Porcelain is a type of ceramic made from refined clay, which is then baked at high temperatures making it very durable. It is a very versatile material that can be made to look like marble, granite, slate, hardwood, limestone, or any other natural material. While many may still be tempted to use marble in the kitchen, dining, and flooring, the benefits of using porcelain far outweigh the benefits of marble. Marble is a more porous material which makes it easier to absorb stains and bacteria, making it less resistant to wear and tear and less hygienic.
Kadir Mithani, CEO and founder of Casamia explained: “In the UAE, we have seen natural looking marble and porcelain as the hottest trends in both residential and commercial designs. These elegant surfaces can be designed in any way to give a sleek, upscale and clean look.
“The large-format, full-bodied, Italian-made porcelain plates of varying thicknesses allow Casamia’s brands of porcelain to be installed in various design applications. Unlike other surfaces, these plates are suitable for food contact, meaning they are hygienic, stain-resistant, and mildew-resistant. And easy to clean.Porcelain stoneware is unaffected by high temperatures, scratching, and completely water-resistant, and it also resists UV rays and all kinds of weather.We have seen a remarkable increase year-over-year since the beginning of the epidemic in porcelain sales.The main customer factors were: Flexibility in the face of Weather conditions and wear, affordability compared to marble and cleanliness – a new element in the interior design decision process.”
Methani gives reasons why porcelain has become the preferred material for homes across the UAE:
Porcelain is a very hard surface that is not prone to etching, staining and other damage that everyday home life can inflict on natural marble, however, it can be manufactured with similar beauty, thanks to inkjet production techniques. Unlike marble or granite, each porcelain slab is uniform. If you opt for a marble look—one of the most popular styles of porcelain used in kitchens and bathrooms today—you’ll be able to follow the vein through a wide wall or a matching bookcase paneled dresser for an upscale, traditional look.
When choosing porcelain for different areas of your home, one thing to be aware of is the PEI hardness rating – the Porcelain Enamel Institute rating, which indicates how hard a material is. For high traffic areas such as kitchen and living room floors or hotel lobbies, it is best to consider porcelain with a PEI of four or five. Four worktops suffice with a PEI rating of three or four, and a PEI rating of one or two for walls.
Viruses depend on moisture to stay alive and active. Because porcelain is inorganic, impermeable and waterproof, viruses cannot survive on the surface of porcelain. Awareness of this information, along with its versatility and beauty, has made porcelain the top choice for high-end finishes this year. It is now being cited as one of the best, if not, material choices to be incorporated into post-pandemic interior design projects.
Some manufacturers have gone the extra mile when it comes to hygiene, responding to customer demand. For example, Laminam Tiles uses bioactive treatments when manufacturing their products that lend bacteria and contaminant eliminating properties. It also has self-cleaning properties on external surfaces, which promotes the natural elimination of organic compounds due to the aggressiveness of polluting substances.
Additionally, according to tile industry information resource WhyTile.com, ceramic has the lowest carbon footprint of any earth material, the lowest global warming potential, and the lowest depletion of fossil fuel resources.