how to tell if bathroom sink is porcelain or ceramic

Porcelain vs Ceramic Bathroom Sinks: How to Tell the Difference?

When selecting a material for your bathroom sink, it is better to consider the quality and durability of the material. Most commonly, porcelain and ceramic are the best sellers in the market when it comes to bathroom fittings. So, do you know how to differentiate between porcelain and ceramic? Most people are unaware of this. Certainly, these two materials are pretty similar, but they also have some unique qualities. They both have advantages as well as disadvantages. How to tell if bathroom sink is porcelain or ceramic?

We’ll provide you with facts about it in this article.

What is Porcelain?

A very fine clay mixture is compacted under high pressure and fired in a kiln at temperatures to create porcelain. Porcelain is typically created from two key components: pottery stone, which offers its surface texture and hardness, and kaolin, often known as china clay, which provides porcelain with its plasticity and structure. While making porcelain, the clay is significantly finer than when making ceramics.

Porcelain has special qualities such as translucency, whiteness, and hardness. Because of its excellent mechanical resistance, high density, and low porosity, porcelain is consistently durable, innocent, soft to the touch, and beautiful.

The following are advantages of porcelain for using them for bathroom sinks:

  1. Long-lasting and incredibly durable This is possible because it undergoes a more demanding burning procedure at high temperatures and, as a result, emerges harder compared to ceramic bathroom sinks. It’s capable of lasting several years if you take good care of it.
  2. Does not break easily. It is less likely to crack or fracture. This makes it more resistant to brittleness.
  3. Easy in cleaning. They have a smooth, less porous surface that makes them stain-resistant and clean-up-friendly. Also, they do not absorb water.
  4. Cheaper than ceramic sinks and affordable.
  5. Have a stylish, contemporary appearance that may add elegance to any bathroom. 

What is Ceramic?

Clay powder which is nonmetallic and water are combined to create ceramic, a particular kind of pottery. The mixture is then hand-sculpted into the various shapes that are desired. The mixture is then severely heated in order to make it solidify.

Ceramics’ covalent and ionic bonds are what give these materials their many distinctive qualities, including their hardness, higher melting and boiling temperatures, limited thermal expansion, and excellent chemical resistance. Ceramics are very hard, have low thermal and electrical conductivity, and are also hard-wearing and durable. However, for some negative traits, ceramics are brittle, which causes fractures.

The following are the advantages of ceramic sinks:

  1. Come in a range of shades of colors and designs. As homeowners, you can choose a style that complements your bathroom decoration.
  2. Resistant to wear and tear scratches. Ceramic sinks are of a quality that prevents easy scratching from using every day. Also, more difficult to damage when compared to other materials.
  3. Easy to maintain and clean.

What is ceramic?

How to Tell if Bathroom Sink is Porcelain or Ceramic?

In this section, let’s discuss all the possible methods to find out whether your sink or the sink you’re going to purchase is porcelain or ceramic. They might look similar at first glance. Therefore, we’ll provide you with visual differences, a tapping test, a scratch test, and an acid test on these two materials.

Visual differences

A porcelain sink is glossier on its surface than a ceramic bathroom sink. Porcelain bathroom sinks are refined and smooth on the surface when compared to ceramic sinks. When touched, you can feel a hard touch on porcelain sinks. Ceramic sinks are porous and softer. Porcelain sinks always come in pure white and whiter than ceramic. Ceramic bathroom sinks are cream-colored or slightly off-white.

When you examine both sinks using a magnifying glass, you can identify porcelain sinks are less porous than ceramic sinks.

Tapping Test

 Use a metal object, like a key or a spoon, to lightly tap the sink’s surface to conduct the tapping test.

Porcelain sinks make a bell-like ringing sound, while ceramic sinks make a dull thud when you tap them. This is due to the fact that porcelain is a denser, harder substance compared to ceramic sinks.

It’s essential to keep in mind that this method could not be entirely correct. Other features, including the thickness and form of the sink, also might have an impact on the tapping sound. Thus it’s advised to combine the tapping test with some other identifying techniques like inspecting the surface or looking up the manufacturer’s label or specifications.   

Scratch Test

You can do the scratch test by scratching the surface of the sink with a coin or with a knife. If your sink is scratched, it might be a porcelain sink because ceramic sinks are resistant to scratches and can’t be scratched easily. This is because ceramic sinks are harder on the surface than porcelain sinks.

When doing this, please be careful not to damage your sink. 

Please don’t try to do this when purchasing a sink! When purchasing, you can simply check the label.

Acid Test   

Use hydrochloric or sulphuric acids in dilute form. Take precautions steps before using acids, or they can harm you. And I strictly tell you to use only a small amount of acid, like 2-3 drops from a dropper. If you notice that the glossy nature or surface sink turns into a dull look, it is porcelain precisely! A small amount of acid will not damage ceramic sinks.


What we want to tell you is if you are going to purchase one of these sink types for your bathroom, you can simply check for the label or ask a salesperson there without worrying about the type of sink. And if you want to renew the sink you have after a while or if you want to know the sink in your bathroom if you don’t know you can find out by referring to this article.

Moreover, please keep in mind that there are various types of sink materials that will be perfect for your bathroom! 

Check out this Video,

VIDEO CREDITS: wikiHow YouTube Channel

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