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Ceramic vs Porcelain Sink: How Do They Differ?

Ceramic vs Porcelain Sink
Written by Jenny Molin

A sink’s material can have a significant impact on the look of your kitchen. Each material has its own level of maintenance and aesthetics.

Most people have two options when it comes to kitchen sinks porcelain and ceramic.

Ceramic and porcelain look the same, but they are different. Here we discuss the differences to help you decide which one is the better option for your home.

Pros and Cons of Ceramic Sink

Pros and Cons of Ceramic Sink

Pros

  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • Heat and stain resistant
  • Plenty of style designs
  • Can handle most cleaning chemicals

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can chip but can be repaired
  • Heavy in weight

Pros and Cons of Porcelain Sink

Pros

  • Variety of styles
  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Stain and water resistance

Cons

  • Pricier
  • Slippery, brittle, heavy
  • Can be hard to install
  • The grout around the sink will need sealing

Ceramic vs Porcelain sink: How do they differ?

Appearance

Ceramic

Ceramic sink

Adding beauty to the interior of a bathroom is easy with ceramic, dense material with elegant designs. Adding a sink gives the room a new look. The most common appearance of a ceramic kitchen sink is spotless white, although other colors are also available.

Porcelain

Porcelain sink

Sinks made of porcelain look beautiful and can be glazed with color and pattern for an eye-catching finish. Frequently, they include overflows or weirs within their design, which can be customized to fit any setup.

Winner

Porcelain is on top here as it has many design options for glaze and style.

Design and Color Options

Ceramic

For a sink that truly stands out, opt for a black or stone ceramic sink. Various shapes and styles of these sinks are available. It is possible to get ceramic sinks with single, double, or triple bowls, and custom sinks are also available.

Porcelain

Similarly, top-mounted and under-mounted versions are available. Sinks made from porcelain are usually cream or white in color, and there are a number of colors that you can choose from.

Winner 

Both types here have a variety of colors and designs to choose from and both can be custom made.

Fireproof

Ceramic

Ceramic sinks are made with inert materials, which are heated to extreme temperatures over 1200 degrees celsius. Ceramic is a non-combustible inert material.

Porcelain

In the manufacture of porcelain tiles, high temperatures are used, it makes them fireproof. They won’t burn, produce smoke or any toxic fumes. They are fire-resistant

Winner

Due to both being fire resistant they are both a good choice to make.

Density and Porosity

Ceramic

Since ceramic is manufactured to be very porous, it absorbs water when it is not graved. Ceramic sinks will become brittle if they absorb too much water.

Porcelain

As a result of the manufacturing process, porcelain is much denser and less porous than other materials. Some have been found to not be porous at all. It will not absorb water and doesn’t need to be glazed.

Winner

Some porcelain is not porous at all and due to the fact it doesn’t need to be glazed, it is the best choice.

Durability

Ceramic

The durability of ceramic sinks is excellent, particularly in terms of scratch resistance. Furthermore, ceramic sinks do not chip easily. The average life expectancy of ceramic sinks is fifty years with proper care.

Porcelain

A higher temperature is applied to porcelain during the manufacturing process as well as other materials such as metal are also used. Porcelain sinks can last up to 25 years when looked after properly.

Winner

Ceramic sinks will last longer when looked after properly.

Scratch Resistance

Ceramic

These sinks are also more vulnerable to scratches and wear and tear, despite their durability and low moisture absorbency.

Porcelain

A porcelain surface can be scratched and chipped, exposing the underside, which is why heavy metal objects should not be dropped. It’s recommended to use a stainless steel rack or a silicone pad.

Winner

Both types are susceptible to scratches and damage from dropping items or sharp objects.

Water Resistance

Ceramic

Water Resistance Ceramic

Glazing ceramic sinks reduce porosity. Even so, some water still penetrates, reducing their durability.

Porcelain

Porcelain sinks are less porous than ceramic.

Winner

The answer to which is better in terms of water resistance is porcelain.

Recyclability

They both respect the environment. Roads can be constructed with the materials and both can be smashed and used in tile construction.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Ceramic

ceramic vs porcelain sink

To remove the grime, take a soft sponge, some warm water, and a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Wipe it dry with a microfibre cloth.

Porcelain

ceramic vs porcelain sink

Wash the sponge with dish soap and then dry it with a soft cloth. You should avoid using steel wool or scouring pads on porcelain because it can pick up small scratches easily.

Winner

You can be a little more harsh with cleaning when it comes to ceramic. For the kitchen use a ceramic sink for high traffic and frequent cleaning.

Weight and Mounting Options

Ceramic

A variety of mounting options are available for ceramic sinks. Sinks such as pedestals, undermounts, and Belfast styles are among the popular choices.  Ceramic sinks weigh 48 lbs but this is different for each style.

Porcelain

Compared to ceramic sinks, porcelain sinks are a little heavier due to their construction from thick gauge cast iron or steel that has been coated in a baked enamel.

Weighing 100 to 200 pounds. Installing porcelain drop-in sinks is the easiest. However, installing porcelain under-mount sinks can be quite challenging.

Winner

Ceramic is the ideal choice when weight is a concern. Porcelain needs extra support, however ceramic does not.

Cost

Ceramic

The cost for basic models starts at $420 but can easily range to over $1000 for deluxe models.

Porcelain

Porcelain start from about 200 for a mini version sink and but can range up to over $1000 for deluxe family size sinks.

Winner

Porcelain runs a little cheaper and has more in the budget-friendly range.

Resale Value

Ceramic 

Ceramic sinks can run high in price but aren’t worth much in the value of resale due to the fact they are not very durable

Porcelain 

Porcelain sinks are expensive and durable

Winner

Should you decide to sell your home in the future, it would likely fetch a higher price.

How to Tell Ceramic and Porcelain Sinks Apart?

Examine the glaze

Their appearances are both transparent and glossy, however, ceramic can be glazed or unglazed. Bathroom sinks made of ceramic must be glazed to make them completely waterproof, which is why they appear milky white and glossy.

It can be near impossible to tell the difference especially if you are not a specialist in the field as they look the same.

Read the instruction manual

Your instruction manual will tell you what your sink is made from. If not there will be a model number inside the book you can use this to look online and research.

FAQs

1. What causes a porcelain sink to crack?

Ans: Porcelain is mounted on metal and metal happens to be a conductor of heat, which causes the sink to lose a lot of heat very quickly, even if the room is not cold. If hot water is used on a sink made of cold porcelain, the porcelain will crack as a result of heat stress.

2. Do ceramic sinks stain easily?

Ans: A high fire clay and glaze is heated to over 2200 degrees Fahrenheit so that they will not fade, stain, burn, or scratch

About the author

Jenny Molin

Interior Design Artist

Hello, I’m Jenny. I’ve been an interior design artist by profession since my B.S. in Interior Design. I’m a minimalist and prefer to save space when choosing fixtures, sinks and fittings. My style tends to make the most out of the least amount of space. The idea behind every interior design project is unique and it reflects personal style, taste and tradition. I’ve learned more when working than I ever did while I was studying in college. I worked in more than 12 hundred households all across the US and got positive feedback. I’ve been working with FaucetsReviewed as one of the founding members and regularly contributing to the site via testing and reviewing various interior fittings and fixtures.

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