Porcelain stoneware countertop: pros and cons

Porcelain stoneware table top

When planning to change the countertop in the kitchen, you should decide on the material for the manufacture of this type of furniture. A porcelain stoneware worktop lets you experiment with a modern look to your kitchen.

Artificial composite is not too expensive, unlike natural stone, but its weight and strength are not inferior to natural material.

Peculiarities

The properties of porcelain stoneware make it possible to make kitchen furniture items from it, used in industrial and domestic conditions. This is due to the fact that the countertops are made of thin and thick porcelain stoneware. The dimensions of these products depend on the preferences of customers who plan to combine sheets or slabs of porcelain stoneware with various types of built-in kitchen equipment..

Since the countertop is, in the end, a consumable material, many customers prefer to purchase furniture in the kitchen from more durable materials, the cost of which is higher. These include porcelain stoneware, which can serve for decades..

The choice of 12 to 20 mm thin porcelain stoneware countertops is often associated with the decision to combine kitchen and dining areas. The furniture in the living room is not thick-walled, since the dining areas with their interior design should not put negative pressure on the people living in the house. The thick porcelain stoneware worktop is perceived as a place for cutting meat products and performing other cooking operations. It may not fit into the interior of the living room combined with the kitchen area..

The varieties of porcelain stoneware countertops offered by different suppliers depend on the color of the material. This criterion is paramount in determining the cost of a product. Any customer selects the most suitable shade of artificial tiles from the catalog, focusing on the interior design of the kitchen.

Advantages

The durable tile, an alternative to granite, has a long lifespan. The material is resistant to mechanical damage. It has an attractive appearance and allows you to decorate the room with beautiful furniture or decoration. The table top made of chipboard or plywood, lined with porcelain stoneware tiles, has increased strength and resistance to high temperatures.

The load-bearing surface after finishing with tiles of light weight does not undergo deformation, therefore, the advantage of porcelain stoneware is the possibility of laying on the following types of bases:

  • metal;
  • concrete;
  • plastic;
  • wood.

Initially, porcelain stoneware tiles were used as flooring, but the advantages of this material made it possible to use it for cladding kitchen furniture. The product is neutral to high and low temperatures, it is resistant to aggressive chemical compounds, it is easy to care for it.

Porcelain stoneware lends itself to polishing, and defects in the form of chips, cuts or scratches formed on its surface can be sanded with a special tool.

The advantages that are endowed with countertops with porcelain stoneware cladding are as follows:

  • environmental friendliness;
  • heat resistance;
  • moisture resistance;
  • durability;
  • practicality;
  • maintainability.

The composition of the raw materials used for the manufacture of the material does not contain harmful additives, dyes and artificial components, therefore, its main advantage is environmental friendliness. The hardness of porcelain stoneware allows the installation of quality worktops in various sizes, including the largest. Heavy-duty surfaces allow you to cut food without the use of cutting boards.

The material is resistant to the penetration of fats or liquid substances, so its properties are retained for tens of years. Hot dishes can be placed on the porcelain stoneware surface by removing them from the stove or by removing them from the oven.. The tile does not emit any toxic substances harmful to health, bacteria do not grow on it.

The functionality of porcelain stoneware allows countertops from it to compete with many types of kitchen furniture made from other materials. Tile is becoming an increasingly common material due to the wide range of colors on offer. Knowing the technology of surface cladding, it is easy to lay porcelain stoneware with your own hands, even if you do not have the skills to work with this type of finish..

disadvantages

Despite the fact that the cost of porcelain stoneware is 5 times cheaper than natural stone, finishing large surfaces of countertops with porcelain stoneware is expensive. This drawback becomes more noticeable if the tables are planned to be faced with a material released under the brand of a foreign manufacturer. It is aggravated by the laboriousness of the countertop cladding process, which requires regular renewal of the seams..

Maintenance of porcelain stoneware tiles can be difficult due to the uneven surface of the finished countertop. This is often due to the texture of the material or the seams between the individual trim elements. If you do not wipe the surface twice a day, it will lose its shine..

The disadvantage of porcelain stoneware is considered the instability of the tile to the action of acid-based cleaning agents. A special polish can increase the service life of the product. If the surface is not cleaned in accordance with all requirements, it can lead to significant costs for repairing the countertop..

Choice of porcelain stoneware

There are various technologies for finishing countertops with porcelain stoneware. If they are not respected when laying the tiles, then the cladding will not last long. To mount a surface of 30 mm thick material, it is better to use the services of professionals. The parameters that must be considered when choosing porcelain stoneware relate to the texture and size of the tiles..

The surface of a countertop made of one or another type of porcelain stoneware can have a different texture:

  • matte either untreated;
  • semi-matte or partially processed;
  • polished, that is, smooth;
  • glazed with anti-slip properties;
  • embossed, imitating different types of materials.

Glazed tiles, which have a mirror-glossy surface, are not practical in use, since they require special care. This also applies to relief tiles, which can be made to look like wood or imitate stone. When choosing such a coating, one should not forget about its porosity, which prevents regular cleaning of the surface using conventional means..

If large-format sheets of porcelain stoneware are used, then they should be cut with high accuracy. Cutting is done with a grinder equipped with diamond discs. Large sheets, for example 1000×3000 mm, allow facing work with the least amount of waste. The smaller the tile used, the more expensive the countertop cladding will look, therefore, porcelain stoneware in the form of a mosaic is an advantageous design solution.

Installation rules

Before making a countertop from porcelain stoneware tiles, you will need to prepare all the necessary materials and tools. The installation technology of this material resembles the laying of tiles. You will need the same adhesive and spatulas. With a notched tool, it will be necessary to level the glue, and with a solid metal spatula, apply the composition to ceramic products and a previously prepared surface.

It is necessary that the seams between the tiles are as small as possible. The optimal seam size will be 1-2 mm., which will prevent the formation of unnecessary gaps.

It is not recommended to immediately consume all the glue, since it hardens quickly in finished form, and its useful properties are lost. The tiles should be laid on the surface using a level to check the levelness. Any direction of masonry can be chosen, since this does not affect the quality of the cladding..

It is important to pay special attention to the facing of all ends., finishing which is carried out by analogy with laying tiles on the surface of the countertop. For reliable fastening of the material, you can temporarily use construction tape, otherwise the products may fall. Once the glue is dry, the attached tape can be removed.

For information on how to properly lay a porcelain stoneware countertop, see the next video.

Reviews of porcelain stoneware countertops are positive, despite the fact that the tiling method began to spread not very long ago. Sheet material allows you to reliably hide surface differences. The technology of laying porcelain stoneware presupposes the presence of a wooden base, which must first be carefully measured in order to make all the necessary calculations.

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