The Pros and Cons of Porcelain Countertops
Porcelain countertops have been popular in Europe for quite some time, however in recent years, they have also started to take Australia by storm. Due to the various porcelain countertops advantages, it is likely that this material will become a staple design trend in the coming years. If you’re thinking of installing porcelain in your kitchen or for any other area inside or outside your home, then you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of porcelain countertops. In this way, you will be able to decide whether this material is right for your budget, lifestyle and needs.
What are Porcelain Countertops
When creating porcelain benchtops, manufacturers use a special kind of clay. Often, the material used in its manufacture is a certain clay from China, which contains a high percentage of kaolinite, silica and feldspar. Manufacturers mix them with other mineral oxides, making the high-quality porcelain countertops both durable and robust.
The clay is placed into a kiln, and then subjected to extremely high temperatures. As a result, the material becomes dense, making it virtually impervious to heat, stains, scratching, UV rays, cracks and chips. The manufacturing process also includes adding pigmented glazes to create different hues. This process also ensures consistent colour throughout the porcelain slab’s full thickness, which matches the top of the slab. You have the freedom to choose between glazed or unglazed porcelain slabs.
By now, you may be wondering what the benefits of choosing high-quality porcelain countertops may be. Well, you should know that we could go on forever talking about their wonderful features. So, for now, we will focus on discussing the benefits first.
Available in Various Colours and Patterns
Unlike many other natural stones available in the market, the colour and pattern options for porcelain benchtops are virtually endless, meaning it will be much easier for you to find a material that is most suitable for your home décor. You can even find a matching or contrasting porcelain hue. When you select a wonderful colour combination, porcelain slabs can offer a customised and modern look for your home.
Several Finish and Size Options Available
There are matte polished porcelain slabs with edges mitred in various styles, making them look more appealing. Here at Aurora Stone, we can offer our customers the opportunity to customise the size of their slabs according to their countertop design. So, if you want to cover your benchtop with a single slab without any joins or breaks, you can do so. After all, this option speeds up the installation process while reducing its cost.
Since it is resistant to scratches, chipping, and cracks, porcelain is essentially stronger than granite and other softer types of natural stone.
Because of the high strength of porcelain, it is one of the most durable surfaces covering materials available on the market. As such, you can expect it to last for a long time. With proper care and maintenance, porcelain benchtops can become lifetime investments for your home.
Lightweight Countertop Material
These days, it is common to find porcelain slabs from Europe that are 6mm thick. However, this thickness is used for wall panels, splashbacks, and the sides of cabinetry or kitchen islands. For benchtops, the slabs are the light 12mm thick porcelain slabs which have been perfected in Europe over many years, offering clients the most up to date modern finishes available. Natural stone slabs are generally the heavier 20mm thick variety.
No Need to Seal
It is worth noting that while natural stone materials are extremely durable, they require regular sealing to maintain their strength. On the other hand, once you’ve installed porcelain slabs, you do not need to seal them religiously. Fire glazing offers a robust barrier that protects the material from heat, moisture and stain.
Porcelain Countertops Disadvantages
Let’s not forget that we are talking about the pros and cons of porcelain countertops. Like other benchtop materials, porcelain also has its disadvantages. They include:
Its Beauty is Only Skin-Deep
When you cut any natural stone material, the beauty you see on the surface is still evident to its core and bottom.
On the other hand, the patterns on porcelain slabs are printed on the top of the material. Of course, this is not a serious disadvantage. It is just a small drawback, especially since the printed design will not be visible on rounded edges. However, the European manufacturers have perfected the inner colour to match the top that overcomes this.
Supply is Limited
Currently, porcelain has not been such a popular choice of material for countertops in Australia. As such, its market is still fairly small. It is also difficult to find a fabricator who knows the material quite well. Thankfully, you can turn to Aurora Stone and trust that we only offer high-quality porcelain countertops from Europe. We have been working with this material for some years, so we understand completely what works and what doesn’t.
Are Porcelain Countertops Perfect for You?
Clearly, the advantages of porcelain countertops outweigh their disadvantages. Firstly, it is ideal for homeowners with specific requirements. For instance, if you desire the look of marble but do not like the fact that it is not resistant to stains and etching, then porcelain is the perfect alternative for you. Moreover, porcelain countertops are generally more affordable than other natural stone materials. So, if you are working within a budget, you should opt for this material.
Find a Trusted Contractor
Since porcelain countertops are fairly new to the Australian market, it is crucial that you find an experienced professional who has extensive knowledge about the material and where it is produced. When looking for suppliers, it is best that you perform some research on the company and learn about the quality of work that they provide.
When it comes to high-quality porcelain countertops Perth residents know that Aurora Stone is the company they can trust. As one of the largest stone manufacturing businesses in the region, we have extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to customising porcelain countertops.
If you’re ready to experience the wonderful benefits of porcelain benchtops, contact Aurora Stone today! Get a free quote just by giving us a call!