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Porcelain Surfaces

In the realm of hard surfaces, there are a number of options form which to choose. Some of these have been around for millenia (think natural stone), others have a more recent arrival (think engineered quartz). One material that has been around for several decades but recently has made its way into the realm of countertops is porcelain. Porcelain surfaces are an option that many choose for all sorts of surfaces. In this article, we will take a look at this interesting material. We will also mention some specific properties regarding porcelain and how this affects working with it and what is involved in its care and maintenance.

What is Porcelain?

Porcelain is a man made material that has been used for years to cover floors and other surfaces. For example, porcelain floor tiles, large format tiles, and wall tiles have a long history. Porcelain is a material that is produced through the sintering process. Like with other materials that go through sintering, porcelain has some notable characteristics which we will get to in a bit. But let's first talk a little bit about what goes into producing this material.

The sintering process is performed in a specific way. Here is how Wikipedia.org describes the process:

Sintering or frittage is the process of compacting and forming a solid mass of material by heat or pressure without melting it to the point of liquefaction.

As mentioned above, there are a number of materials that are "sintered". These materials differ from one another because the substances in the particles used in the sintering process plays a role in the outcome. What are the properties of porcelain?

Porcelain's Properties

Porcelain is a material with some distinct properties making it useful for many applications including kitchen countertops, floor tiles and large format wall tiles. Each property of porcelain contributes to its appeal.


What are those properties? One of them is the hardness of the material. Porcelain is a very hard material that can be susceptible to chipping when it is cut. Therefore, it is recommended that a blade designed to cut porcelain be used when working with it. Its hardness and its scratch resistance make porcelain surfaces very durable.


Porcelain surfaces are non-porous and that translates to stain-resistance. When liquids are absorbed by a material (e.g. natural stone), they can deliver stain causing substances into the pores. However, non-porous materials like porcelain do not absorb liquid. Thus, anything that could stain porcelain stays on the surface and can be cleaned up easily if it is cared for relatively quickly.

Porcelain Countertops

As mentioned above, there are more uses for porcelain now than there were in the decades past. One of those is the use of porcelain as a kitchen countertop surface material. There are several brands of porcelain surfaces and each year there are more and more of them emerging on the scene for use as kitchen countertops. The color selection for porcelain countertops continues to grow as it get easier to select a color and/or pattern that coordinates with you design style and color palette.

Large Format Porcelain Tile

It might seem counterintuitive to talk about tile in the context of stone surfaces. However, there are a number of applications in which both stone tiles and porcelain tiles are the material of choice. So it stands to reason then that some of the same professionals would be installing both materials. In this brief article, we are going to talk a little bit about what kinds of applications large format porcelain tiles are used in. As we do, we will share a list of some brands under which porcelain tiles are sold. We will also mention some of the necessary tools and products for working with large format porcelain tile and caring for it. So let's get into the article.

Introduction to Large Format Tile

What are large format porcelain tiles? As a general rule most people are familiar with porcelain tile. And many know that there are several sizes of porcelain tile. Large format porcelain tile is tile that is made in large sizes. There are a number of sizes of large format tile, so we won't go into a full, exhaustive list of each available size of tile. But each provider of this durable and versatile material will have a selection of sizes.

Applications for Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is used for a number of applications. For many years this material has been used for floor covering in several sizes. However, larger sizes are available for use indoor and outdoor. These "large format" tiles (also called panels) allow more ground to be covered with fewer tiles. Porcelain is a material that is easily cleaned with a variety of cleaners. The material also is scratch resistant and holds up well when used as a floor covering. Because of its durability, large format porcelain tiles are used for wall coverings, floor covering, building facades and even countertops.

The Look of Large Format Porcelain Tiles

It may be surprising for some to learn that there are many occasions where large format tile does not even appear to be a man-made material at all. That is because porcelain tile has advanced to the point where it can be made to look like any number of materials; including natural stone. Several brands of large format tile offer collections that are engineered to resemble natural stone surfaces.

Brands Associated With Porcelain Tile

As is the case with any popular product, there are a variety of brands associated with porcelain tile. And although not all brands dealing in porcelain tile offer large format tiles, a number of brands do. Since there so many options available, it is good to research the use case for your tile and select a reputable source for the material. Here is a non-exhaustive list of brands that are associated with porcelain tile in general. Keep in mind though that this article is about large format porcelain tile. SOme of the brands associated with porcelain tile include:

Large Format Porcelain Tile Tools

One of the questions that might be asked is, "How does working with large format porcelain tile differ from working with stone?" Porcelain is like stone in some ways and in other ways it differs. For example, like some natural stone, porcelain is very hard and requires diamond blades for cutting it. On the other hand though, it is so hard that using diamond blades for cutting porcelain is better than opting for a diamond blade for cutting hard natural stone materials.

Another variation in the way large format porcelain tile is installed has to do with the surface areas covered with this relatively lightweight material. Large spans of floors, walls, and interior or exterior surfaces are covered with it. Additionally, the use of multiple tiles for a surface combined with the size of the tiles being used necessitates a tile leveling system. A tool that is being popularized because of its efficiency is the vibrating suction cup tile leveling tool like the Tile Quake from Weha. This tool makes the work of leveling tile very efficient which improves profitability.

Porcelain Tile Care

One of the selling points for large format porcelain tile is that they are easy to maintain. Being a non-porous material, porcelain does not require sealing. When cleaned with the proper cleaner, and cared for according to the guidelines from the material's manufacturer, porcelain offers many years of service. Using a cleaner designed for use on porcelain will offer the greatest benefits.

As we have seen in this consideration of the man made material called porcelain, there are some basic facts that make it a reliable material. Additionally, even though it has historically been used for flooring and wall coverings it also has made its way into the countertop realm. Thus, if you are looking for a new material to fabricate for countertops, porcelain may be one to consider. And if you are looking for a unique material to use for your project, porcelain may just have what it takes.

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Booster Porcelain Ceramic Cleaner Booster Porcelain Ceramic Cleaner

Cleaning detergent for use on porcelain, ceramic, and other sintered materials that removes a number of substances.

List Price: $10.31
Lustro Stone Cleaner 32 fl oz Lustro Stone Cleaner 32 fl oz

Natural stone cleaner formulated to use for daily cleaning of natural stone countertops without harming the sealer.

List Price: $14.00
7" Diamond Tile Saw Blade 7" Diamond Tile Saw Blade

Thin kerf 7 inch diamond tile saw blade with a ceramica mesh design made for cutting ceramic tile & porcelain cleanly.

List Price: $50.32
5" Dry Cut Dekton & Ceramic Blade 5" Dry Cut Dekton & Ceramic Blade

5 inch diamond blade with a rigid, heat resistant core designed for cutting ceramic materials in either wet or dry environments.

List Price: $82.90
16" Ceramic/Porcelain Blade 16" Ceramic/Porcelain Blade

Dekton 16" bridge saw blade for cutting sintered materials including Dekton ultra-compact sintered stone materials.

List Price: $356.35
16" 45° Ceramic Miter Blade 16" 45° Ceramic Miter Blade

16 inch ceramica diamond blade specifically designed for cutting 45 degree angles on porcelain countertop surfaces.

List Price: $587.18
White Rubber Ratchet White Rubber Ratchet

White rubber doesn't create rings, black marks, stains, etc, on more delicate materials such as white or light stones.

List Price: $717.88
Suction Cup Assembly Suction Cup Assembly

Protects your granite, marble, and stone kitchen and bathroom counter tops in transport, reducing the chance of breaking the top.

List Price: $863.83
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