Porcelain Tiles As Countertops? Not So Fast

 

Are tile countertops making a comeback? No, but porcelain companies are trying to scale up their thin tiles into countertop worthy sizes, in order to capitalize on the ultracompact stone, or sintered stone category, which is the next big thing in the surfacing world.

Everyone at the Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS) was clamoring to show their scaled up porcelain tiles and try to elbow in on true sintered stone materials, which are far superior to quartz and guaranteed to take quartz market share over the next decade. Don't get duped by these thin format tiles though, they are brittle, hard to handle and can chip easily. The true sintered stone category, which is the next generation of man made stone, is exclusive to brands like Lapitec, Dekton and Neolith. Lapitec was designed to include a 3cm thickness, a defacto standard in the countertop world. You can't scale up to that. The process has to be designed to support it. Be wary of the tile companies that are screaming "me too" in the porcelain world because the products are truly a different process and were designed for different applications. Stick to your walls and floors, tile guys.