All About Porcelain Countertops: Pros & Cons

These luminous countertops offer a range of benefits that make them a smart choice for any home. Let’s look at what makes porcelain countertops such a great addition to kitchens and bathrooms.

Porcelain makes a fantastic ceramic material for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Besides blending exceptional aesthetic appeal with durability and versatility, porcelain countertops lend a luxurious feel to the surrounding spaces. These luminous countertops offer a range of benefits that make them a smart choice for any home.

Let’s look at what makes porcelain countertops such a great addition to kitchens and bathrooms.

What are Porcelain Countertops?

Porcelain countertops are made by treating ceramic clay or China clay slabs at extremely high temperatures. Exposure to high temperatures vitrifies them and gives them a glassy and translucent look. Certain types of minerals and mineral oxides are also added to the slabs during processing, which makes porcelain countertops as strong and durable as they are beautiful and elegant.

What makes porcelain more versatile than its counterparts is the ease with which it can be fabricated to imitate natural stone, wood, and concrete finishes.

Features of Porcelain Countertops

Porcelain countertops are a staple in European homes and have recently gained popularity in North American countries. The main features of porcelain countertops are:

●     Their finishes can be matched with a variety of different types of interiors.

●     Porcelain countertops can be fabricated in different designs, colors, and patterns.

●     Their finishes can be matched with a variety of different types of interiors.

●     They can be glazed or unglazed and mimic the look of natural stones like granite or marble.

●     Porcelain countertops can be cut and fitted into kitchens and bathrooms in unique and creative ways.

There is no denying that porcelain countertops add an elegant flourish to living spaces. They provide a ton of advantages. Let’s look at those now.

The Pros of Porcelain Countertops

They are durable.

Porcelain countertops clock in at a jaw-dropping 30% more strength than granite. This makes it one of the most, if not the most, durable countertops for kitchens and bathrooms. The high durability factor of porcelain means that these countertops can withstand the rigors of daily use and resist damage from bumps, scrapes, and other potential hazards.

They are versatile.

The high durability of porcelain countertops further gives them both functionality and durability. They score major brownie points for just how seamlessly they can blend into different design styles and aesthetics.

For instance, a modern bathroom design with clean lines and minimalist features could benefit from the sleek and smooth surface of porcelain countertops. On the other hand, a classic kitchen with ornate cabinetry and traditional finishes would be complemented by the elegant and timeless look of porcelain countertops.

They are easy to clean.

Kitchens and bathrooms are two places in homes that get messy very quickly. Drops and spills are very common. And having countertops that are easy to clean not only saves time but also ensures that they require very little maintenance.

Their nonporous nature further makes them extremely resistant to stains. Because they are fired at extremely high temperatures, they become inorganic and non-absorbent. Surface bacteria, germs, or dirt can be wiped away with soapy water or a disinfectant.

Even stubborn stains don’t pose any challenge to them. Porcelain countertops boast extreme resistance to bleaches, chemicals, and other cleaning solutions. This means that any cleaning solution— as long as it's non-abrasive — can get rid of the most stubborn of stains.

They are scratch-resistant.

Being tough as nails comes with another added advantage: high resistance to scratches. Porcelain countertops are essentially scratch-proof. Porcelain is harder than granite and is within striking distance of quartz in terms of scratch resistance.

This means the porcelain countertops can repel most types of scratches. Knives and other sharp objects will have no impact on porcelain countertops. However, ceramic knives are something of aKryptonite for them. So, it's best to keep those away from porcelain countertops.

They are heat-resistant.

A ceramic material that is typically fired between 2,200 and 2,600 °F will withstand high temperatures. Case in point: porcelain countertops.

Porcelain countertops are resistant to extreme heat. This means that you can put hot vessels, dishes, and bowls without any worries. They won’t experience thermal shock, thus making them an excellent choice in kitchens and other areas where heat exposure is common.

They are lightweight.

When porcelain countertops first ventured into kitchens and bathrooms, they were stock-heavy slabs, each coming in at about 18–20 mm thick. Some people still believe porcelain to be thick and heavy. It can’t be any farther from the truth.

Advances in fabrication have long since reduced their thickness. Today, most porcelain slabs are just 5–6 mm thick, which makes them supremely lightweight. There is no need to cover countertops or install plywood before fitting porcelain countertops.

The Cons of Porcelain Countertops

Despite boasting a range of benefits for homeowners, porcelain countertops are not without their fair share of drawbacks. Those considering porcelain countertops for kitchens and bathrooms must know the cons to make an informed decision.

They can crack under blunt force.

Porcelain countertops are tough, but not tough enough to withstand strong hits from wooden and rubber mallets. Their natural counterparts—granite and marble—have better resistance against blunt forces and are less likely to crack or break from impact. But much of this weakness stems from the thin profile of porcelain slabs. Thicker porcelain slabs can, however, provide resistance against blunt force to a certain extent.

They need proper care during installation.

The large size, thin profile, and rigidity of porcelain slabs make them highly susceptible to breaking if not handled correctly during installation. You can’t go down the DIY route and doit yourself unless you know what you are doing. We always recommend professionally supervised installation to avoid any mishaps or fall damages.

They don’t look quite as good with rounded edges and corners.

The designs and patterns on porcelain countertops are typically printed on the surface area. It’s extremely difficult to apply them to rounded edges and corners. As a result, porcelain countertops with rounded edges and corners may not look as good as those with straight edges.

There are some edge designs that can give porcelain countertops a polished and unique look. But most people choose a simple square edge to keep the pattern intact, as it's not possible to cut a rounded edge without disrupting the pattern.

What is the Cost of Porcelain Countertops?

In general, porcelain countertops are more affordable than quartz countertops but more expensive than granite. They also fall in the same ballpark range as marble countertops.

●     On average, porcelain countertops cost about $55 to $120 per square foot. Quartz countertops typically start at $45 per square foot but can go up to as high as $200 per square foot.

●     For comparison, the cost of Granite countertops is around $40–$60 per square foot, and the cost of Marble countertops falls in the range of $40–$100.

Are Porcelain Countertops Worth It?

Porcelain countertops for kitchens and bathrooms are an excellent choice. Their pros far outweigh their cons, so you can’t go wrong with porcelain as the material of choice for your countertops.

At AP Marble& Granite, Inc., we are the premier stone provider in Michigan and surrounding areas. We have the choicest selection of natural stone slabs to match individual tastes and style preferences. Besides porcelain, we also provide a stunning selection of Marble, Granite, Onyx, Quartz, and Soapstone slabs — all lovingly designed and expertly crafted.

Contact us at +586-371-6495 for a free quote.

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