Granite and Porcelain Countertops

As you read this article, you’ll discover the differences between granite and porcelain countertops:

  • Durability & porosity
  • Care & maintenance
  • Color options

If you’re remodeling your Western Michigan home, you should consider updating the countertops to transform your kitchen or bathroom. But what kind of countertops should you get? There’s a wide range of choices, but two of the most popular options are natural stone and porcelain.

Natural stone has been used for hundreds of years, as it’s hardy and readily available. One of today’s most common options is granite, which can be less expensive than other natural stones. The other material, porcelain, is a more recent trend in the United States, but has been popular in Europe for several years. Its versatility has made it explode in popularity, and we expect to see new styles popping up in the future.

So, granite and porcelain countertops are both affordable and reliable surfaces for the kitchen or bathroom. How can you choose between two top-quality options? Honestly, the deciding factors are your family’s needs. To determine which material works best for your home, let’s take a look at how they differ.

Durability

If you are like most people, you plan on using your countertops frequently and you want them to withstand the test of time. Granite and porcelain are both very durable options, but the major factor will be how you use your surfaces. Both granite and porcelain are scratch resistant materials. Granite is heat resistant, but not heat proof, meaning, if you place a hot pan directly on the surface of your granite, you run the risk of shocking the stone and damaging or potentially cracking your surface. Porcelain is considered heat proof, because it is created with extreme heat, however we still recommended that you use hot pads or trivets in order to protect your surface.

Have an outdoor space that you need a tough surface for, such as outdoor kitchens, tables and fireplaces? Granite and porcelain are both durable and can withstand the dramatic changes in the weather, however, only porcelain is UV resistant and will not fade under the harsh light of the sun, making it the best choice for outdoor installations. Granite is also a fine choice, but you should know that the color could fade over time, due to some mineral not being UV resistant.

Porosity

When you start looking for the perfect countertop, you may hear the word “porous” quite a bit. What does it mean, why does it matter, and how does it affect your decision between granite and porcelain?

Porous means a surface has holes in it. They may not be visible, but air or liquid can get through, as can bacteria.

Unfortunately, there’s plenty of bacteria in bathrooms and kitchens. If you have a porous countertop, bacteria can live inside and contaminate clothes, towels, and food. Even if you wipe down surfaces with bleach or bacteria-killing cleaners, you can’t get to the microscopic holes where germs hide.

Granite is porous. To combat this, the stone is sealed as part of the installation. The sealant acts as a barrier, preventing bacteria and liquids from touching the actual stone surface. Granite will need to be resealed periodically, depending on frequency of use, typically 1-2 times per year. Don’t let the fact that granite needs to be resealed deter you from choosing it for your home, as it is a pretty quick and easy process. Millions of people have granite countertops and love them, just know that sealing is essential to the proper upkeep of your granite surface.

Porcelain, on the other hand, is not porous. Since it’s fired with a glaze, it comes already sealed and therefore doesn’t require extra steps to ensure health and safety.

Maintenance

Maintenance is another major factor when choosing a countertop since it has a huge impact on how long your counter lasts and how much work you have to put into its care. In most cases, you have to find a balance between aesthetic appeal and maintenance needs.

Granite isn’t as high-maintenance as some natural stones, but it still requires a little TLC. For example, granite countertops need to be resealed periodically, as the sealer can be worn off in time, depending on use, you may have to seal it 1-2 times per year, again this is a simple process. Additionally, you shouldn’t let spills sit too long, as they can be absorbed into and stain the countertop.

You should also clean granite countertops daily. You mustn’t use acidic cleaners such as ammonia, as they can eat through the sealant. You also want to avoid rough cloths or sponges, as they may scratch the stone.

In contrast, porcelain requires almost no maintenance. Since the fired glaze is already sealed, you don’t have to worry about applying or reapplying sealant. There’s also no risk of staining since the material isn’t porous and you can clean with soap and water.

Color Options

Color is one of the most important factors when deciding on decor. Color choices play a big part in creating atmosphere, and once you’ve decided on an overall color theme, it’s a lot of work to make changes. Therefore, it follows that you need to consider the available colors before choosing a major feature such as a countertop or island.

Both granite and porcelain come in a variety of colors. However, since porcelain is a man-made material, there are many color and pattern options available and consistency is easier to achieve. During the production process, color and patterns are imprinted on the porcelain’s surface, allowing for intricate illustrations and bright hues.

Granite, on the other hand, is limited to the colors of natural stone. Of course, there’s plenty of variety within this range and some of them are very unique. Since it is a natural material, color and shade variation are to be expected.

Prestige

Natural stone of any type offers a certain level of prestige due to its aesthetic and price. If you want to elevate your Western Michigan home and even increase its value, you may consider granite for your countertops.

In contrast, porcelain offers a modern and sleek look to any space. Choose the right pattern and you will create a beautiful space to entice potential buyers.

Lakeside Surfaces is dedicated to helping homeowners in Western Michigan find the perfect countertops for their renovation projects. Whether you have a plan in mind or need to start from scratch, our designers can help you create a beautiful room that checks all the boxes.

Lakeside Surfaces has several showrooms open to ensure convenience for our customers and can even send a representative to your home. In either case, you can see and touch the samples to determine which works for you. We have a wide range of options, ensuring you can find the perfect material and style no matter your design.

Are you ready to upgrade your home? Then it’s time to contact Lakeside Surfaces. To request a quote or learn more about our services, give us a call at 231-246-2220 or visit us online.

1 Comment

  • Milly texas5 months ago

    Thanks for sharing this information with us it really helps me to choose one of the best countertop for my kitchen.

    reply

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