Ceramic Dinnerware Sets
Ceramic Dinnerware Sets.
Did you know that archeologists have discovered ceramics dating back at least 26,000 years ago?
Your dinnerware is the main attraction of your table. Beyond being a utensil to serve food, it is also a means of expressing your personal style. It gives an elegant and opulent look to your table.
When it comes to choosing your dinnerware, nothing else gives an elegance that’s par with ceramics. Discovered thousands of years ago, it has a strong presence in Europe, UK, America, and also China. Compared to most other options, ceramic is also relatively healthy and safe.
This article takes you through everything you need to know about ceramics, dinnerware sets, place settings, and many more.
What Is Ceramic Dinnerware?
Ceramic is a hard, brittle, heat-resistant material made of clay, powders, earthen elements, and water. Once mixed and shaped into the desired form, it is fired in a high-temperature oven called Kiln.
They are then decorated with patterns called the glaze.
Glazes can be:
- Satin Matte
Ceramic is a broad umbrella term for anything related to pottery, fine china, bone china, stoneware, and more.
Is Ceramic Dinnerware Good?
Yes! Ceramic is good and safe not just as dinnerware but also as cookware. It is formed by heating clay at a high temperature.
Modern dinnerware contains ingredients that are non-toxic and non-reactive without any presence of chemical additives. They are also environmentally sustainable and doesn’t pollute the environment.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Ceramic Dinnerware?
A Ceramic dinnerware set is often unique and suitable for a clean and safe household. Though it trumps other materials as dinnerware, it has a few disadvantages too.
- They are usually inexpensive, though it may depend on the brand.
- They hold color well and doesn’t leech into the food.
- It is easy to clean and doesn’t stain easily.
- It doesn’t hold the smell of the food or beverages.
- They are smooth to touch and hence quite slippery and breakable.
- Older dinnerware sets may contain lead content.
How Long Does Ceramic Dinnerware Last?
Ceramic lasts for decades or even centuries in some cases. As long as you handle it with care, it can even outlast you.
What Is the Best Way to Choose Ceramic Dinnerware?
It is not easy choosing ceramic dinnerware from the different and unique patterns and designs available in the market.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the best dinnerware set.
- Choose different sets for various occasions like dinner parties and casual everyday use.
- Go for sets if you are looking to build your collection or open stock if you are looking to mix and match. You can add pieces later on to match your decor.
- You can also go for a minimalistic design and dress it up with accessories.
- Be adventurous in choosing a dinnerware set and let your personal style speak.
- You must consider your storage space before buying anything because you should be able to store your collection easily without having to stack it over one another.
Ceramic utensils are fragile and vulnerable but they also can last longer if you handle them with proper care.
Here’s how you care for your precious dinnerware set.
- Avoid microwaving in your formal dining set. The design can wear off quickly.
- Make sure to use cutlery made from glass or chinaware to serve food. Metal can be harsh on the patterns.
- Store them upright; else, you may damage the rims.
- Place a tissue between each plate or dish when storing.
How Do You Clean Ceramic Dinnerware?
Ceramic, with its smooth surface, is easy to clean and maintain. But you need to take proper care of it to preserve its appearance and shine.
- Rinse the dinnerware right after your meals. Don’t let the food dry out.
- For dried and crusted food, soak the plate in lukewarm water and then proceed to wash.
- Avoid harsh scrubbing. Your dishwashing liquid and a soft sponge is enough.
- If possible, hand wash and let them air dry. This option retains its shine and glaze.
- Wash in cold water or lukewarm water rather than hot water to prevent cracks.
How to Remove Stains from Ceramic Dinnerware?
Over the years, the dinner set can get stained due to the oils and spices from the food. However, it can be returned to its former glory within no time.
Below are some tried and tested methods to remove the stains while keeping the pattern and color-safe.
- Prepare a solution with water and vinegar and soak your stained dinnerware for about 30 minutes.
