Natural stones like granite, marble and quartzite are widely preferred by consumers but there are people who are pragmatic and economical about their choices in designing their domestic and commercial spaces without compromising on the aesthetics and characteristics.Porcelain countertops gained popularity in Europe and are still growing steadily in neighbouring countries. If you have a remodelling idea, then porcelain slabs are a worthwhile option. They look great as kitchen worktops and bathroom countertops.
Composition of Porcelain
Porcelain is made up of china clay also known as kaolinite, feldspar, metal oxides and silica. All the substances are homogenized under extreme conditions to produce this material. The material is strong and resistant to chips, scratches, stains and heat.
History of Porcelain used in Ancient times
Porcelain originated during the T’and dynasty in China but the high quality porcelain used in modern wares was not developed until the yuan dynasty. The Chinese porcelain consisted of kaolin and pegmatite, a coarse type of granite. European potters were unaware of porcelain until the import of Chinese wares during the middle ages. Though European potters tried to duplicate the material, the effort was in vain. During the experimental trials they created what is known as artificial porcelain by missing clay and ground glass. Efforts continued to develop true porcelain.in the year 1707 two Germans named Ehrenfried Walter von Tschirnhaus and Johann Friedrich Böttger succeeded in finding the true porcelain composition by merging clay with ground feldspar instead of the ground glass used earlier. This development has inspired people to find more applications of porcelain and one such application is stunning worktops.
Natural characteristics of Porcelain Kitchen countertop
The characteristic features of porcelain slabs have won the attention of the customers. Here are some excellent features of the material which is admired by its customers. The Porcelain slabs are constantly rising in demand, and are turning the tides for many choosing countertop materials.
The non- porous character of the slab is ideal for any kitchen counter to keep stains away. In comparison with granite and quartz, quartz has better stain resisting properties but they are quite expensive when contrasted with porcelain. The non-porous nature is achieved during the making process. When the minerals are exposed to extremely hot temperatures the mineral content melts down and seals the porcelain.
Similar to a natural stone, producing porcelain involves high temperature which makes this material prone to heat. When a hot pan is placed on top of a porcelain countertop, there will be no risk of dark scorched spots.
The level of scratch resistance of porcelain is comparable to that of quartz and granite. However ceramic knives pose a threat as it can result in scratch marks on the surface of porcelain countertops. Use a wooden chopping board Whenever knives are used on your porcelain counters, to prevent any direct contact between the knife and the countertop.
Durability and Hardness
Porcelain Kitchen countertops are durable material 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. Porcelain countertops 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 to this material.
Resistance to Ultraviolet rays
Minerals when exposed to extreme sunlight undergo chemical reaction which eventually leads to the wearing out of its color and design. A good example of this mineral which reacts with sunlight is marble.
Luckily, this material shows tremendous resistance against ultraviolet rays, preventing any discoloration on its surface.
Colours of porcelain countertops
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 porcelain has design variations similar to marble and other minerals. Discoloration through time is present to all minerals, including porcelain are handled through innovations to slow down the process of hypo pigmentation. Some interesting color patterns on porcelain worktops are Panda White and Iron Porcelain slabs.
Black kitchen & home designs can get a stunning finish with porcelain slabs, like Nero Marquina and absolute black Porcelain elevates your design.
Sealing is not a mandate
Unlike granite which needs an annual or every six months re-sealing, porcelain does not necessarily require one unless for certain 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 covers the majority of the porcelain’s pores.
Types of finishes
Porcelain is engineered stone subjected to a texture defining process resulting in a stunning finish with a pleasing appearance.
The most common finish for a porcelain slab. The qualities of the stone are highlighted well in a polished surface to make the colours and texture stand out vibrantly, for instance Calacatta Gold Porcelain slabs with a polished finish creates a stunning look to your designs. Polished 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:
Honed finish is also referred to as matte and buffed, this finish creates a smooth looking surface avoiding shiny reflecting surfaces. The honed finish is a preferred option for flooring preventing the threats of slippery surfaces.
Care for your Kitchen countertop
Cleaning the surface of a porcelain countertop is needed every day. There are some significant cleaning tips that can be practiced for porcelain countertops
Use a pH neutral liquid soaps or detergents to sanitize its surface. This practice will definitely promote the hygienic condition of porcelain countertops. 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. Initially soak the cloth in a soap solution and wipe it thoroughly and rinse off the surface with water and again wipe the counter clean with the dry microfiber cloth until dry. Avoid any remains of moisture to ensure there are no dried water marks 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 spill any of the surface of the stone.
Keeping a worktop clean requires regular cleaning not only after meal preparation but also for placing handbags and briefcases on the worktops which can spread bacterial contamination easily. There is a need for everyday cleaning with soft cloth. A soap water that is formulated especially for porcelain surfaces is ideal. Wipe out the soapy residue on the surface from forming a film over time. Avoid any temptations to scrub the stained surface instead let a soft cloth and warm water wipe do the magic. Once you are done with the cleaning, it is important to wipe the surface dry using a microfiber cloth because any remains of water can dull the colour of the granite and may run the risk of discolouration.
Water marks usually disappear on evaporation, in case of porous material, the spill might result in a dark and discoloured area. Water marks are usually removed with a soapy liquid wipe followed by complete drying of the surface. The secret to maintaining a durable and long lasting countertop is proper cleaning and maintenance. Though the material displays extreme robust strength and hardness, it needs to be given proper attention and care to preserve its attractive features.
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