Porcelain. It is ubiquitous in our homes. From our sinks, to our bathtubs, to our fine china we trot out come the holidays; porcelain is an elegant and clean material we use and treasure.
But just because porcelain excels as a sink doesn’t mean it will make the most durable countertop. Certainly, porcelain surfaces have become much more popular over the last few years. But popularity doesn’t always guarantee longevity.
You want to find a countertop that is timeless and durable. Is that porcelain?
That’s what we’re here to answer today. Let’s take a look at this elegant, creamy building material and see how it stacks up against today’s most durable countertop: quartz.
Porcelain: why you might be interested
Porcelain is a type of clay that has been fired at an extremely high temperature. This process results in a dense, non-porous material that can be easily made into a variety of shapes, surfaces – perfect for dishes, cups, vases, sinks, and toilets.
Porcelain doesn’t rust and it doesn’t stain. For this reason, it has been used in bathrooms and washrooms for centuries, as it promotes excellent hygiene.
When it comes to everyday use, porcelain is quite durable, and it very resistant to scratches from knives and other kitchen utensils. Its non-permeability, durability, and heat resistance are why homeowners are drawn to its use as a countertop.
Porcelain: why we can’t recommend it
Here’s the truth: porcelain can shatter. While porcelain can resist scratches, stains, and can stand up to significant amounts of pressure; it can shatter when hit with a strong, direct blow.
This brittleness makes porcelain prone to damage while installing, meaning you’ll need to ensure that your install team is top-notch to make certain your counters aren’t damaged on day one.
While most of us don’t take a hammer to our surfaces regularly, home cooks may want to take it a little easy on the meat tenderizer when you have a porcelain countertop. Direct, blunt force can break a porcelain surface.
Porcelain: beauty is surface-deep
Nowadays, porcelain countertops are available in a dazzling array of patterns and colors. Unlike quartz, these patterns don’t descend past the surface.
If you chip or crack your porcelain surface, you’ll see a dramatically different interior than an exterior.
Quartz: the superior surface
Quartz, an engineered surface that provides the durability of granite and the expressive patterns of marble, is the material that we recommend. It stands up to the scratches of sharp knives, the blunt force of an overeager home cook, and the accidental spills of chemicals and dark liquids.
It is far more customizable than porcelain, offering a variety of edges, finishes, and patterns that span the depth of the material.
The only category where porcelain outperforms quartz is in heat resistance. Extremely hot objects can scorch quartz.
But quartz’s durability, impermeability, and expressive patterns result in a surface that requires little upkeep. Quartz will look as excellent ten years from now as it looks on installation day.