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Jack Potter at:
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Porcelain / Dekton Ceramics

Features and benefits

Porcelain, that emerged from the tile scene – especially from factories in Spain, Italy and Tennessee – are oversized slabs that look like granite, marble, wood, linen or just about any other natural material you could want – with none of their maintenance issues or usage restrictions. Like competitive quartz and solid surface (e.g., Corian) materials, porcelain slab tops are nonporous, so they’re a safe and healthy option for food preparation. Unlike those other two materials, however, porcelain can be installed outside and is both heat- and frost-tolerant for homes across the country.

“One of the best things about porcelain is that it can be used everywhere,”. “It is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms with its stain, heat and water resistance. It is also perfect for outdoor applications and eliminates the worry of sun damage, as it is completely UV resistant. Large format tiles have been very popular for both kitchen and bath and our installers are happy when we specify the product.”
Porcelain, while extremely durable once installed, is very fragile during the fabricating process and can easily be chipped or cracked, which also makes finding an experienced fabricator highly important.” All fabricators and installers here at STA Granite Solutions are factory trained in the cutting and handling of porcelain slabs.

There are some production limitations at the moment, though. “Complex edge profiles (like ogee) are not possible in ceramics or porcelain, as they are in stone. Only eased (square) edges are possible.”

Special features

You can clad walls, cabinetry, furniture and other surfaces in porcelain slab to extend its style, durability and livability to the rest of your space. You can also create an integral sink, which many designers are doing in kitchens and bathrooms for their look and ease of use.

More recently, a few manufacturers have started offering integrated induction burners into their porcelain slab countertops. These can be custom placed in the particular areas of the

Porcelain is an extremely hard surface that isn’t prone to the etching, staining and other damage that daily household life can inflict on natural marble, but it can be manufactured with comparable beauty, thanks to ink jet production technologies. Unlike marble (or granite), however, each porcelain slab is uniform, so you don’t have to take time off from work to visit a stone yard to choose your remodeling project’s slabs. If you’re opting for a marble look – which is one of the most popular porcelain styles in use for both kitchens and bathrooms right now – you’ll be able to continue a vein across a wide wall or cabinet bank with bookmatched slabs for a traditional upscale look.

Costs and challenges

“The costs of porcelain countertops are comparable to that of quartz, but typically come in slightly higher because of their fragile nature when handling and rather difficult fabricating process,”. Another cost contributor is the sometime scarcity of local skill and expertise. Not including special features, porcelain slab countertops can range from $60 to $100 per square foot. “Because porcelain countertops are still fairly new to the U.S. market, finding a fabricator that has experience with the product can prove to be difficult.
counter where a homeowner wants to cook, creating the sleekest cooking surface imaginable.

Anytime we can have a seamless, low maintenance installation for a client, it is appreciated. Gone are the days of cleaning grout with a toothbrush. You’d probably agree!

Resale Value

Having porcelain countertops can give your home increased value. Many people have equipped their houses with these types of materials to increase their value and sell them at a better price in less time, so, it's like a value-added investment.

The importance of having adequate equipment to cut dekton and porcelain

Dekton, among other alternative stone materials, continues to grow in popularity for applications such as countertops, flooring, and both interior and exterior wall cladding. Being a hard dense product, it is crucial to use appropriate tooling during the fabrication process. Carlos Sustaita, production director for STA Granite, provides several important tips of advice for those working with compact sintered stone.

Why do products such as Dekton need special/different tools than those that are used for cutting granite and marble?

Material hardness is the key to understanding why you need different tools to fabricate Dekton. The material has a
very high density (ultra-compact), which means that if you don’t use proper tools, you can either break the tool or the material or even worse, damage the machinery.

The cutting process requires trimming the edges to release tensions. Then you have to follow cutting recommendations, which include using plenty of water, the proper speed, feed rate, etc. Once you follow the rules, it’s a piece of cake.
When doing edging on Dekton, What is the difference in the process compared to a natural stone?

In this sense, Dekton’s edge is very easy to work with since the material is very homogeneous, and it is easy to get very good results. Any fabricator can do it well on the first attempt.

What are some common mistakes that fabricators are making when it comes to cutting this material? And, what are some common mistakes with doing edging or doing sinkholes or something?

The main mistake is trying to fabricate Dekton as if it was a granite or quartz composite. You will fail if you use the same tools, speed rates, and so on. Another common mistake is trying to cut Dekton in uneven support. It is a common source of problems too.

Sometimes people ask about what machine is best to cut Dekton. I believe the key is not the machine but the tools and proper maintenance. I have seen people with very modest equipment doing amazing things and the other way around.

7 Keys for Cutting Ultra-Compact and Sintered Dekton and Porcelain Materials

1. Water

It may seem too simple or too intuitive to matter, but less than adequate water AND hoses positioned incorrectly is the most common error causing headaches among cutting these materials.
2. Check your table level

One of the more overlooked aspects of successful cutting is, to the degree that your table is not level in the horizontal plane, vibrations will occur. This unevenness can result in chipping and likely breaking the edge of your slab.
3. Buy the right blade

As cliche, as it may sound, choosing the right blade for the material you are processing, is critical.
4. Removing tensioning strips

While each manufacturer of ultra-compact and sintered porcelain materials may, or may not have tensioning strips built into the perimeters of each slab, if they are not removed before cutting, the slab is at higher risk of cracking or breaking.
5. Feed rate and RPMs

Using the same feed rate and RPMs you may be accustomed to when cutting other materials can be a recipe for trouble. Unlike fabricating more common materials such as marble and granite, we’ve seen the most success cutting ultra-compact and sintered porcelain materials when following a systemized approach is used.
6. Avoiding Plunging

While plunge cutting tends to be of little concern for most sawyers when cutting ultra-compact and sintered porcelain materials it can pose big problems resulting in cracking or breaking your slab.
7. Cutting Sinks

Projects requiring a sink cut-out can be an obstacle many fabricators dread. Since we already know plunging is not the ideal way to go about this, what are your options? When preparing a sink cut-out, it is advised to drill each of the four corners with a 1/2” core bit before to start initiating cutting.

OUR COMPANY

STA Granite was established by a group of master fabricators and installers from the best companies in Austin and surrounding areas.
We have more than 14 years’ experience in the industry. Our goal is to provide high quality.

LATEST PROJECTS

Construction combines an elegant finished and fine materials with a faithful adaptation to the design as a result a product according to each need.
We constantly evolve in each of our projects, always facing each challenge with professionalism.

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The Best Choice for Marble, and Granite, Engineered Stone and other Natural Stone materials in Countertops.

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