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Porcelain & Quartz

Quartz and Porcelain Compared

Looking at materials used for countertop surfaces, you will find that there is a range of hardness represented. Some materials register at the "soft" end of the spectrum while others, like the two mentioned in this article, weigh in at the hard end of the scale. In this article, we will consider some of the features these materials share as well as some they do not as we explore quartz and porcelain compared.

Quartz

As an engineered stone, quartz possesses some specific qualities that distinguish it form material that is formed in nature. To summarize quartz, we could say that quartz is a very hard man-made material that has a high quartz content. But to go a bit farther, we will look at its hardness and other properties. We will also consider how the characteristics of this material translates into features and/or benefits.

Properties of Quartz

One of the characteristics of quartz is that it is non-porous. Natural materials form with pores through which water and other liquids may pass. But not so with quartz. Liquids are unable to penetrate it so they stay on the surface of the slab. This trait of engineered quartz means that there is no sealing of newly installed surfaces needed. Once the surface is installed, simply remove any foreign material from the surface, remove the suction cup rings using quartz cleaner for removing suction cup rings, and present the surface to the customer.

Stain Resistance

The lack of the need for sealing is not the only benefit of quartz's non-porous nature. Since liquids do not get absorbed, any spills remain on top of the stone and can be cleaned up relatively easily. And even though substances may dry on the surface, battling a stain outside the material is easier than trying to get to it inside the slab. This characteristic of quartz makes it stain resistant.

Resistant to Scratching

In addition to its non-porous nature, engineered quartz is also very hard. This contributes to its scratch resistance. Even though quartz is not indestructible, it resists scratching and for this reason, people are drawn to choosing it as a countertop surface.

Porcelain's Traits

Porcelain also has some very appealing properties itself. Some of these traits are the same ones that we talked about regarding quartz and some are different. One trait that is similar to that of quartz is that porcelain is extremely hard. In fact, porcelain countertops require diamond blades for cutting ceramic materials. And as you might have guessed, porcelain is very scratch resistant. Even though it is not a "natural" stone per se, it is a material that is fashioned from ingredients that include natural materials.

The fact that porcelain is hard and durable makes it a great candidate for kitchen countertop surfaces. And in fact, it is being used for such a purpose more and more. There are a number of manufacturers that produce porcelain countertops for kitchens. The hardness of porcelain and its durability along with the versatility and color selection make it a viable option.

Comparisons

As you might have concluded from looking at the properties of each material, the comparison of quartz to porcelain can be made pretty easily based on details regarding their respective characteristics. So let's run through comparing these materials now.

Similarities

As we have mentioned, each of these materials is scratch resistant and does well in this area. Neither material scratches easily under normal household use. So, we would classify porcelain and quartz to be similar in their ability to resist scratching - although neither material is indestructible.

Another similarity between porcelain and quartz is the color selection of each material. Since both are man-made surfaces it is possible for virtually any color to be made. In fact, each manufacturer offers its own color palette. Furthermore, there are quartz products and porcelain products that are designed to mimic natural stone. So the color selection could be said to be another similarity between quartz and porcelain.

Differences

One of the major differences (if not the biggest) between quartz and porcelain is their level of heat resistance. Quartz is heat resistant and performs well under normal household use. However, many porcelain products withstand much higher levels of heat than do quartz surfaces.

Another difference between quartz and porcelain surfaces is seen in tool use. Cutting porcelain requires very specific diamond blades. Often times, the best blades for cutting porcelain are ones with continuous (or near continuous) rims. On the other hand, many granite blades are advertised as also being a fit for cutting quartz. This difference is related to the hardness of porcelain vs. quartz. Both materials are hard, but porcelain can seem more brittle if not cut properly using the correct tools.

On the surface porcelain and quartz are comparable in a number of ways. They are however, very different substances and need different treatment. Even the same material may require different care from one brand to the next. But each material has its advantages and disadvantages. In the end, you may find yourself simply choosing the material that best fits with the rest of your project.