Introduction to Porcelain
Porcelain kitchen, unlike natural stones, is a man-made material, created through a process called sintering. This ceramic material is made by heating substances that generally include kaolinite, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 °C (2,200 and 2,600 °F). Its firmness and translucence, relative to other types of pottery, is a result of vitrification and formation of the mineral mullite within the body at these high temperatures. Though definitions vary, they are often categorised into: hard-paste, soft-paste and bone China. The category that an object belongs to depends on the composition of the paste required to make the body of the object and therefore firing conditions.
Natural stones like granite, marble, and quartzite, extensively preferred by consumers for kitchen worktops are expensive, not affordable by every homeowner. There are people who are practical and economical about their choices in designing their homes and commercial spaces, who want to do so without compromising on the aesthetics and characteristics. Porcelain tiles fit situations like those. If you have a remodelling idea, then they are an option worth considering as they make great kitchen and bathroom worktops.
Colours of Porcelain
The variation in pigmentation and pattern can be done during the last few steps of the making process for a man-made material. This provides an array of options for the different preferences of customers in the market. Though they can have designs and variations similar to marble and other natural stone worktops, discolouration that is prevalent in those stones is not a problem. Porcelain kitchen is handled through innovations to slow down the process of hypopigmentation.
Some popular colour patterns like Nero Marquina and Absolute black Porcelain can elevate your design to suit both indoor and outdoor tile designs.
Unlike granite which needs an annual or every six months re-sealing, they do not necessarily require one, unless under extreme conditions. The excellent non-porous feature of porcelain is highly attributed to the extreme heat glazing process it undergoes. The minerals are melted and cover the majority of the pores.
Composition of Porcelain
It is made of China clay, also referred to as kaolinite, feldspar, metal oxides, and silica. All the substances are homogenised under extreme conditions to manufacture this material. The material is robust and immune to chips, scratches, stains, and heat.
Natural Characteristics of Porcelain
The characteristic features of slabs have grasped the attention of the homeowners in recent years. They are constantly rising in demand, and are turning the tides for several choosing it as worktop material. Here are some excellent features of the material admired by its customers:
The non-porous feature of the slab is suitable for any kitchen worktops to keep stains away. This characteristic is achieved during the manufacturing process. When the minerals are exposed to extremely hot temperatures the mineral content melts down and seals the porcelain.
The process of manufacturing porcelain tile; sintering, involves intense hot temperature which makes this material prone to heat. When a hot pan is placed on top of the worktop, there will be no risk of dark scorched spots. Even though using trivets will not be disadvantageous.
The level of scratch resistance is comparable to that of quartz and granite. However direct interaction of ceramic knives leave scratch marks on the surface of worktops. Therefore using a wooden chopping board is recommended whenever knives are used on your counters, to prevent any direct contact between the knife and the countertop.
Durability and Hardness:
Porcelain Kitchen worktops are durable enough to resist wear and tear. Likewise, hardness is also a chief feature to consider so that your countertop does not run the risk of crack, cuts, or chips easily. They have amazing distinctive durability and hardness which is close to natural stone. However, to ensure a longer life and lasting beauty, appropriate care and maintenance must be given.
Resistance to UV Rays:
Unlike conventional natural stones like marble worktops, porcelain tiles are resistant against ultraviolet rays, preventing any discoloration on its surface due to sun exposure. This makes them qualify for building outdoor kitchen worktops.
Finishes of Porcelain
The most common finish for any slab. The qualities of the stone are highlighted well on a polished surface to make the colours and texture stand out vibrantly. For instance, Calacatta Gold Porcelain slabs with a polished finish create a stunning look to your designs. The surfaces are easy to clean as they are sealed to keep any liquid from seeping in and moisture out of the stone.
Honed or Matte Finish:
The honed finish, also referred to as matte and buffed, creates a smooth-looking surface avoiding shiny reflecting surfaces. The honed finish is a preferred option for flooring preventing the threats of slippery surfaces.
History of Porcelain
Porcelain originated during the dynasty of Tang in China but the high-quality ones utilised in modern wares wasn’t developed until the Yuan. The Chinese floor tile consisted of kaolin and pegmatite, a coarse type of granite. European potters were clueless about porcelain until the import of Chinese wares that occurred during the middle ages. Though European potters tried to duplicate the material, the attempt was unsuccessful. During the experimental trials, they developed what is known as artificial porcelain by mixing clay and ground glass. Efforts continued to develop true material throughout 1707. Two Germans named Ehrenfried Walter von Tschirnhaus and Johann Friedrich Böttger succeeded in finding the true composition for it. Instead of the ground glass used earlier, they combined clay with ground feldspar. This development inspired people to seek out more applications of it.
Porcelain kitchen countertops are comparatively new in the stone business. However, that doesn’t mean that they have no history. They have been used for flooring, wall cladding, and all kinds of other ventures for many, many years. Freshly, they are being considered as material suitable for kitchen worktops.
Fabrication and Installation of Porcelain
Work-tops help homeowners get quotes on the desired stone for Kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom fabrication & installations. The homeowners can connect with our registered KBB network of fabricators who have the experience of installation and knowledge to give the best advice. Our KBB network can offer planning, designing, and implementation of the design that perfectly suits to create your dream home.
Work-tops is the right destination for your queries like ‘’worktops near me’’ and/or ‘’cheap kitchen worktops’’. Remodel your entire living space by choosing stylish contemporary or traditional classic designs from work-tops.com.
Maintenance of Porcelain
There are some significant cleaning tips that can be practised for daily cleaning of these countertops. Use pH-neutral liquid soaps or detergents to sanitise its surface. This practice will promote the hygienic condition of slabs. Avoid harsh chemical detergents or formulas and use non-abrasive wipers or cloth in order to avoid scratch marks and loss of the lustrous polish.
Soak a cloth in a soap solution, wipe the surface thoroughly and rinse it off with water. Wipe it again with a dry microfiber cloth. Avoid moisture to ensure there are no dried watermarks on the surface. Hot water for cleaning and wiping cloth would suffice for the spills on the countertop. Though they possess resistance to citric liquids, it is highly recommended not to spill any of the surfaces of the stone.
Maintaining a worktop requires regular cleaning not only after meal preparation but in every situation that includes contact, like placing of handbags and things alike. Regular cleaning will avoid the spread of bacterial contamination.