Choosing a set of dinner crockery can be a big decision. There is a wide variety of materials to choose from; you have to keep in mind the occasion, you have to check the durability, the design- all these make it confusing.
Investing in durable everyday dinner crockery is more complicated than investing in fancy dinnerware. The latter may seem tempting as you can walk into the store and pick something fancy. For everyday pottery, you need something that is not too fancy, but you focus more on the quality and functionality.
Know the Materials and Quality
When you’re shopping for dinnerware, the options are plenty. We’re not talking about the colour or pattern of the dishes, but the material. The most popular materials are ceramic, porcelain, stoneware, bone china, earthenware, melamine, and glass.
To ensure you make an informed decision, you must know the materials well.
Ceramic is made from clay, which is hardened by firing, and decorated or glazed. Ceramics are made from different materials, and not all materials are equally durable.
Earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain are three different types of ceramic.
- Earthenware: Earthenware is the most fragile ceramic that is fired and glazed at low temperatures. Dishes made from this material are thick and heavy. Because earthenware is porous, the items are prone to chipping.
- Stoneware: Stoneware is a more durable ceramic that is fired at high temperatures. It is made from clay mixed with a vitreous material and comes in different colours. Stoneware ceramic dishes and bowls are versatile, durable, and easy to maintain.
- Porcelain: Porcelain is made from very fine clay, which is fired at high temperatures. The clay contains ground animal bone which makes the material durable. Porcelain crockery is delicate and appears translucent.
The price of earthenware is less compared to other types of ceramic. In comparison, porcelain dishes are expensive compared to stoneware. While both stoneware and porcelain are fired at high temperatures, one simple way to identify the materials is porcelain is available only in white, and stoneware is available in many colours.
This material is very fine, lightweight, and delicate. Bone ash is mixed with porcelain clay to produce bone china, which is fired at lower temperatures than porcelain.
This material can be used for everyday crockery or reserved for special occasions.
If you have kids in your house, then melamine is the safest option. They are unbreakable and last really long. It is a plastic material that is lightweight and comes in a variety of colours. Melamine crockery is often styled to look like ceramics, so don’t be surprised if you see a ceramic design on a plastic bowl.
Melamine is an excellent choice for everyday dishes and bowls. They don’t look cheap like plastic, but not too classy like bone china.
Keep the functionality and the budget in mind while shopping for crockery. It’s best to avoid expensive dinner sets at the table if you have children. But of course, if you want the fine dining experience at home, bring out the ceramics.
Now that you know the materials well, you cannot let the store managers fool you into buying earthenware at exorbitant prices. Keep your porcelain dinner crockery reserved for special occasions, and pick your choice from melamine or earthenware for everyday crockery.