Large format porcelain panels have been around for a while, but they are just now gaining traction as a trend in kitchen and bath design. If you’re looking for a seamless, grout-less solution for kitchen and bathroom remodels, look no further than porcelain slabs. At C & C Stoneworks, we definitely see this as a growing trend among our clients.
Plus, with the advances in modern technology and manufacturing, slab porcelain is now available for bathroom and kitchen countertops, shower walls and floor and even fireplace surrounds. And, with patterns are more realistic than ever, and the end result can be absolutely breathtaking.
In this post, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of porcelain slabs.
What Is Porcelain Made of?
Porcelain is made from natural clay and has been around for thousands of years. The clay used to create porcelain has a high percentage of a mineral known as kaolinite included in it. Along with kaolinite, porcelain contains also includes silica, feldspar and other mineral oxides giving it its durability and strength.
The clay is put into a kiln and fired, with an end result that creates an extremely dense material nearly impermeable to heat, stains, chips and scratches. Pigmented glazes can be added during manufacturing to create different patterns and colors on the slab.
Here are the Pros of Porcelain Slabs.
If you’ve renovated your home anytime in the last couple years, you’ve probably replaced some of your surfaces with granite or engineered stone like quartz. Today, you can include large format porcelain as an option for creating a look of natural stone.
Porcelain slabs have a depth of pattern almost identical to natural marble or granite, and best of all it comes with none of the maintenance issues or use restrictions associated with most natural stone. It is also a very durable material that is much lighter and less costly than natural stone slabs and tile.
Large-format porcelain slabs are a stunning surface that:
- Require zero maintenance.
- Is a durably hard material.
- Can be installed with minimal grout so seams are almost imperceivable.
- Porcelain slabs are designed for fast installations, produce less waste, and are less expensive than their natural stone counterparts.
- Porcelain is non-porous meaning it is scratch, stain and heat resistant.
Porcelain slabs can work in most instances. From countertops to backsplashes, shower surrounds to bathroom floors, and fireplace surround to anywhere you want a seamless look. Porcelain slabs are an excellent option to natural stone and come in a wide array of natural patterns. If you’re looking to stay on the cutting edge with your remodeling project, then large format porcelain is a great choice for you.
Here are the Cons.
Every material has drawbacks, and porcelain is no exception! Some of the cons to porcelain include:
- Large format porcelain is difficult to fabricate.
Porcelain’s pattern does not have designs entirely through the materials, as they are basically printed on the top or glazed onto the material. So, because of this, slabs can be more brittle than something like quartz and can chip.
- Ceramic knives can scratch the surface of porcelain.
I know we said that porcelain slabs are virtually scratch proof, but ceramic knives are its kryptonite! They are the one thing that can scratch porcelain, so we recommend not using ceramic knives on porcelain countertops without a cutting board on top!
Because the color is not throughout the entire material, if it becomes chipped or scratched, it is very difficult to touch up or repair.
Here’s the Bottom Line on Porcelain Slabs
When it comes right down to it, picking something depends on your style, needs, and budget. If you want to be cutting edge of design trends or you’re looking for a unique material that will make an absolutely stunning impact, large format porcelain slabs are an excellent option.
It can fit into just about any design, from a feature shower wall or fireplace surround to creating a seamless bath shower floor. It is extremely hard and not predisposed to staining or scratching like other natural stone options. Unlike marble, each porcelain slab is uniform, so you won’t need to spend too much time finding the “perfect” slab. In fact, with large format porcelain slabs, you can continue a vein across a complete wall for an extremely high-end look.
The bottom – porcelain is durable, versatile, affordable, and incredibly beautiful! If you’re interested in learning more about porcelain give us a call or make an appointment for a consultation today. You can also view some samples of our work here.