Selecting dinnerware for your restaurant sets the stage for your dining room’s tone and enticement. A key consideration is which type of tableware best fits your establishment’s interior design. There are multiple options in the commercial china market, fulfilling different needs for different customers. When shopping, keep the following properties in mind to make the best decision:
Fineness of grain
Color after firing
Ability to apply decoration
Porcelain and bone china differ in appearance, composition and production. Below is a summary of each material’s characteristics to guide you in making your decision.
Porcelain’s Primary Characteristics
White, hard, permanent, non-porous pottery
Made from a combination of feldspar, quartz and kaolin
Less expensive and heavier than bone china
Brittle composition leads to more chipping
Available in varying degrees of whiteness ranging from ivory to blue-grey to bright white
Comes in two types
Soft Paste – creamier in color and somewhat porous
Hard Paste – purer white color and non-porous
Bone China’s Primary Characteristics
Translucent and fine composition
Made from kaolin, feldspar, quartz and bone ash
The quality is determined by the total amount of bone ash included
Opaque texture and appearance
Thin-walled pieces give a more delicate appearance, but offer more durability than porcelain
Lighter in weight than porcelain
Bone china white has a warmer tone to it; often described as “snow white”
Shop our Premier Collections to view our offerings in both bone china and porcelain dinnerware.
Many people are confused as to the difference between “china” and “porcelain”. Actually, the two terms describe the same product. The term “china” comes from its country of origin, and the word “porcelain” is Latin, meaning seashell. It implies a product which is smooth, white, and lustrous. The term “porcelain” is preferred in Europe while “china” is favored in the United States.
The production of bone china begins in a similar fashion as porcelain china but includes an extra ingredient, bone ash. This is a white powdery substance and the byproduct of incinerated animal bone. Bone ash gives the body of the plate a unique milky white color.
Bone ash adds translucency to the body of the dinnerware, and makes the dish stronger by making it softer. By making the dinnerware less brittle, the bone ash makes it more resilient and less likely to break. Often times, you can place your hand on the back of a plate and hold it up towards a light. If you can see your hand, it’s likely bone china! Otherwise, the dinnerware product is most likely porcelain.
Bone china offers a slightly more elegant appeal due to the lighter weight and body composition. It’s typically a bit more expensive than porcelain due to its manufacturing process and overall elegant perception.
Porcelain is generally thicker than bone china products
Porcelain is forged at a higher temperature – averaging around 1, 455° Celsius / 2, 650° Fahrenheit
Bone china offers a slightly more elegant appeal due to the lighter weight and body composition
The durability of bone china is based on the percent of bone content. While industry minimum is 30% bone content and stronger, higher grade product goes up as high as 40-45% bone content, R.W. Smith’s Venu collection is composed of 48% bone content.
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