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About Porcelain Surfaces

Porcelain Historic Material With New Applications

Porcelain surface have existed for centuries. Ceramic Porcelain tiles have a long history. Even in recent times porcelain tiles have been a staple for interior design and home decor. Even architects make use of porcelain tiling when engineering projects. What are some tradition uses for porcelain and how is the ceramic landscape changing? We will consider both of those topics in this article.

Historical Uses for Porcelain

Ceramics have had a place in architecture for centuries. The material is versatile and can be fairly easy to make. Before the modern firing techniques, ceramic clay tiles were baked in the sun. As time progressed other methods were developed. These methods improved the look of the finished product and to created a more durable material. Processes like glazing and equipment such as kilns were invented. Eventually, porcelain became known as a sintered material. Naturally, the material was upgraded and diversified.

Along the way porcelain, a form of ceramic was created by means of the aforementioned technological advancements. Porcelain came to be a denser material with a lower moisture absorption rate. Additionally, porcelain found its way into many places of modern design and decor. All of the following surfaces have been and can be created using porcelain tiles:

  • Wall Insets
  • Countertops
  • Back Splashes
  • Bathroom Showers
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Ceiling Tiles

As diverse at that may seem, porcelain is growing even more diverse. In fact, it is making its way into areas of design and construction along with other materials like Ultracompact Surfaces. Even with its age, it is a new face on the scene when it comes to some of the applications.

New Uses for Porcelain

In more recent times, porcelain surfaces have undergone an evolution; or change. The material has been the subject of improved technology and is being made now in larger sizes and is becoming thicker than it used to be. As a result, porcelain now finds its way into more aspects of design. For example, large format porcelain tiles are used for the following:

  • Flooring
  • Wall Cladding
  • Exterior Cladding

Those are not the only applications in which you can find porcelain. It is also making its way into the kitchen in the form of porcelain kitchen countertops. This application of porcelain is one that many find exciting and interesting.

Porcelain Surface Brands

Like other parts of the design and construction industry, porcelain surfaces feature an array of competitors. The following is a list of brands under which porcelain surfaces are marketed:

Those brands of porcelain represent a trend in the industry whereby porcelain is being offered as a surface material. Kitchen countertops, worktops and vanity tops are becoming more frequent applications for porcelain.

Working With Porcelain

Stone fabrication professionals sometimes take up working with a new material and find that there are nuances in the way the material needs to be worked. This is true of porcelain as well as many other materials. Taking a bit of time to reach out to the fabrication community to get some information can prove to be valuable. That is what one fabricator did in the SFA Forums. He needed some information so he posted his Questions on Porcleain/Ceramic slabs. He got his question answered and was able to generate a conversation that is still helping people today.

One of the most basic things to keep in mind when cutting any material is that there are diamond bridge saw blades made specifically for certain materials. Using the proper blade is the first step in getting a project completed cleanly. So, if you are cutting porcelain slabs make sure you use a ceramic bridge saw blade. Ceramic blades are designed to cut porcelain cleanly and smoothly.

Following the best practices for a particular material is also important. Research the usage instructions for the blade you are using and make your cuts in line with the instructions provided by the slab manufacturer. Cutting porcelain countertops and other surfaces takes both patience and skill.

Caring for Porcelain

As we mentioned above, one feature that many find advantageous to choosing a sintered material is that it is easy to maintain and care for after it is installed. But as you also recall, we said that there are specific kinds of cleaners for removing various types of stains and discolorations. If you would like to know more about how to care for porcelain, ceramic and other types of sintered materials, check out our stone products website under the porcelain and sintered stone area.

In the end, sintered stone and other sintered materials are very much like other hard materials that are used for interior design and architecture. They have distinctive qualities and need specific tooling and care products if they are to yield the best benefits.

Like virtually everything else, porcelain surfaces have undergone significant changes throughout history and they will no doubt continue to evolve moving forward. Keeping up with the new technologies and techniques is what will keep you progressing as well.

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