Porcelain is a manufactured material made from a non-porous ceramic clay called Kaolinite. This clay is also rich with other minerals including feldspar, silica, and mineral oxides. These minerals are what gives porcelain its color and add to its strength.
Porcelain countertop & vanity top slabs are made by mixing the powdered Kaolinite at around 2600°F and then shaping it into slabs. These high temperatures allow the clay to vitrify into a very durable and dense material. They are then coated with a pigmented glaze that gives the surface a look similar to that of natural stone or marble.
Porcelain used for countertops is very durable and almost scratchproof, however, if a heavy object is dropped on it it’s possible that it can still crack. In the event of a chip, scratch, or crack that is deep enough, you’ll likely see that the pigment does not go all the way through and reveal the pattern’s skin-deep nature.
One of the cons of having porcelain countertops is that the edge options are very limited. Because these are such thin slabs, the only two edges to choose from are squared or mitered. Using a mitered edge gives these countertops a thicker, more substantial appearance. Another can is the cost due to difficulties in the fabrication.
Porcelain countertops have become increasingly popular within the last few years because of how low maintenance it is. It is non-porous which makes it stain-resistant, and it does not require a sealant. Porcelain is also resistant to heat and UV light, making it very popular for outdoor kitchens.