- Lightly scrub the stains with a paste of baking soda and vinegar and wash it off.
- A solution of baking soda and lemon juice also helps to remove the stains.
- Vinegar and salt also work magic on stubborn stains.
What Are the 3 Types of Ceramics?
The 3 types of Ceramics are:
- Earthenware – Clay fired at relatively low temperatures between 1,000 to 1,150 degrees.
- Stoneware – Clay fired at high temperatures(1,200 degrees) to give it a stone-like sturdiness.
- Porcelain – Refined clay fired at scorching temperatures 1,200°C–1,450°C. Though translucent in appearance, it is tough and durable.
What Are Stoneware Dishes?
Comprised of non-porous ceramics, stoneware has been fired at around 1200 °C. The result is a thick and strong dinnerware that is durable and chip resistant.
It comes in a variety of stylish options and is a perfect dinnerware set for daily use.
Though opaque than porcelain or china, it gets its name from the stone-like look it gains after being fired.
Is Stoneware Safe to Use?
Yes! Stoneware is relatively safe to use. Since it is fired at high temperatures, it is very durable. It is dishwasher-safe, oven-safe, microwave-safe, and chip resistant.
However, few inexpensive brands, mainly the imported, may contain trace amounts of metal, including lead. So, make sure your stoneware is FDA regulated.
Does Stoneware Chip Easily?
No! Stoneware doesn’t chip easily. The material is fired in the oven at 1200°C for about 12 hours, making it sturdy, strong, and chip-resistant.
Can I Put the Stoneware in the Oven?
Generally, yes! Stoneware is oven-safe. But, in dinnerware sets, you might want to ensure that the glaze isn’t affected by the temperature.
As a rule, it is better to avoid sudden temperature changes, as it may cause damage to the structural integrity.
How Do I Clean Stoneware Dishes?
As with most ceramics, it is not safe to soak it in water for extended periods of time. Half an hour would suffice even for the stubborn stains. Long periods of soaking may break the material and cause it to chip.
For tough stains, make a paste of vinegar and baking soda. Use the paste and gently scrub the surface with a dishcloth. Avoid using heavy-duty scrubbers like metal. They can cause scratches in the design.
For grease, use lemon juice or any citric acid to cut the grease and wash it off.
What Is Porcelain Made Of?
Porcelain essentially includes two ingredients; kaolin clay, also called china clay, and petunse pottery stone.
The clay is fired to very high temperatures of 1,200°C–1,450°C. The high temperature gives a delicate structure that is hard and shiny. It is the most durable of all ceramics and is generally heavier than the rest.
Why Is Porcelain So Expensive?
Porcelain is expensive to mix and fire. It requires a refined clay that is free from impurities. Adding to that, the high temperatures that give the clay its translucency also cause many failures.
But these qualities make the porcelain dinnerware set well worth the price.
Does Porcelain Break Easily?
Usually, No! Porcelain doesn’t break that easily. Although the material is durable, it may crack or break if you misuse them.
Make sure that you do not drop them or get them too hot in the microwave.
How Do You Clean Porcelain Dishes?
Though you can clean porcelain in a dishwasher, handwashing seems to be the better option to preserve its beauty and color.
- Wash with lukewarm water and a soft sponge. Squirt a little dish soap, rub it gently and rinse it off. Set it on a dishtowel and let it air dry.
- In case of stains, make a paste with baking soda and white vinegar. Scrub the stains gently and wash them off.
- Do not use harsh chemicals or bleach at all costs.
What Should I Look for When Buying a Ceramic Dinnerware Set?
Ceramics are the perfect dinnerware for all occasions. You can buy them at all price ranges, from inexpensive earthenware to expensive bone China.
Here are a few pointers to look for when buying ceramics.
- Decide on the material you want for your dinnerware. Earthenware and stoneware for daily needs, porcelain or bone china for elegant dinner parties. Choose your set depending on the occasion.
- Get the right size for your cupboards and dishwasher.
