What is the Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Dinnerware

The main difference between ceramic and porcelain dinnerware is that ceramic dinnerware is thicker and more opaque than porcelain, which has a delicate and translucent appearance.

Ceramic dinnerware is a broad category which includes earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Porcelain is a special type of ceramic fired at a very high temperature, having excellent strength, durability, and a translucent quality. Ceramic dinnerware is more suitable for casual, everyday place settings while porcelain dinnerware is ideal for formal dining.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Ceramic Dinnerware
     – Appearance, Features, Uses, Types
2. What is Porcelain Dinnerware
     – Production, Features, Uses
3. What is the Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Dinnerware
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Ceramic Dinnerware, Porcelain Dinnerware, Earthenware, Stoneware, Dinnerware

Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Dinnerware - Comparison Summary

Ceramic Dinnerware – Appearance, Features, Uses, Types

Ceramics refer to various items made from clay that have been heated to very high temperature and hardened. Ceramic dinnerware is a broad category which includes earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. This section will look at earthenware and stoneware while the next section of this article will look at porcelains.

Earthenware

Earthenware is nonvitreous pottery that has normally been fired at relatively low temperatures. Although earthenware has a thick and rustic look, it is not strong or durable as other types of ceramic dinnerware. It is porous, absorbs water and is prone to chipping. It is also less expensive than other types of dinnerware.

Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Dinnerware

Stoneware

Stoneware is pottery that has been fired at relatively high temperatures. It is more durable than earthenware since it goes through high temperatures and has vitreous material added. Stoneware dinnerware is typically thicker and more opaque than porcelain. It’s not advisable to expose stoneware to extreme changes in temperature.

Both earthenware and stoneware are not as expensive as porcelain. Moreover, we usually use them for casual, everyday place settings.

Porcelain Dinnerware – Production, Features, Uses

Porcelain dinnerware is dinnerware made of a fine-particle clay that is fired at a higher temperature. Kaolin is typically the main ingredient in porcelain production. Other raw materials can include feldspar, quartz, ball clay, glass, and bone ash. Once the clay is moulded into shape, it has to be fired in a kiln to higher temperatures (usually between 1,200 and 1,400 °C). After the firing, porcelain dinnerware pieces develop a hard, glass-like and translucent surface. Sometimes potters coat the items with pigments and a glaze before firing.

Porcelain dinnerware is extremely durable and nonporous. They also have a thinner and delicate design, as well as a translucent appearance. This type of dinnerware has a very expensive and upscale look, which makes them more suitable for formal dining. But you can use them for everyday meals as well.  Moreover, you can clean most porcelain dinnerware in the dishwasher. Most of them are also microwavable unless the manufacturer states otherwise.Main Difference - Ceramic vs Porcelain Dinnerware

Porcelain was first discovered and used by the Chinese; china is also another name we use for porcelain. Moreover, porcelain has three main categories as hard-paste, soft-paste and bone china.

Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Dinnerware

In this section, the word ‘ceramic’ will mostly refer to earthenware and stoneware, as opposed to porcelain.

Definition

Ceramic dinnerware is a broad category which includes earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Porcelain dinnerware, on the other hand, is dinnerware made of a fine-particle clay, usually kaolin, which is fired at a higher temperature.

Appearance

Ceramic dinnerware is thicker and more opaque than porcelain. They may also have a heavy, rustic look. Porcelain dinnerware has a thinner, delicate and translucent appearance, which makes it a high-end dining option.

Durability

Porcelain dinnerware is stronger and more durable than ceramic dinnerware.

Use/Occasion

We generally use ceramic dinnerware for casual, everyday place settings and porcelain dinnerware for formal dining.

Price

Ceramic dinnerware is usually not as expensive as porcelain dinnerware.

Conclusion

The main difference between ceramic and porcelain dinnerware is that ceramic dinnerware is thicker and more opaque than porcelain, which has a delicate and translucent appearance. Moreover, ceramic dinnerware is more suitable for casual, everyday place settings while porcelain dinnerware is ideal for formal dining.

Reference:

1. Harlan, Jessica. “Learn How to Identify the Different Types of Dinnerware.” The Spruce Eats, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “1594183” (CC0) via Pxhere
2. “1206962” (CC0) via Pxhere

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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