A preceding study of contact damage in a bilayer system consisting of a porcelain coating on a stiff Pd-alloy substrate is here expanded to investigate the role of substrate modulus and hardness. Bilayers are made by fusing the same dental porcelain onto Co-, Pd-, and Au-alloy metal bases. Indentations are made on the porcelain surfaces using spheres of radii 2.38 and 3.98 mm. Critical loads to initiate cone fracture at the top surface of the porcelain and yield in the substrate below the contact are measured as a function of porcelain thickness. Radial cracks form at the lower surface of the coating once the substrate yield is well developed. By virtue of its controlling role in the metal yield process, substrate hardness is revealed to be a key material parameter-substrate modulus plays a secondary role. A simple elasticity-based analysis for predetermining critical loads for a given brittle/plastic bilayer system is presented.