Dinnerware is considered the focal point of every dining table. No wonder, they are selling out fast, and more and more dinnerware manufacturers are releasing a wide range of dinnerware sets varying in terms of colors, patterns, style, and materials.
Selecting Your Dinnerware Sets – Materials, Designs, and Styles to Choose From
There are quite a lot of materials that make a dinnerware; the cheapest ones are even made of plastic. But if you value durability and elegance, here are the top five most common dinnerware materials to consider:
Stoneware Material. You would know that a dinnerware set is made of stoneware if they show a special glaze finish that adds to their smoothness. Stoneware dinnerware sets also have an impermeable finish which make them great for daily use.
Dinnerware sets made of stoneware material are durable. But on the downside, they require to be stored at even temperatures. Thus, exposing them to hot or cold areas will affect their durability.
Earthenware Material. Earthenware dinnerware sets are famous for being sturdy and beautiful. Being the oldest material to be used even in other houseware, the downside of earthenware is that the material is quite heavy. Moreover, it requires to be kept at a consistent temperature. Exposure in constantly changing temperature like in a microwave may affect its life but in terms of durability, it is better than stoneware.
Bone China. Bone China material is also known for its elegance and durability. Bone China dinnerware sets are lightweight and chip resistant and thus will be great to use for casual and special occasions. Furthermore, on the upside, bone china dinnerware sets are dishwasher and microwave-safe.
Porcelain. In terms of durability, porcelain dinnerware sets are highly durable because of their high firing temperatures. Like Bone China, porcelain-made dinnerware is also oven, microwave, and dishwasher-safe. However, there are sophisticated designs that use metallic accents which make them microwave-inappropriate.
Melamine. Melamine dinnerware sets are shatterproof, chip-resistant, and yet aesthetically fancy. Considered an entertainer’s dream, melamine dinnerware sets are the most ideal even for outdoor use. On the downside, however, they are not microwave and oven-safe.
It is not hard to find or transform a dinnerware set into something “you”. The market today has a plethora of dinnerware sets for you to choose from and they can range from casual to stylish in terms of design. If you dig a more formal type, you can choose from stoneware, bone china, or porcelain. Meanwhile, melamine and earthenware dinnerware sets are best for casual use as they are shatter-resistant and very durable. If you are a newbie dinnerware set collector, you can start with the casual ones and then invest in fancier and more elegant dinnerware sets later on.
Moreover, dinnerware sets also come in different styles: banded, hand-painted, patterned, and solid. These categorizations will help you incorporate your personality into your dinnerware more.
Once you have finalized your preferences based on the above mentioned variations and you are ready to shop, here is what you should know further.
You have three ways to obtain your preferred dinnerware: you can directly buy a set, you can buy a place setting, or opt for open stock. If you are planning to buy formal dinnerware, do know that you can most likely find them as part of place settings which means the set is inclusive of all the pieces that a person will need: a dinner plate, a pair of spoon and fork, bread plate, teacup, salad plate, saucer, and even soup bowls. Open stock, meanwhile, is sold per piece which is the most economical among the three.
Dinnerware sets, unlike open stock, come with other pieces aside from the plate. They are not as complete as place setting; they rather consist of a teacup, a saucer, a dinner plate, and a salad plate, but every dinnerware set serves four people which means four sets of these essentials.
As per the experts, it is ideal to invest in five-piece place settings good for eight to twelve people to ensure sufficient dinnerware for occasional and casual use but it still depends on your frequency of usage and the size of your family.
A trick other dinnerware set collectors use is using the same sets from the time to time but with different accessories such as linens, placemats, and chargers. Others even use napkins for an additional appeal.
Space and other Factors to Consider
Before you head out to shop for dinnerware sets, you will want to make sure that your storage space at home is already set, especially after taking into consideration the impact of temperature on their durability and longevity.
Now, for the care and maintenance needed, you also have to consider whether they are chip-resistant, microwave-safe, or dishwasher-safe as you choose. If you have toddlers at home, you will want to secure a few pieces of break-resistant ones. Experts advise checking the care instructions from time to time to know how the dinnerware set is in terms of these areas.
The Needed Upkeep of Your Dinnerware Sets
Depending on their materials, the price range of fancy dinnerware sets is no joke and unless you are rich, you will want to take care of them to extend their lives. So, for the upkeep, here are some tips from the experts that you should heed:
- If your dinnerware shows hard-water spots, one trick to get rid of them is by soaking the dinnerware in white vinegar for three minutes. Once done, proper rinsing and towel-drying must follow.
- If your mugs show coffee stains and your plates show some fork marks, do not worry; they can still be removed. All you have to do is rub some baking soda and water over the affected area. Then still, rinse and towel-dry appropriately.
- Although stacking as a form of storing unused dinnerware sets is common, it can cause chipping especially in dinnerware with bone china material. There is a way to prevent this, though. Just put a fabric in between every piece or simply put pads in between and in corners where they are likely to bump against.