- Consider looking at open stocks. You have the freedom to add more pieces to your collection later on according to your needs.
- White dishes are always the best, especially in bone china. You can match them with anything.
- Ceramics can last long. So, it’s worth spending money on quality.
Which Is Better: Porcelain or Ceramic Plates?
Porcelain makes the best dinner plates. It is resistant to chips, cracks, and staining. The thin, lightweight structure gives it a refined and elegant look.
Ceramic, on the other hand, is easily breakable and has a thick rustic edge to them.
Nevertheless, both the material makes beautiful dinner plates.
Which Is Better: Stoneware Or a Ceramic Dinnerware Set?
Stoneware is the better choice when compared with ceramics. It is non-porous, durable, and doesn’t chip as easily. But a sudden temperature change may cause it to crack.
Contrarily, ceramics are porous, breakable but are simple maintenance.
That said, ceramics are perfect for daily use, while stoneware works great for occasions involving close friends and family.
What Is a Fine Ceramic Dinnerware Set?
Fine dinnerware set includes both porcelain and bone china. They have a dainty translucent appearance that is quite the opposite of their strength and durability. Both the material has an upscale look lending themselves to more formal occasions.
Despite their fragile appearance, they are safe for use in the dishwasher, microwave, and oven. This makes it a great gift for close friends and family.
Why Is Bone China So Expensive?
Bone china is the most expensive of all ceramics. They have a translucent quality that is almost see-through but quite strong and chip resistant.
The price is also due to their raw material, which includes cow bone ash and the labor. This gives it color and shade, unique to bone china.
Not all bone china is the same; the quality depends on the quantity of bone ash in the mixture.
Is Bone China Better than Porcelain Dinnerware Sets?
Yes! Bone china is better in terms of a dinnerware set. Bone china is lightweight and finer, giving a translucent finish. Though it looks delicate, it surpasses the latter in terms of strength and durability.
The presence of bone ash gives it a unique milky white color favored by many.
How Can You Tell if a Plate Is Ceramic?
For the untrained eye, it is quite difficult to distinguish between the different types of ceramics. While the price point may give you a clue, here are a few tips to help you.
Porcelain: It has a distinct dainty quality that is absent in other ceramics other than bone china. Hold one to the light, and the light should pass through. If you pass your fingers between your dish and the light, you should be able to see a shadow of your fingers.
Stoneware: It is opaque and tends to be heavy, basic, and handmade. They have a rough finish, and the clay is usually darker with specs in it. Stoneware mug, plate, soup bowl, etc., have unglazed bottoms.
Earthenware: This is the most available form of ceramics. Your run-of-the-mill dinnerware set is most probably earthenware and is not waterproof. Also, the entire surface area of the plate or mug would be glazed, except for a small rim.
What Is the Best Material for Everyday Dinnerware?
Stoneware dinnerware sets work great for everyday dishes. They are durable than the standard earthenware dinner sets, making them family-friendly.
Their unique glaze gives it a classic finish that is smooth to touch. Though they are dishwasher safe, handpainted designs have to be hand washed.
But, do not expose it to sudden temperature changes like high heat or freezing conditions.
What Is the Most Durable Dinnerware Material?
If you are looking for something elegant and strong simultaneously, bone china is the way to go. Though fragile and delicate, it is the most durable of all dinnerware.
It also has incredible durability, and the modern pieces are safe to use in the dishwasher, oven, and microwave. But the great pieces hold an exorbitant price tag.
They can last for a long time; Centuries-old collector’s items still exist in good condition.
What Is the Best Stoneware Dinner Set?
The best stoneware dinner set currently on the market is the 18-Piece Stoneware Dinnerware Set by Amazon Basics.
It can serve up to 6 people with six dinner plates, six salad plates, and six soup bowls. They are safe to use in the microwave for simple reheating. The product has simple and elegant, with a variety of colors to choose from.
With a very reasonable price and a 1-year warranty, the product seems quite heavy for dinnerware.
