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The Pros and Cons of Large Format Porcelain

It's an exciting time for homeowners considering kitchen or bathroom remodeling projects. Today, thanks to modern computer-aided manufacturing techniques, you have more choices at better price points than ever before in terms of materials for your home.


One material that has been rapidly gaining in popularity is large format porcelain. Thanks to modern manufacturing techniques, slab porcelain is now available for kitchen and bathroom countertops. 


In this post, we're going to look at the pros and cons of large format porcelain slabs, from manufacturing and installation to cleaning and maintenance.


The Pros of Large Format Porcelain


Large porcelain slabs have been a popular finish in Europe for a while, but since they've crossed the pond, they're making a big splash here in the US! Traditionally when we think about porcelain tile, what inevitably comes to mind are small squares, or 4x6" (or larger) subway style tiles separated by grout lines. 


Suppose you've renovated your home anytime in the last decade. In that case, you might have replaced your ugly tile surfaces with granite or, if you've remodeled more recently, engineered stone like quartz. Today, thanks to computer-aided manufacturing technology, large format porcelain tiles are available that recreate the look of natural material.


The Cons...


Every material, natural or manmade, has drawbacks, and porcelain is no exception! There are some cons to large format porcelain. They include:



• Large format porcelain is challenging to fabricate. 

Unlike stone and other materials, porcelain's pattern does not have designs entirely through the materials. Patterns are basically printed onto the top or glazed onto the material. Because of its large size, slabs can be more brittle than other materials like quartz or stone and more prone to chipping.



• Ceramic Knives Can Scratch the Surface


While porcelain slabs are virtually scratch-proof, ceramic knives are its kryptonite! They are the one thing that can scratch porcelain. So the advice is, don't use ceramic knives, and always use a cutting board on any countertop!


As a result of the manufacturing process and the fact that the color is not throughout the entire material, should it chip or become scratched, during transportation or installation, it is difficult to touch it up or repair it. Due to its manufacturing process, it generally gives a low yield due to the extensive veining, making it expensive if you need a large run.