Stoneware dinnerware sets have several advantages when compared to other forms of dinnerware. It is not the best on the market; however, when considering price and durability, it often becomes the number one choice for everyday dinnerware.
Basically, all dinnerware is made from some type of clay. The clay is formed, glazed at some point, and fired to become hard and durable. The difference in quality comes from the quality of the clay and the temperatures at which the clay is fired to reach its maturity.
When purchasing dinnerware, it makes sense to consider your intended uses, the quality of the dinnerware, and the budget, i.e. what you have to spend.
Earthenware clay is most commonly used in producing home-made ceramic and pottery dinnerware. It is easy for a potter to work with, and it requires firing at a lower temperature than other types of clay. The quality of the finished dinnerware is not as good as other types of dinnerware because it is prone to cracks and chipping and the clay is not as porous, which reduces its resistance to water.
Sometimes earthenware dinnerware is deemed to be for decorative use..
Stoneware clay ups the durability realm a bit. It is fired at a higher temperature than earthenware which makes it stronger. Generally, it is less susceptible to chips and cracking, it is considered water proof, and most patterns of stoneware dinnerware are micro-wave safe, oven proof, and dishwasher safe.
It also costs less than most porcelain sets which makes stoneware dinnerware sets an ideal choice for everyday dinnerware .
Porcelain dinnerware is considered to be finer dinnerware than earthenware or stoneware. The difference comes from the quality of the clay and the temperatures at which it is fired. Porcelain is made from kaolin clay and is fired at higher temperatures in a two-fired process which makes it a bit more durable than stoneware with a harder finish.
If decorative items don't interfere, most porcelain dishes are micro-wave safe and dishwasher safe, but oven use is questionable. You can usually tell whether or not the dishes can be used in the oven, micro-wave or dishwasher by looking at the back-stamps on the dinnerware. In regard to porcelain dinnerware sets, some can and some cannot.
Bone china is considered to be top of the line in fine dinnerware. It is made a lot like porcelain, using kaolin clay, but it contains bone ash as well. The production process was developed by Josiah Spode, the founder of Spode. Bone china dinnerware sets are highly translucent when compared to other types of china dinnerware. It is rather expensive and its delicacy requires special care even though it strong and chip resistant. The price and the care is why it is commonly used as fine china, rather than everyday dinnerware.