When it comes to hard surfaces that are suitable for floors and bathroom areas the choices boil down to two real options; porcelain or stone. Yes there are always other options to look at, but for this article we will let these two materials battle it out.
Stone has historically been the go to material when creating a bathroom, often involving big slabs being positioned to create intricate book matched designs. With the advancement of printing process and modern materials Porcelain Tiles have become the go to material for the price conscious or even design conscious.
Stone has been one of the most expensive items I have had the pleasure of purchasing. A bathroom can quite easily reach £10,000 before you even begin with plumbing and fittings. The price of Porcelain tiles vary from simple patterns in basic formats, up to a more complex design on huge sheets. A personal favourite are large 3mx1.5m format tiles. Now when compared to their stone counterpart, not only are they easier to install, but price per square meter is often one third of the price.
Winner - Porcelain
Working in Central London you will find many of the properties are old and not structurally capable to tolerate these additional weights
Unsurprisingly, big chunks of stone are quire heavy, on average 60Kg per square meter of stone! Working in Central London you will find many of the properties are old and not structurally capable to tolerate these additional weights and will require additional steelwork to support. Now porcelain is thin, sometimes too thin. Having used sheets that are only 6mm thick rather than the 20mm standard of stone, one doesn’t need to spend much time wondering which is lighter.
Winner – Porcelain
Now having just covered weight issues, this one is a no brainer. 95% of the time stone should be installed using a specialist contractor, which will no doubt cost more. The porcelain tile however can be installed by any tiling professional, and the vast majority of “have a go” type people. Its just easier.
Winner - Porcelain
Now let’s say you pay the price, you reinforce your property and get your bathroom beautifully clad in stone. Only to find once you are living there, it stains and marks with amazing ease; and this is before someone tries to clean the material with anything other than the most gentle products. Porcelain is man made, which inherently means there is a chemical compound used to make the product work. The nature of this is that the product is hard, very hard. Most tiles come with a manufacture approved “resistant to stain” ISO marking.
Winner - Porcelain
Stone is beautiful and natural. If you have a piece then chances are nobody else in the world will have something that looks the same. The natural colour variations and movement through the material really is quite special. With the modernisation of the printing process porcelain is catching up. We have seen some very detailed printed tiles, which would fool the vast majority of purchaser. Porcelain definitely offers a broader range with some truly spectacular tiles, however, it will always have that sense of regiment. In its nature it cannot be random and until this element of magic can be achieved in porcelain, stone will win this round.
Winner – Marble
Overall Winner – Porcelain
With a score of 4 out of 5 its clear that porcelain is the run away winner. Its cheaper, lighter, easier to install and more resistant to everyday staining. Added to this you can get such a vast array of designs to suit you’re an mood. However…if you want to pay the price and willing to look after the material stone can be amazing. There are some incredible colours with spectacular veining, which will no doubt be unique. In the end, this just comes down to preference.