In this digital era, technology has taken over almost every aspect of human life, including kitchen worktops. Unlike traditional natural stones like marble and granite, today worktop fabrication has brought us two alternative stones – compact sintered stone and porcelain slabs. According to research and development, these latest countertops are developed with advanced tooling and equipment for cutting the precise slabs or tiles for modern homes.
While some people still hesitate to install these alternative products due to “unknown factor,” many love these stronger and durable countertops compared to the natural stones. If you are among those who doubt these new materials, you must continue reading to clear all the misconceptions.
Difference between Porcelain and Sintered Worktops
Both sintered and porcelain slabs are different from natural stones like marble. These new materials are developed with the help of a specialised fabrication process that generally involves cutting them to precision. The cutting process here lasts three times longer compared to the typical natural stones.
There is a manufacturing difference between sintered and porcelain worktops. These manufacturing differences, however, are substantial. Even installation and fabrication differences make them distinct from one another.
Porcelain material has been there for centuries, and this product evolved over the recent years with the development in its manufacturing techniques. On the other hand, the compact sintered materials are man-made and generally rooted in quartz worktop industry. This is because these are hugely developed to build the strength of quartz surfaces. This material has been in the market for only around a decade.
What are Sintered Worktops?
Sintered worktops are the result of the sintering process of compacting and creating a solid mass under extreme heat and pressure, without melting it to liquefaction point. This process naturally happens in mineral deposits or in the fabrication industry to fuse particles to form one solid piece.
Compact sintered materials have many attributes, such as resistance against scratching, staining and etching, as well as UV rays. These materials also have a wide thermal range that makes them highly resistant to heat, frost or cold. These inherent characteristics of the sintered surface are embedded because the material undergoes high temperature and pressure conditions, which make it stronger than the quartz.
Another interesting feature of sintered materials is that it has been designed to be more durable and thicker than other worktop materials. This makes it easier for fabricators to handle the material without worrying about breakage. Due to the integrated technology and non-porous surface, the compact sintered stone remains free from microbes, bacteria and even break down carbon dioxide. Breaking carbon dioxide means that it breaks down pollution as well.
This material even exerts biomimicry, a term used in green building movement. As per this term, the sintered material can break down as much carbon dioxide as 25 or more trees. Therefore, sintered slabs are environmentally-friendly at the same time. Besides all these amazing qualities, the compact sintered materials even offer a wide range of colour, texture and pattern options for your modern living spaces.
What are Porcelain Tiles?
Porcelain tiles are made from dense clays with a water absorption level of 0.5% or less. To manufacture porcelain tiles, fabricators mould clay under fire at extreme temperatures within a kiln. Unlike compact sintered surfaces, porcelain tiles don’t have surface tension. So, there is no need to make relief cuts before further fabrication.
Porcelain is available as both glazed and unglazed types. The glazed porcelain is baked twice for more durability and lustre whereas the unglazed porcelain is not as glossy as the glazed surface. Most porcelain tiles are made for larger applications, such as kitchen countertops, wall cladding, flooring, etc. Porcelain is also durable and lightweight. This means it’s easier to transport and install porcelain tiles compared to huge and chunky slabs.
Due to its lightweight attribute and thinner profile, this material requires lower labour cost and also is available at a reasonable price. But don’t mistake its lightweight surface to be fragile. It is very durable and can hold up well in both interior and exterior spaces. It is important to note that this tile material also offers variously printable or customizable design options. This means you can get your porcelain tile printed in any design or style to blend well with your home or office interior.
Best sintered stone and porcelain worktop materials for 2019
If you are wondering which sintered stone and porcelain worktop options to consider for your next your home renovation project, here are some popular choices for 2019:
The Dekton worktops are manufactured by Cosentino, using a unique and innovative technology called Particle Sintering Technology (PST). This advanced technology has been developed specifically by Cosentino Group to bring this revolutionary quartz surface in the industry.
This long-term worktop is being used in modern homes to create an exquisite and durable kitchen. Dekton kitchen assures greater installation potential in one solid piece of the slab without any cuts, joints or any limitations. This worktop surface helps in creating a completely uniform surface that seamlessly fits into different kitchen styles.
Dekton, a clean surface, is smooth to touch and highly resistant to the daily grind that typically takes place in the cooking area. This ultra-sophisticated material is perfect for a busy life and also creates the capability of making spaces suitable for day-to-day food. If you have installed this amazing worktop in your kitchen, cooking and sharing meals will be a pleasant experience for sure.
The Neolith worktops offer one of the world’s most durable and aesthetically-pleasing kitchen collections. This is also a revolutionary man-made stone achieved with Ultra Sintered Technology.
This worktop material is the result of a fusion of different materials, such as ceramic, porcelain, quartz, glass, feldspar and silica. All these materials are further ultra compressed and superheated to create a durable stone. Due to all its attributes and qualities, Neolith has become one of the leaders in the new-age kitchen worktops. This durable worktop can be used in kitchens and bathrooms.
A Neolith kitchen worktop is highly impact-resistant and scratch-resistant. It is also resistant to high temperatures, meaning you can directly place hot pots or pans onto the surface without damaging it, unlike granite and quartz. It is also non-porous, so there will be no issue of staining or bacterial growth. Due to its non-porous and hygienic surface, Neolith bathroom is a good option for busy city homes.
The Neolith countertop is available in a wide range of colours and finishes, such as satin, silk, polished and river-washed. It is available in 6mm and 12 mm thicknesses and hence, suitable for kitchen worktops, flooring or wall cladding.
Manufactured by the System Group, Laminam worktops are a big part of the ceramic industry now. Laminam porcelain is one of the most pigmented and polished worktop materials, offering high-quality and superior performance. All these qualities are what modern consumers long for in their kitchen countertops. That’s why it’s worth their investment.
Laminam kitchen worktops are lightweight and resistant to mechanical stress, as well as stand strong against staining and scratching. The production process of this porcelain stone includes the following attributes:
Ceralsio worktops are gorgeous, versatile and hard-wearing ceramic surfaces. These are also referred to as sintered stones. Influenced by nature, this man-made stone is available in a wide range of colours. It is suitable for modern kitchen and bathroom worktops, as well as stylish wall cladding within or outside any home.
Ceralsio kitchen surfaces are revolutionised ceramics that are highly resistant to daily wearing in a cooking area. Also, this solid surface has strong resistance against heat, staining, scratches and accidental impact. The advanced characteristics of the material include high resistance to ice and frost and zero water porosity.
The result is a hygienic material, which is even resistant to UV rays. It requires low maintenance to last for several years. This product offers several advantages compared to natural stones or even quartz. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor areas in residential or commercial properties. Due to its high resistance to UV rays, it is ideal for outdoor use. It even can bear substantial weight without any bending or changes in its form.
This hard-wearing kitchen worktop material is non-porous. Therefore, it can also be used in bathrooms to maintain a hygienic environment while eliminating germs or bacterial growth.