Different materials in dinnerware explained – Slateplate
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Different materials in dinnerware explained


Dinnerware shopping for your restaurant can be tedious as there is a wide selection available in the market. A lot of factors have to be considered when finding the most appropriate dinnerware that will best fit your restaurant.


Apart from cost and durability, selecting the type of dishware material is also crucial. To guide you in choosing which is best suited for your restaurant, here is a quick comparison of the most commonly used materials in dinnerware.


Earthenware is manufactured from unrefined clay exposed to low temperature. Because of its organic composition, it is rather sensitive to temperature changes.


While it looks heavy, it is actually lightweight, delicate, and can easily be scratched. The unglazed earthenware is usually not dishwasher safe, while its glazed variant is, and can be used in microwave and conventional ovens.


Its most unique property is that because of its natural look, it gives a rustic vibe, which is suitable for a more homey, organic establishment.




Stone dinnerware







Relative to earthenware, stoneware is made from refined clay with some glass material mixed to it for added strength and durability. It is more refined than earthenware, and is safe for your dishwasher and microwave.






Compared to china, it tends to have a off-white creamy appearance, which can look good in casual or fine dining. Because of its durability, weight, and price, it is considered as a good mid-range dinnerware.



Many restaurants use contemporary variants of stoneware such as slate, especially so in fine dine setting as they give a classic, sophisticated vibe while still looking fresh and modern. More information on our restaurant dinnerware






China dinnerware

Probably the most commonly used dinnerware, china is available in dozens of colors, shapes, and styles to choose from. They can be used both in casual and formal dining set ups. Which is an advantage for when table size is a limiting factor.


They are made from fine-particle clay that is fired at high temperatures, which makes them highly durable and nonporous. They are also easy to mold and color, less susceptible to bacteria, and are generally easier to clean. Most chinaware is dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe.


The finest china has bone ash, which makes it more translucent than usual porcelain. Simply called bone china (or bone ash), they are made from actual animal bones combined with porcelain clay and fired at a slightly lower temperature. This gives them the translucent, milky look and lightweight feel.

Melamine dinnerware

Apt for a more casual dining, melamine dinnerware is often used as a less expensive alternative to chinaware. Also available in various colors, shapes and styles, melamine has the same appeal as china.


It is made of plastic material that gives it a lightweight, sturdy, almost indestructible property. They are deal to use in an outdoor setting, or in a kid-friendly establishment, as they do not break easily.


However, melamine is not suitable for use in the microwave or oven is its composition leaches chemicals when subjected to high temperature. Although it does not melt, its surface can release amounts of harmful chemicals that are deemed unsafe when mixed with food.


It is generally dishwasher safe, however, water temperature should not be more than 140 degrees F.


Glass dinnerware

Glass, just like china, is durable and nonporous. In case of most dinnerware, it is usually opaque, although some are still manufactured transparent.


Vitrified glass, like the well-known brand Corelle, is safe to use in the dishwasher and microwave, and is virtually indestructible as it is almost unlikely to break even when dropped onto a hard floor.


Because of its durability, it is ideal for use in child-friendly restaurants and outdoor set ups.