How Much Should a Ceramic Dinnerware Set Cost?
The price of dinnerware sets costs anywhere from $10 to $125 per piece. In more inexpensive options, you have sets costing $10 per place setting.
The key is to spend as much or as little as you can afford, depending on your need. If you are looking for a set that will last a lifetime, spending more on the quality makes sense.
But for everyday pieces, you may go for budget options.
What Is the Best Glue for Ceramic Repair?
The best glues for repair are:
- Epoxy – Includes a hardener and a resin. When mixed, they create a strong bond that fills in all the cracks and chips.
- Superglue – Doesn’t need any mixing and dries quicker than epoxy. It is suitable for lightweight ceramics.
Having said that, epoxy forms a long-lasting bond, making it a better choice for fixing broken ceramics.
Can Ceramic Dinnerware Be Recycled?
Yes! Ceramics can be easily recycled to be used in art projects, gravel pathways, and driveway underlayment. You cannot find many recycling plants willingly accepting ceramics.
If accepted, they can be ground up into a powder and later used in tiles and new dinnerware sets.
Without the possibility of either of these options, you can donate intact dinnerware to thrift shops.
What Is the Safest Material for Dinnerware?
Most ceramics are safe to use, but the issue lies in the glaze. Few glazes incorporate lead in their design and pattern. While they are suitable for decoration, do not, in any case, use them for eating, especially if you are pregnant.
The safest material for dinnerware sets includes:
- Glass dinnerware set
- Pure ceramic dinnerware set
- Premium quality 304-grade stainless steel dinnerware
Even with stainless steel, make sure that they do not have any deep scratches or pitted bottoms.
A pre-packaged dinnerware set is made of:
- Dinner plates
- Salad plates
- Cups and saucers
- Soup-cereal bowl
So, in a twenty-piece set, you will have four of each, bringing the count to 20.
Sometimes the manufacturers may replace a soup bowl with a bread and butter plate. But, the former offers more versatility than the latter.
How Many Dinner Plates Should a Family of Four Have?
The number of plates you buy depends on the availability of space. For a family of four, you need a minimum of two settings with a 4-piece basic set for each member accounting for spares. It also helps if you have guests over.
In case you are newly starting over, you may need glasses, cups, wine glasses, forks, spoons, knives, etc.
How Often Should You Replace Your Dinner Plates?
Ceramics last quite a long time. So, unless they are chipped, cracked, or broken, there is no need to change them.
But if you have kids, plan on having spares or buying evergreen sets in white preferably so that you can replace the broken pieces as and when you need them.
What Is the Best Color for Dinner Plates?
The best color for dinner plate is white. They are evergreen and easy to find spares, in case you have broken pieces. You can also mix and match the pieces for an eclectic approach.
For more color, go for a black or brown plate. However, make sure that the dinner plate you choose should complement the food and not make it unpalatable.
Are Round or Square Plates Better?
Square plates are contemporary and suit more modern settings. But they can be limiting in cramped spaces. For a more casual setting, a round plate works better.
How Many Place Settings Should I Buy?
Experts suggest having six to eight settings for your casual daily use so that you have spare pieces when the dishes are in the dishwasher.
If you are entertaining, you need a minimum of 12 settings in your formal dinnerware set.
However, if you own just one dinnerware set, you might want to have twelve settings.
Your ceramic dinnerware goes beyond a utensil to serve food to something that demonstrates your personal style and décor. The most popular dinnerware sets are made of earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, and bone china. They all come under the umbrella, ceramics.
Ceramics, though made of clay, have different formulations and temperature settings. Earthenware is the cheapest of the lot and bone china the most expensive. Bone china also has a translucent quality, which makes it more attractive. It includes bone ash for that classic milky white color.
If you are someone buying a new dinnerware set, you might want to read more on the place settings and buy accordingly. One set is usually a 4-piece set with a family needing at least 4-6 settings.