Comparison of countertop materials

difference between porcelain and ceramics

Ceramic and porcelain slabs are produced in a similar way, but the raw materials used differ. Porcelain is made from a special clay of one type of very fine grain, whereas ceramics are made from other clays and may contain more constituent rocks. The differences are also influenced by the compression of the mixture in the press. Porcelain is more densely compressed than ceramics, which makes the porcelain slab even harder and stronger. Porcelain sheets are slightly flexible, UV-resistant, resistant to chemicals, wear, fire and cold, they are environmentally friendly and easy to recycle. Porcelain can also be called ceramic, but ceramic cannot be called porcelain.

difference between sintered stone and ceramics


Although traditional ceramics may share some similar properties with sintered stone, it does not possess the performance qualities of sintered surface. Sintered stone combines stain, scratch, chemical and heat resistance in one single material. 


Sintered stone is manufactured from similar raw materials as ceramics and porcelain. However, there are a few key differences regarding manufacturing process: the additional components, the pressure applied, the time of manufacturing.

  • Raw materials used in the production of sintered stone  are far finer and purer, guaranteeing a more uniform structure than in traditional ceramics. In addition to raw materials that ceramics and porcelain contain, sintered stone also contains componients used to manufacture quartz and glass. This makes sintered surfaces stronger and more durable than porcelain and ceramics.
  • Extreme pressure and temperature is used to compress and fuse the components together when manufacturing sintered stone.  In other words, raw materials are pressed at a significantly higher pressure than in ceramic production to obtain a denser, stronger final product.
  • The pressed materials are fired in kiln substantially longer than traditional ceramics. Ceramics have much shorter firing cycles. These longer firing cycles create a product with a highly resistant, non-absorbent surface.

The conditions in which sintered stone is manufactured resembles those deep inside the earth needed for rocks to be formed naturally. Today's high technologies simulate these processes and speed up the process. While it takes millions of years for the rock to form in the ground, modern technology reduces the time to one or two days.

difference between engineered quartz and sintered stone

Engineered quartz and sintered stone are very hard surfaces that are non porous, scratch resistant, and do not stain easily. The main difference between them lies is in their composition. Engineered quartz is a combination of natural mineral quartz particles (around 95-97%) and special resin binders with added pigments (3-5%). Sintered stone is composed entirely of natural minerals that are transformed into a new material through the process of sintering. This process uses intense heat, intense pressure and electricity to transform the minerals into a solid hard mass of a new material. Because of their different composition, sintered stone and engineered quartz have different care requirements. Quartz surfaces can be susceptible to burning from very high temperatures. If engineered quartz is exposed to extreme heat, it can discolor because of resins in the material. Sintered stone is formed in the presence of extremely high temperatures, and is therefore resistant to temperatures found in normal everyday household environments.

How acrylic solid surface differs from engineered quartz, sintered stone and ceramic surfaces

Acrylic stone, also known as acrylic solid surface, is a mixture of natural stone powder (usually marble) and acrylic resin. Acrylic surface is softer and more flexible than other types of artificial stone surfaces. This homogeneous and non-porous material is composed of about 2/3 of stone dust and bauxite and 1/3 of acrylic resin (PMMA). Such composition allows the worktop fabricators to bend and shape the slab when heated. The heated slab becomes flexible like a piece of plastic. Thus sinks of sleek shapes can be formed. Later they can be seamlessly integrated into worktops, as the glues have the same composition and colours as the material itself. Whatever the size of the final item, all its parts can be assembled and glued together without visible seams or gaps. The seams are then accurately polished together with the whole surface. Damaged or broken acrylic countertops can be repaired leaving no trace of former damage. If the surface of an acrylic worktop does not shine after some time, the professionals can repolish it as many times as needed. The repolished worktop will look like new.

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