Porcelain Slabs are the GTA’s Newest Design Trend

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Up and Coming GTA Design Trend: Porcelain Slabs

Porcelain is a new trend for home decorating. For years, people have used porcelain tiles for floors and showers. But a recent trend makes use of slabs of this durable clay for counter tops, backsplashes, shower floors and bath tub accents. Kitchen islands use porcelain slabs in creative and modern designs. When selecting porcelain slabs, Toronto buyers have a wide selection of designs and features in their tool box!
Porcelain is forged from natural clay. Heated at extremely high temperatures in a thermally insulated chamber called a kiln, porcelain is baked or "fired” with glass and other natural minerals to create dramatic and striking designs. With this manufacturing process, porcelain is one of the most durable materials available for home use. Its make-up is very dense, and as such, can be used for both residential and commercial uses.

Porcelain, Guaranteed!

This natural material comes with a sort of guarantee to reassure buyers they are getting the real deal. When clay reaches a particular rate of permeability (or rate of water absorption), it is considered porcelain. This specific rate is 0.5% water absorption. This makes porcelain slabs very beneficial in home construction uses where water use is a consideration. Porcelain is a type of ceramic clay, although the nomenclature confuses consumers. Ceramic describes a broad range of clay slabs and tiles, including non-porcelain and porcelain. The non-porcelain types are simply referred to as ceramics – porcelain is held in a class of its own. There are different ratings of durability put in place by the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) to help consumers choose appropriately for their use. Manufacturers use these ratings with their products. These classes include:
  • Class 0 – no foot traffic – wall tile only, should not be used on floors
  • Class 1 – very light traffic – bare or stocking feet, little foot traffic
  • Class 2 – light traffic – slippers or soft shoes, used for bathrooms and bedrooms
  • Class 3 – light to moderate traffic – residential areas with the exception of kitchens and hallways
  • Class 4 – moderate to heavy traffic – high foot traffic, abrasive areas or where outdoor dirt can be tracked in, like a kitchen, balcony or countertop
  • Class 5 – heavy traffic – ceramic or non-porcelain is suggested for high traffic areas as opposed to porcelain and usually meant for commercial and institutional floors subjected to very heavy traffic, such as  schools, hospitals, offices, store sales floors, etc.

Naturally Low-Maintenance

Porcelain requires lower maintenance care compared to natural stone alternatives. Keep the floor swept and free of dirt and debris. This prevents damages to the finish of the tile or to any grout surrounding the slab. Use door mats in entranceways to trap dirt and debris from being kicked along the slab. Surfaces exposed to water will need caulking to prevent damage. Be mindful of minerals in tap water. These can cause discolouration of the tiles, so avoid using an overly wet mop on the floor. It is not necessary to seal porcelain slabs or tiles, as is necessary with granite, marble or other natural stones that are exposed to every day wear and tear.
This new design trend of Porcelain slabs offer a variety of benefits to GTA homeowners, including low-cost versus natural stone options. Understanding the benefits will help buyers select the right porcelain slab for their needs and will offer a lifetime of satisfaction once the final product is in place and completed!