Porcelain stoneware: what is it?
Among the many innovative materials developed in recent years, porcelain stoneware was immediately set apart from the rest thanks to its ability to combine extraordinary technical performance with stunning aesthetic value. But what exactly is it? Let's delve deeper into what porcelain stoneware is and what characteristics make it so unique.
What is porcelain stoneware?
Despite being widespread in modern building construction, not only for tiling in homes but also in the design of business premises, not everyone knows what porcelain stoneware is. Put simply, it is an extremely compact ceramic material obtained through a combination of different natural raw materials (clays, sand, etc.) that is then fired at very high temperatures to make it waterproof and non-porous. The difference between traditional red stoneware and modern porcelain stoneware lies in the fact that the latter is an advanced material that can be produced in many forms and with a variety of finishes.
What are the characteristics of porcelain stoneware?
While extreme durability has always been the great advantage of stoneware, today technology has made it possible for us to go even further. One of the main benefits of porcelain stoneware is that it is a safe and hygienic material with a compact and non-porous surface, which makes it ideal for food preparation.
A further benefit is how easy it is to maintain. Since it is waterproof and resistant to chemicals, when it comes to how to clean porcelain tiles and maintain their natural beauty for a long time, all you have to do is wipe them with a damp cloth soaked in a neutral detergent.
Finally, the most highly valued characteristics of porcelain stoneware among architects and designers include its considerable versatility and the dozens of finishes available, which range from the more contemporary and minimalist concrete effect to more classic and sophisticated versions, such as marble or stone-effect porcelain stoneware.
The difference between porcelain stoneware and ceramic tile
We have already taken a look at what stoneware is, but it is worth emphasising the difference between porcelain stoneware and ceramic tile. Although at first glance they may seem similar, ceramic tiles are created through an entirely different production process – especially in the pressing and firing stages – which make them more fragile and delicate materials. This aspect, of course, also has an impact on durability. A porcelain stoneware floor or wall tile will be more resistant to impact and wear, making it ideal for the highly used areas of the home, such as the kitchen or bathroom.
In addition to the technical aspects, there are also aesthetic differences. Not only is porcelain stoneware available in large-sized slabs – guaranteeing maximum design freedom – but it also offers a broader choice of finishes. The most modern and sophisticated finishes include the polished finish, which is glossy and refined, and the leathered finish, inspired by the texture of leather with a soft and pleasant feel.