about keeping the surfaces in the home looking new. In fact, the kitchen surfaces are especially prone to heightened wear and tear, including scratching, since there are numerous sharp objects acting on them at regular intervals. In light of this, it is easy to see why the scratch resistance of porcelain makes it an attractive option. This resistance to scratching is due to the hardness of the material.
No Pores Makes It Resist Staining
Another quality that makes porcelain a desirable material for kitchen countertops is that it is non-porous. Porosity plays an important role in a material’s ability to resist staining.
Liquids that can work their way into pores of a material are able to discolor the interior surfaces of the material. When this occurs, it means the stain remover has to be delivered into the material to get the stain out.
Porcelain’s non-porous surface keeps the liquids out of the stone and on top so that this adverse effect cannot occur in the first place. Spills stay on the surface and thus can be dealt with from outside the material.
Easy Cleaning and Low Maintenance
In addition to the stain resistance porcelain is also easy to clean and maintain on a daily basis. The material is able to be cleaned with a variety of cleaners. So, depending on the substance that you are trying to remove, you can reach for the most effective cleaner for that particular substance.
Heat Resistance Makes It A Hot Item
It can be easy to overlook the value of a heat resistant material as a countertop. But porcelain is just that. Porcelain countertops are extremely durable in the sense of heat resistance. Porcelain is produced through the process called “sintering”. This process involves tremendous heat and pressure. As a result, the end product is able to withstand very high household temperatures.
Not A Perfect Material
It is true that porcelain is chock full of benefits. But it does have some disadvantages too. Just like any material, porcelain finished behind other materials in some respects.
Limited Styles Of Edges
Porcelain countertops are thinner than other materials. As a result, the edges are not available in a wide range of shapes and styles. In fact, you will probably see porcelain countertops with mitered edges more often than other edges. So, if style is a priority and you want to achieve a specific look, this can be a downside and even a deal breaker for some.
We have already mentioned that porcelain is a very hard material and we looked at how that is a benefit in some respects. However, it also has a low “crack threshold”. What we mean by that is when porcelain is exposed to a blunt force, it cracks easier than other materials. For example, if a heavy item was dropped from a top cabinet shelf and landed on the countertop.
Not As Readily Available
Porcelain coutnertop installation professionals can be harder to find than other countertop surface pros. Because the techniques required for installing porcealain countertops are specialized, it is important to find a fabrication company that is very familiar with the nuances of working with porcelain. This means that porcelain countertops have not become as easy to come by as other materials used for kitchen countertops.
As we have seen in this post, porcelain is much like other countertop materials in the sense that it has some very positive aspects and some negative ones as well. Whether you choose porcelain as your kitchen countertop material will depend on what you find to be the most important for your project.