What to Consider When Choosing a Porcelain Slab in the GTA

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Although materials like marble and granite are two of the most popular choices with kitchen and bathroom remodelers, it may be worth considering a porcelain slab from a GTA (Greater Toronto Area) vendor.  Homeowners today are seeking materials that shine and sparkle for years, while standing up to tough day-to-day grime. Here are three questions to ask yourself to determine if porcelain slabs are the right choice for your renovation project.

1. How Much Usage Will the Surface Get?

On high-traffic surfaces such as kitchen countertops and bathroom floors, wear and tear are inevitable. Thus, it is important to look for materials that will withstand heavy usage, but also suit your lifestyle. Although marble and granite slabs are popular choices due to their attractive, natural beauty, maintenance is not exactly a walk in the park. Both materials require regular upkeep and sealing to preserve its natural luster. Porcelain is a great alternative for those who seek the look of a natural stone, but prefer something more low maintenance. Today, porcelain is available in many different finishes, colours and textures that often mimic the qualities of natural granite and marble. A beautiful surface without all the hassle? Sold.

2. What’s My Budget?

Similar to investing in a new car or home, an expert can help you find the perfect purchase at a price you are comfortable spending. Taking into account stone slabs and tiles are priced by the square foot, you will need to carefully measure your surface and take into account spare pieces for future repairs. Porcelain slabs can often be the same price or less than traditional natural stones, with upkeep being much simpler. While you may have your heart set on that beautiful marble counter featured in your favourite home magazine, your local distributor may know about products that look just as great but cost half the amount. Take the time to visit a showroom and see the products in person.

3. Is My Project Indoors, Outdoors or Both?

Since porcelain slabs and tiles are completely water resistant, it can be used for both interior and exterior surfaces. With many homeowners in Toronto looking to integrate their limited outdoor space with their sprawling indoor hideaways, porcelain has this advantage over other available materials. Don’t assume all stones can be used in both spaces. When in doubt, ask for recommendations from your natural stone distributor to avoid purchasing something that will end up chipping or falling off in a couple months.

4. How Slippery Is the Material?

In particular for spaces where young children may be running around or surfaces that are going to be wet such as a shower, you should take into account the smoothness of the material. Polished slabs and tiles have less grip than a matte or "honed” option. Traditional porcelain slabs can be slippery and may not be a great option for those with little ones running around the house. Slate or sandstone can be good alternatives in these cases. However, if you are looking to purchase a slab for a countertop or backsplash in the GTA, this may be less of a concern.