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Modern Porcelain Slabs: Elegant Renovation Options

Porcelain slabs, attractive and easy to clean, suit both indoor and outdoor settings well, becoming a preferred choice for home renovations. Factories in Spain, Italy, and Tennessee often produce them.

The main material, kaolinite clay, gets a coat of colored glaze before high-temperature firing to ensure uniform color. Depending on their production process, the slabs can look like marble, wood, or granite.

white porcelain slab

The large slabs, typically around 10 feet by 5 feet, are excellent for countertops, wall panels, backsplashes, and flooring. If you consider porcelain slabs for a custom home or renovation projects, exploring their pros and cons first would be wise.

Table of Contents

What Are Porcelain Slabs?

Porcelain, a man-made material, traditionally comes from the mineral kaolinite, often referred to as china clay. Before firing at high temperatures, workers coat the kaolinite with a colored glaze to ensure that the slab’s color remains uniform throughout.

At times, porcelain might show veins, similar to those in granite and marble. Its non-porous and durable nature makes it easy to clean with just a damp sponge.

Nowadays, porcelain often includes kaolin, feldspar, quartz, and clay in its composition. Available in plenty of colors and natural patterns, porcelain offers flexibility for decorating any room in the home.

Porcelain-Slabs-Sustainable

Pros of Porcelain Slabs

Easy to Maintain

Porcelain is dense and non-porous, so it doesn’t need a sealer like natural stone does. It naturally fights off bacteria and stains, which makes it great for preparing food in the kitchen. This feature is particularly beneficial for families with young children.

Cleaning porcelain is easy because of its smooth surface. Usually, warm water and soap are enough to clean it. You can also use common cleaners and even stronger chemicals like bleach on porcelain without harming it.

Porcelain slabs come without grout lines, improving hygiene. Grout is porous and can collect bacteria and dirt, so not having grout lines is an advantage.

Versatile

Porcelain slabs are thinner and lighter than materials such as marble or granite. They are suitable for many places in a custom home, like backsplashes, kitchen counters, and bathroom counters.

The slabs resist UV rays and frost, suitable for outdoor use without fading in the sun.

Available in various thicknesses, porcelain withstands heat well. Since it’s fired at temperatures of 1,000 degrees or more, hot items placed on a porcelain counter are safer than with other materials.

Large Size Porcelain Slab Tiles

Attractive & Sustainable

Porcelain provides an attractive appearance, like natural materials, and is available in many colors and designs. As it comes from clay, porcelain is sustainable and can be recycled and reused in future home renovations.

Exterior Use & Heat Resistance

Porcelain slabs, being waterproof, heatproof, and nearly stain proof, suit uses where quartz might not, like fireplaces, exterior walls, or outdoor kitchens and BBQs.

Stain Resistant

Porcelain surpasses all other materials in stain resistance. Common substances such as tomato sauce, turmeric, wine, and soda, which might leave marks on marble, granite, or quartz, do not affect porcelain countertops. The surface of porcelain is fully resistant to foods and chemicals that could harm other materials.

Unlike quartz and natural stone, porcelain’s ability to resist stains is a natural property of the material. Other materials depend on chemical sealers that diminish over time and could contaminate your family’s food.

Cons of Porcelain Slabs

Higher Cost

Porcelain slabs, while priced similarly to quartz, often come at a higher cost due to their fragility and the complexity of their production. Additionally, the need for greater skill and expertise for both creation and installation makes porcelain a pricier option for renovation projects.

Luxury-Porcelain-Tiles

More Fragile

Because porcelain slabs are thinner compared to other materials, they can be more prone to chipping or cracking, especially around corners.

For installing porcelain slab countertops, workers need to cut and join pieces at 45-degree angles, a process known as creating mitered edges, to increase the production cost and adds to the overall expense of porcelain slabs. Moreover, mitered edges do not completely block water.

