Porcelain vs Quartz: What’s the Difference and Which is Best?
Picking the right countertop material that’s perfect for your kitchen or bathroom can seem like an overwhelming task. With a range of materials to pick from, which one is going to be the most appropriate for your house? You might have past experience with some tried and tested options like quartzite, granite, and marble, but what about engineered stone surfaces, such as porcelain and quartz, that are rapidly gaining popularity.
Continue reading to find out the differences between quartz countertops and porcelain countertops. In this article, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of porcelain and quartz countertops to help you decide which of the two is right for your needs.
Porcelain Vs. Quartz
Let’s compare porcelain and quartz in several different aspects.
1. Visual Appearance
What’s porcelain made of? These kaolinite-rich countertops comprise feldspar, mineral oxides, and silica. Commonly known as “China Clay,” porcelain is available in a number of colors, with greys, whites, blacks, and browns being the most sought after ones.
Man-made quartz countertops consist of dust and quartz chips bound together by resin. As opposed to porcelain, some of these countertop surfaces have a speckled or mottled appearance that is due to tiny individual stones suspended in resin.
Porcelain countertops don’t offer several finish options. The two finish options that are most popular are matte or glaze. This is because the finish is applied during the manufacturing process, unlike other stones that get their finish from sealing.
The finish of the quartz countertop can be polished, leathered, or honed. The polished finish is very reflective, whereas the honed is matte and velvety in feel. Lastly, leathered quartz countertop carries a light sheen.
Just like porcelain, quartz is almost indestructible. Porcelain countertops are 30 percent more durable than granite. Nevertheless, they are typically thinner and may crack during installation.
Porcelain countertops are lighter than quartz. However, such large slabs can be fragile during installation. The durability of quartz countertops is excellent when it comes to installation in terms of breakages. Even though heavier, they can be purchased in prefabricated slabs and are less finicky.
4. Heat Resistance
The biggest difference between quartz countertops and porcelain countertops is in terms of their heat resistance. Porcelain is highly resistant to heat and is totally unimpacted by sunlight.
The heat resistance of quartz isn’t as strong. Even though keeping a hot pan on a quartz surface will not ruin its surface instantly, quartz can discolor or warp with time. Like with other countertops, you need to use a trivet to prevent cracking and/or discoloration.
5. Resistance to Scratches
Because of their compact and hard surface, porcelain countertops scratch, crack, and chip from blunt force. When porcelain slabs break, it leaves jagged and sharp edges that warrant professional help to restore the surfaces original shine and lustre.
On the other hand, the scratch-resistant threshold of a quartz countertop is much higher. Nevertheless, it isn’t entirely scratch-proof. Even though it’s quite hard to scratch, if sufficient force is applied, some scratches will appear. All in all, quartz countertops can resist against wear and tear with minimal scratches.
Quartz countertops offer a higher number of options than porcelain countertops. Since porcelain is thinner than quartz, there are fewer edging options available. Square or mitred edges are generally used to offer the illusion of a thicker countertop surface, providing a limited number of design options.
On the contrary, edging options for quartz countertop include ogee, straight, bevelled, and full bullnose. Its edging diversity complements different types of kitchen styles, from conventional to transitional and contemporary.
Quartz and porcelain countertops are quite similar when it comes to maintenance. Cleaning regularly with a moist microfiber towel and a liquid detergent is enough. Make sure to wipe your countertops dry after cleaning and keep away from chemicals such as bleach.
Both countertops don’t require sealing. This also helps to reduce costs associated with other natural stone countertops such as granite and marble. When it comes to quartz versus porcelain countertops, maintenance is fairly simple.
Maybe the biggest advantage when it comes to the installation of porcelain vs quartz countertops is that porcelain counters can be installed above existing countertops without moving the existing countertop surface.
Quartz countertops are bulky. Therefore, they can only be installed on cabinets, and existing countertops will have to be removed. In certain cases, new cabinets have to be installed as well in order to support the heavy slabs.
The costs of quartz countertops and porcelain countertops are quite different. The average cost of porcelain lies between $55 to $120 for every square foot. On the other hand, the average cost of a quartz countertop ranges from $45 to $200 for every square foot.
Keep in mind, the stone patterning, color, and the amount of work required to complete your perfect countertop design will decide the actual cost. Quartz might be cheaper if you have a small area to cover.
Porcelain Vs. Quartz – What to Choose?
Porcelain and quartz both make great options for walls and indoor tiling. However, if you’re searching for materials that can be used outdoors too, several porcelain tiles withstand well to the elements.
When you talk about kitchen countertops, quartz is a durable and substantial material that can serve you properly. However, if direct sunlight and heat exposure are your main concerns, porcelain may be better suited to your requirements.
Typically, countertops are viewed as a sizeable investment that increases the value of a space. Even though porcelain countertops cost less in the short run, they’re overshadowed by the several long-term benefits of quartz.
Quartz countertops offer all the advantages of natural stone, such as granite and marble, without high maintenance. This is why we offer our customers high-quality and beautiful quartz countertops. At Superior Stone & Cabinet, we have hundreds of quartz colors available to install – the largest selection of quartz in the Valley!