Today I want to share with you my journey sourcing our porcelain countertops, and the lessons I’ve learned since (i.e. what I wish I knew)!
Since we were designing a Modern Farmhouse home, I knew I wanted all of our materials to feel as authentic and natural as possible. This was part of our vision casting process and helped set an intention for the space. We knew bringing in organic elements would create the environment we hoped to evoke.
When it came to choosing the material of our countertops, we had many choices to choose from. I’ll walk you through my decision making process, below!
Visiting Slab Yards
The first thing I did was research slab yards nearby, as I knew I would be able to view the slab in person and see if the vendor carried the amount of material my project required. If you’re located in the Bay Area, I recommend the following tile & slab warehouses:
+ All Natural Stone (Dublin)
+ Bedrosians Tile & Stone (San Francisco)
+Daltile (San Leandro)
+Integrated Resources Group (Brisbane)
Marble & Quartzite
I was immediately drawn to the marble and quartzite slabs. I for sure thought I would end up with a marble piece as truly nothing compares to its quality and unique nature! However, I married an Italian who loves pasta, pizza and yup…tomato sauce! Between the two of us, we were bound to spill all over those porous countertops. Even though it was the hardest decision, I ended up deciding against marble as I didn’t feel we were at a stage in our lives to worry about the upkeep with a little one on the way! Since we passed on the marble, the next best option was a quartzite slab. It carries the natural elements of marble, while being a stronger material. I was truly impressed by the beauty and variety of quartzite available. However, I was determined to find a clear white colored slab that mimicked marble. My long search finally led me to…
I arrived at All Natural Stone in Dublin and worked with the incredible Jon Boudreau, whom I highly recommend working with. He introduced me to the benefits of Porcelain countertops and explained why they’re the new “it” countertops taking the place of quartz in the industry.
“Porcelain slab is a high fired ceramic surface much like porcelain tile. Porcelain uses ink jet technology capable of mimicking natural stone, wood, and virtually any look you can dream up. The benefit of Porcelain is that it has a scratch resistant surface and is impervious to chemicals. With score of 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale it’s one the most durable surfaces on the market making it useful for the outdoors.” – All Natural Stone
+ Durable, Non-Porous, Resistant to Scratching & Heat
+ Very Price-Friendly
+ Limited Edge Options: Porcelain slabs can only take a square or mitered edge
+ The colors and patterns on porcelain countertops are only surface-deep; meaning, pigments do not go all the way through
+ The slabs tend to be thin, keep this in mind when installing your countertops for the proper height needed
+ Extremely fragile during installation
Be sure your fabricator or installer has experience working with porcelain countertops. It is common that a slab will crack during installation, so be clear who pays for the damage prior to fabrication. Furthermore, be sure to place an extra slab on hold with your vendor in case of cracking. Prior to installing your slab, be sure to let your contractor know the thickness of the stone. Your contractor may need to put a thicker plywood down to reach standard height for your cabinets and appliances.
I ended up choosing the Porcelain Altissimo Polished because of its clear white hue and subtle grey veining that mirrored a natural marble. I absolutely love it and highly recommend it!
Consider choosing porcelain when shopping for countertops and feel free to message me with any questions!