Need for Skilled Fabricator

Due to their thin nature, porcelain slabs demand specific training and tools for transport, handling, and installation. You’d better find a professional who has the right training and extensive experience with porcelain slabs to prevent chipping or damage to the material.

Exposed Edges

The patterns of porcelain slabs don’t extend through their entire thickness. This detail matters if rounded edges are preferred or if the edge becomes visible, such as with certain sink installations. You should choose angled cuts for edges or sinks that mount over the counter to overcome these design challenges.

Porcelain slabs remain advantageous for their qualities if the end of the pattern at the slab’s edge is acceptable.

Bookmatch Porcelain Slab

Tops Colors & Finishes for Porcelain Countertops

Porcelain is available in numerous colors and patterns, thanks to the pigments, clays, and designs used in production. With high-resolution techniques, manufacturers create porcelain that mirrors natural stone, like marble. You find porcelain in complex colors and patterns, often improved with different finishes or glazes.

There are also natural, unglazed tiles and ones with extra texture for more grip and less slip on floors.

Let’s look at popular porcelain colors and styles.

Marble Look Porcelain

You can have porcelain countertops that look like marble, a great choice for those desiring marble’s elegant appearance without its higher cost and upkeep. Porcelain tiles draw inspiration from varieties like Carrara, Calacatta, Statuario, and Pietra marble.

The options show veining and shades like natural marble, with backgrounds in white, cream, or gray with splashes of various colors. However, the veining may not go through the whole tile. Therefore, a chip or crack might reveal a layer without veining.

green marble look porcelain slab

Recently, technology has evolved to allow veins to extend through the full thickness of the slab for a more authentic marble effect. Please ask manufacturers or tile suppliers about tiles with full-thickness veining if this detail is important to you.

White Porcelain

White porcelain countertops offer a timeless choice suitable for any kitchen style. Favorites like Bianco Carrara, Bianco Venatino, and Thassos resemble white marble.

Their colors vary from pure white to creamy off-white, with a variety of veins, from short to long and thick to thin, across their surfaces.

Calacatta porcelain slabs
Calacatta porcelain slabs

Wood-Like Porcelain

Porcelain countertops can take on a wood appearance, ideal for those desiring the warm, natural look of wood without the upkeep. Although commonly used for floors, wood-like porcelain also works well for countertops.

Having wide variety in tree types, porcelain with a wood-inspired look comes in many styles and shades, including different wood grain designs. Popular choices for these countertops include Oak, Cherry, and Maple, available in hues from light to dark.

wood look porcelain slabs

Black & Dark Gray Porcelain

For those who want drama or striking contrast, black and dark gray porcelain can elevate your design, infusing countertops with visual tricks, depth, and elegance. The darker porcelains frequently have lighter gray or white veins to improve the dark surface beautifully.

dark color porcelain slab

FAQs

Can porcelain slabs work outside, and how do they do in different weather?

Yes, you can use porcelain slabs outside for things like patios, outdoor kitchens, and walls. They don’t soak up much water, so they stand up to frost and changes in temperature well. This means they don’t crack or get damaged easily in different climates.

They also don’t fade in the sun, so their colors and designs stay bright.

How do porcelain slabs' prices compare with granite, marble, or quartz?

Porcelain slabs initially may cost more than certain natural stones yet are often comparable to or less expensive than top-quality granite, marble, or engineered quartz.

Considering their durability, low maintenance, and longevity, porcelain slabs often provide better value over time. The cost also depends on how complex the installation is and the material’s quality.

How should you care for porcelain slabs?

To keep porcelain slabs in good condition, it’s all about regular cleaning with mild soap and water and using non-abrasive cleaners for tougher stains. Avoid harsh cleaners and scratchy pads to protect the surface.

Now, if you were curious about how often you should perform this simple care routine, let’s say you decide to give your porcelain a thorough cleaning once a week. Considering there are 7 days in a week, as we’ve just calculated, you’d be setting a good frequency to maintain their pristine condition over time.

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