Dinnerware Porcelain vs. Earthenware

Written by robin wilhelm
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  • Introduction

    Dinnerware Porcelain vs. Earthenware

    Choosing tableware can be a daunting task. There are so many styles and colours that the difficulty may not be finding a pattern you love but rather narrowing your choices. Your lifestyle should guide your selection.

    Setting the table. (dinner table set for six image by LadyInBlack from Fotolia.com)

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    Porcelain vs. Earthenware

    Porcelain dinnerware is made from high-quality clay and is usually translucent. It is nonporous and vitreous, which means it has a solid, glassy surface. Earthenware is made from lower-grade clay and does not possess the translucent and vitreous qualities of porcelain. Because it is porous, earthenware must usually be glazed.

    How is dinnerware made? (terracotta earthenware image by Christopher Meder from Fotolia.com)

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    The Look

    Porcelain gives a more delicate, formal look to a table. Earthenware usually has a more chunky look and is better suited to casual entertaining and everyday dining.

    Achieving the look. (tableware served for mealtime image by Alena Yakusheva from Fotolia.com)

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    While earthenware chips more easily than porcelain, it is typically much less expensive to replace. Consider how, and how often, you will use your tableware before you make your choice.

    Suiting your lifestyle. (earthenware image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com)

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    The colours and patterns for porcelain dinnerware are limitless, but the body colour is usually fired to a white or off-white finish. The colour of an earthenware piece can be light or dark and a rainbow of rich, saturated hues is available.

    Rich colour. (cups and bowls image by John Sfondilias from Fotolia.com)

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    The Choice

    Your choice comes down to personal preference. Porcelain can be dressed down and earthenware can be spiced up with your choice of accessories. The true dinnerware aficionado may not be able to choose and will have at least one set of both.

    Making the choice. (porcelain cup image by Fatman73 from Fotolia.com)

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