Ceramic vs. Solid Surface Sanitary Ware

The differences between Solid Surface and Ceramic Sanitary Ware - Everything you need to know when sourcing in China
September 28, 2023 by
Ceramic vs. Solid Surface Sanitary Ware
Clemens Rudolph

You might think your bathroom will go unnoticed as it is out of sight from other people, but that doesn’t mean it can be designed any way you want, and you can install any sanitary you can get. Your bathroom needs as much attention as your living room. You can add value to your bathroom with thorough research and creative attention. However, your only goal should not be just to enhance the aesthetics of your bathroom but also to create a place that is comfortable and durable too.

While creating such a bathroom, you may have a question: what type of material should you choose for your sanitary ware? Should you choose solid surface material or ceramic?

While ceramic-based sanitary ware has been used widely for several years, and people have preferred these over other types of materials, solid surface sanitary ware is also gaining huge popularity. The material is widely used in hotel and restaurant projects.

Here, we have compared the two sanitary ware materials to find the difference between the two to help you decide what material you should prefer for your bathroom. Before we start our comparison, let’s understand the materials in detail:


Ceramic sanitary ware is made of fired clay. The material is durable, dense, and has a high thermal mass. Sanitary ware made from ceramic may or may not be gazed. However, most ceramic sanitary wares are glazed as glazing makes the material waterproof. The reflective surface of glazed ceramic is very easy to clean, and tough stains can be removed using household cleaning agents. As the material is formed from clay, it can be molded easily to get different shapes to get any décor style.

Solid Surface

The solid surface material is formed by mixing acrylic, polyester resins, or epoxy with marble dust, mineral fillers, and other pigments. The resulting material has a natural stone-like look and feel and is very durable and strong. Usually, the end material has a white matte surface, but solid surface sanitary ware is now available in a wide range of colors and finishes. The solid surface material is also known by other names like composite stone, stone resin, mineral stone, engineered stone, or cast stone. The material is used to design ultra-modern kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity tops, bathtubs, sinks, and other sanitary ware. The flexibility of solid surface material allows manufacturers to create innovative products with a modern style.

Now that we are familiar with the two sanitary ware materials, let’s compare solid surface material with ceramic based on different factors to find which material can be best for your bathroom.


Surface Hardness

Usually, the surface of the ceramic sanitary ware is harder than the solid surface and has higher scratch resistance. However, the surface hardness of solid surface material can range from 50 to 62 depending on the material quality. The harder the material, the better the quality of the material. When compared to the ceramic material, the surface of the solid surface material is comparatively softer and more susceptible to scratches. But these minor scratches on the solid surface can easily be glossed by polishing and sanding.

Seamless Jointing

When installing ceramic countertops or sinks, you need to use grout seams for jointing. However, the solid surface material can be seamlessly joined without using grout. Hence, the solid surface material is easier to keep clean, and mold cannot grow in the seams.

Ceramic is very fragile

Ceramic-based sanitary ware is very fragile and requires to be wrapped carefully during transportation, or it can crack very easily. On the other hand, high-quality solid surface sanitary ware is more durable and stronger than ceramic, and the risk of breakage during transportation is low. As a solid surface is composed of polyester resin or acrylic, it helps in bonding the material thoroughly.

Solid surface material is better for producing larger products

Usually, public bathrooms require wider vanity basins of length 1.5 meters or larger. Creating ceramic basins of such lengths can be very expensive and difficult, whereas solid surface material can be used for making very large vanity basins of lengths over 1.8 meters too. Moreover, as ceramic is a more delicate material, extra-large vanity basins are more susceptible to breakage and cracks.

Life span

Both solid surface and ceramic sanitary ware can last for decades when you take good care of them. Both the materials can become slightly darker compared to a new product after some years of usage. It is advised to wipe both types of sanitary ware regularly with a household cleaner to clean properly. You can polish and sand the solid surface sanitary ware to remove scratches and marks to give them a brand-new look. To keep your solid surface sanitary ware look shiny and new, you should get the services of professionals every few years.

Hygiene comparison

As the solid surface is non-porous and no grout material is used for jointing, the material is more hygienic than ceramic. Germs and dirt will not slip between the cracks, joints, or adjoining walls as there is no seam present.

Design and Styling

Contemporary bathroom design may require sanitary ware with straight edges. Ceramics have limited design as it is difficult to get straight edges with almost 90-degree corners. On the contrary, it is easier to get any shape and design with a solid surface. Hence, we can say that ceramic material allows for a very conservative styling option, whereas you can get modern, sleekly designed sanitary ware products with solid surface material.

white ceramic sink with stainless steel faucet


By comparing the two sanitary ware materials, we can conclude that solid surface material is better than ceramic material in several aspects. Solid surface is already being used in hotels, restaurants, and commercial projects due to their design flexibility, durability, better hygiene, and longer life. However, with the advancement in technology, the quality of solid surface material is also improving. The use of acrylic resin (MMA) improves the quality of the end product, enhancing its life span, surface hardness, durability, and long-lasting white tone while making it lighter in weight. This makes sanitary ware products made from acrylic-based solid surface material even better than ceramic alternatives.

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