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Porcelain, ceramic or marble?

What differentiates one bathroom basin from another? When looking for a new basin to install into your home, it can be tricky to know the difference straight away. In reality, the options are almost endless; basins come in all shapes, sizes and materials to suit every style.

Ceramic, porcelain and marble are amongst the most popular materials and each offers its own qualities. Take a look at our quick and handy guide to find the perfect basin material for your bathroom.


Ceramic is made from clay which has been shaped and fired in a kiln. This long-lasting, durable material suits a simple, minimalistic bathroom suite, as well as a traditional, Victorian look.

Dust can often collect in ceramic basins, but this is easily solved by giving the basin a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth. Stains are easily removed and ceramic is generally easy to clean to maintain a shiny appearance. For more information, click here.


Porcelain is perhaps one of the most popular materials used to make bathroom basins. Porcelain itself is a ceramic material, and comes in two common forms: vitreous china and fine fireclay. Vitreous china is a non-porous material which is fired at a very high temperature, whereas fine fireclay is strong and porous, and fired at a much lower temperature.

Fine fireclay needs a glazed surface in order to reduce water absorption, as this can damage the appearance of the material. The cheapest bathroom basins are often made from porcelain, but some are also sold at the higher end of the price spectrum.

Porcelain basins are usually quite hard to scratch, but if this does occur, you can purchase porcelain repair kits. These help you fill in the scratched area, making the surface feel smooth again. Porcelain suits both minimalist, modern looks as well as more traditional designs.


Marble is another non-porous material, combining natural products such as marble dust with synthetic resins. This gives marble that attractive, layered appearance which has made it so popular, and it is a fantastic material for basins. Marble bathroom basins are very stylish, and are usually made in the washbowl style.

Typically, they are more expensive than ceramic or porcelain. In terms of style, they can suit a very modern, minimalist bathroom suite, but they also fit beautifully in more spa-style bathrooms. Marble is the most luxurious of the materials, and it is easy to clean. While marble can be scratched, the damage is very rarely permanent. If the scratch is not too deep, it can be repaired using a home marble repair kit, whereas deeper scratches and chips can be professionally re-finished.

Luxury is affordable when it comes to bathroom basins. Porcelain and ceramic basins in a brilliant white can look timeless and elegant in any bathroom suite, whereas marble can add a touch of decadence to any suite.

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