It’s not easy choosing the right countertop for your kitchen or bathroom. With so many varieties available, it’s difficult to pick just one surface to blend with your interiors and fulfill all your requirements.
You may have experience with traditional countertop materials like quartzite, marble and granite. But what about quartz and porcelain? They might not be go-to materials for most homeowners, but both are growing in popularity and have many benefits, making them worthy of consideration.
In this blog, we highlight the pros and cons of porcelain and quartz countertops to help you make an informed decision.
Pros and Cons of Porcelain Countertops
Porcelain countertops are manufactured using clay that’s been loaded with heavy minerals to strengthen it. Since it’s artificial, you can find a wide range of colours.
Here are some of their benefits.
They Resist Chemicals
Acidic drinks, foods and chemicals won’t dull or etch the finish of porcelain surfaces as it does marble and other natural stone countertops. Also, you don’t have to worry about chemicals bleaching or discolouring the surface.
The foundation material of porcelain is natural clay. It remains eco-friendly even after being heated in a kiln and pressed to be shaped into tiles or the porcelain slabs used to make countertops. At the end of its lifecycle, the clay won’t harm the environment when disposed of, and can be reused as other products.
Porcelain slabs resist heat, stain, scratches and frost, making them one of the most durable materials for kitchen countertops. This makes them ideal for busy households and ensures that it lasts a long time. With proper maintenance, porcelain countertops are a lifetime investment.
Compared to other natural stone countertops, porcelain is lighter. This makes it easier to install than stone. Depending on how thick the slab is, it can be applied over plywood-backed countertops as well, such as butcher block or laminate. If you’re worried about it being too heavy for your existing kitchen island cabinets, porcelain is a perfect choice.
Your Edge Options Are Limited
The edge options are virtually limitless with natural stone countertops, but porcelain countertops only offer two: metered and square. Generally, varying edge options are only available for bulk orders by select manufacturers and retailers.
It Doesn’t Add Value to the Property
The real estate industry doesn’t consider porcelain to be a value-adding material as it has low resale value in terms of aesthetics.
Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops combine 92 to 94% ground-up quartz with 6 to 8 % pigments and resin to bond everything together. Here’s a look at their strengths and weaknesses.
There’s a Wide Variety of Styles Available
Since the manufacturing process is controlled, quartz countertops come in a wider variety of designs and colours than natural stone ones. Their appearance makes it difficult to distinguish high-quality quartz from marble, granite and other natural stones. Additionally, they can be manufactured to mimic the appearance of these countertops at a lower cost.
They’re Easy to Maintain
Being factory-made, quartz slabs are non-porous and homogeneous. This helps them avoid defects that weaken natural stone countertops. This makes them a more sanitary option than natural stone (as they don’t harbour germs or bacteria) and ideal for bathrooms and kitchens.
They’re Impact Resistant
They exhibit greater durability to cracking caused by impact. This is because of the polymers and resins used in their manufacturing. The resin, being a flexible substance, acts as a shock absorber that disperses the energy of any impacts before it reached the stone. Additionally, the granules of ground-up quartz offer even more durability as they disperse high energy impulses that can be destructive to other surfaces.
There Are Limited Sink Options
Quartz countertops can be difficult to install with integrated sinks, and mounting the wrong kind can damage the worktop and, in extreme cases, result in they’re having to be replaced. The most compatible options for them are under-mount, flush-mount and drop-in sinks.
They’re Susceptible to Heat Damage
Although quartz is heat resistant, the polymer and resin fillers aren’t. This means exposing the countertop to hot cookware can melt it and result in permanent discolouration. Signs of heat damage include cloudiness and spotting.
Both quartz and porcelain slabs have many benefits, making them high-performing alternatives to natural stone. They both stand up against the daily wear and tear of a typical busy kitchen and come in numerous colours, designs and patterns. You can rest assured knowing their benefits outweigh their disadvantages. Additionally, with the right care and maintenance, they’re practical choices for any modern or traditional-style homes.