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Quartz vs. Porcelain Countertops: Choose the Best for Your Kitchen

It will sometimes not be an easy task to decide which countertop fully combines functionality with style. Porcelain countertops have really crept in as a very viable option since through their very nature, they’re very tough, hard, and heat-resistant. This sort of material also has a huge variety of colours and sizes—ready to fit any your aesthetics.

Where something is very popular in Europe, the United States is only now slowly picking up on it. And the reasons are good. Porcelain is a high-quality material, sleek, and modern when properly designed for all premises.

Quartz-Countertops

Table of Contents

What is Porcelain?

Porcelain is produced through the mixture of quartz, clay, and feldspar, combined in great heat; it is this process from which comes out to be such a hard material.

So, is porcelain good for countertops in residential and commercial spaces?

Continue reading to find out:

porcelain countertop with wooden flooring

Pros & Cons of Porcelain Countertops

Pros

  • Stain resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Durability
  • Chemical resistant
  • Various colors to choose
  • Maintenance

Cons

  • Can be expensive than other countertops
  • Harder to install than other countertops

What Is a Quartz Countertop?

Quartz countertops are engineered stone, made from bonded resins with ground-up particles of quartz. They are engineered stone, in fact, that term is used in the industry; however, it is because that name is actually better to differentiate this product from a truly natural stone product.

Quartz Countertops Pros And Cons

Pros & Cons of Quartz Countertops

Pros

  • Durable
  • Attractive and consistent
  • Stainresistant
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Adds value to your home

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Vulnerable to heat damage
  • Difficult to install
  • Not recommended for outdoor use

Factors to Consider Porcelain Or Quartz Countertops

Considering the differences between porcelain and quartz kitchen countertops? This guide will cover essential features of each material to help you make an informed decision for your home improvement project.

Apperance

Porcelain Countertops:

  • Material: Kaolinite, silica, feldspar, and mineral oxides.
  • Common Name: “China Clay.”
  • Colors: A wide range, with blacks, grays, browns, and whites being the most admired.
Calacatta Gold Honed porcelain countertop
Calacatta Gold Honed Porcelain Countertop

Quartz Countertops:

  • Material: Man-made, consisting of quartz chips and dust bound together with resin.
  • Appearance: Often features a mottled or speckled look due to small individual stones suspended in the resin.

Suggestion: Both are okay

Reason: Porcelain offers a wide variety of color options, while quartz has a unique mottled appearance due to the inclusion of stones. The choice between them is a matter of personal preference.

Finish

Porcelain Countertops:

  • Finish Options: Limited to mainly high-gloss glaze or matte.
  • Manufacturing Process: The finish is applied during the manufacturing, unlike other stones that are sealed post-manufacturing.

Quartz Countertops:

Finish Options: Include honed, polished, or leathered finishes.

    • Polished: Highly reflective.
    • Honed: Matte and velvety to the touch.
    • Leathered: Possesses a soft sheen.
Advantages of Quartz Countertops
Quartz Samples

Suggestion: Quartz

Reason: Quartz offers a broader range of finish options, such as honed, polished, and leathered, enhancing its versatility and appeal.

Durability

Porcelain Countertops:

  • Strength: 30% more durable than granite.
  • Installation Problems: Although lighter, they are thinner and can be fragile during installation, prone to cracking or breaking.

Quartz Countertops:

  • Strength: Known for being virtually indestructible.
  • Installation Benefits: Though heavier, quartz can be purchased in prefabricated slabs, making them less prone to damage during installation.

Suggestion: Quartz

Reason: Quartz countertops are not only extremely durable but also offer greater ease and reliability during installation compared to porcelain.

Quartz Countertops Pros And Cons
Quartz Countertop

Heat Resistance

Porcelain Countertops:

Excellent heat resistance, unaffected by direct sunlight.

Quartz Countertops:

Less heat resistant; susceptible to warping and discoloration over time, especially when exposed to hot items without a trivet.

Suggestion: Porcelain

Reason: Porcelain maintains its integrity under heat better than quartz, which can suffer changes in appearance and structure.

Porcelain Slabs aka Ultracompact Surfaces
Porcelain Slab Countertop

Edge Options

Porcelain Countertops:

Fewer options due to the thin nature of the material.

  • Common Types: Mitered or square edges, often used to simulate a thicker countertop appearance.
  • Design: Limited, generally suiting simpler styles.

Quartz Countertops:

More various options.

  • Styles: Includes full bullnose, ogee, beveled, and straight edges.
  • Design: Offers versatile design possibilities, fitting well in traditional, transitional, and modern kitchens.

Suggestion: Quartz

Reason: Quartz provides a greater selection of edge options, allowing it to adapt seamlessly to various kitchen aesthetics and design preferences.

Caesarstone Quartz Countertop Samples
Quartz Countertop Samples

Maintenance

Here is the general care for both materials:

  • Cleaning Methods: Use a damp microfiber cloth paired with neutral liquid detergent or a soft sponge for regular cleaning.
  • Special Instructions: Always dry the countertops after cleaning to prevent water spots and avoid harsh chemicals like bleach.
  • Sealing: Neither porcelain nor quartz countertops require sealing, which is often necessary for natural stone options such as marble and granite. This reduces ongoing maintenance costs and effort.

Suggestion: Both are okay.

Reason: Porcelain and quartz are both low maintenance, requiring only basic cleaning to maintain their appearance and functionality. Therefore, they are attractive choices for both residential and commercial spaces.

Installation

Porcelain Countertops:

They can be installed directly over existing countertops without removing the old surface to save the time and cost of countertop replacement.

Porcelain Slab Countertop
Porcelain Slab Countertop

Quartz Countertops:

Due to their weight, quartz countertops must be installed on suitable cabinetry, often necessitating the removal of existing countertops.

In some cases, the installation of new, sturdier cabinetry is required to support the heavy slabs, adding to the overall complexity and cost.

Suggestion: Porcelain

Reason: Porcelain offers greater ease of installation by allowing for placement over existing countertops, whereas quartz installations involve more extensive preparation and potential cabinetry upgrades.

Cost

Porcelain Countertops:

Price Range: Typically costs between $55 to $120 per square foot.

The final price is influenced by the stone color, pattern, and the total area needed for the project.

Quartz Countertops:

They ranges from $45 to $200 per square foot.

Quartz may be more cost-effective for smaller projects due to its broader price range and material efficiency.

Suggestion: Both are okay.

Reason: The cost of both porcelain and quartz countertops can vary greatly based on several factors, including the color, patterning, and size of the surface area to be covered. Quartz offers potentially lower costs for smaller areas, making it a competitive option depending on project specifics.

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