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Dinnerware Service Sets

Dinnerware sets are featured center stage at every holiday gathering and special event. When your family sees you bring out the "good dishes," they know they are about to enjoy a feast. Beyond choosing between blue or white, mugs or cups, and eight place settings or a dozen, there are several considerations to make before you decide on a dinnerware set to purchase.

What is included in a dinnerware set?

Most service sets come with dinner plates, bowls, salad plates, and cups or mugs. Formal sets can also include dessert plates and bowls, gravy boats, salt and pepper shakers, serving platters, and pitchers. You also have the option to have 8, 12, 16, or more place settings. Open stock buying makes it easy to add to your dinnerware set as you go.

What are dinnerware service sets made of?

Earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, bone china, and glass are used to make dinnerware sets. They each have different qualities.

  • Earthenware plates are thicker and usually have painted and glazed designs incorporated. This type of dinnerware is porous, so it must not be left soaking in water. These plates are usually dishwasher- and microwave-safe.
  • Stoneware dinnerware is also thicker than porcelain but sturdy because glass is included in the clay. Stoneware plates are often everyday dishes and are usually microwave-, oven-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe. Check the product manual prior to use as sudden temperature changes may be harmful.
  • Porcelain, also called china, is made of finer clay particles. Its elegance and durability make it a popular choice for everyday dinnerware sets as well as special occasion settings.
  • Bone china is a type of porcelain. Bone china has cow bone ash mixed in with the porcelain to give the dinnerware a translucent cream color, but it is not more durable than fine china.
  • Vitrified glass dinnerware stets are a popular choice for families with small children because of their strength. They are fired at high temperatures to make them sturdy and nonporous. Dropping these plates and bowls will not usually break them.

What are dinnerware set style considerations?

The most common dinnerware sets are circular, but plates can also be square, hexagonal, oval, rectangular, and even triangular. Dinnerware can be further stylized with scalloped, smooth, or ribbon rims, lipped or coupe style, and shallow or deep wells. Important considerations for the shape and size you choose are whether the dishes will fit in your cupboards and dishwasher. When you choose a basic white set, adding color to your table is just a matter of using colorful table linens and centerpieces. An all-white dinnerware set with blue bowls, red platters, or floral pieces throughout is attractive.

Taking into consideration the pieces included, durability, size, color, and style will help you select the dinnerware service set that you will use for years to come.