If you are looking for the ultimate way to personalize your kitchen, a tile countertop might offer the best options. From simple ceramic tile to hand-painted versions that are limited only by your imagination, tile countertops are both durable and beautiful.
What is a tile countertop?
Tile offers the best of many worlds for a homeowner. It is easy to install, comes in a virtually endless array of colors and styles, and can do additional duties as a backsplash, trivet, island top or even flooring material. With proper care, tile countertops can last for decades. There are four types of tile you can choose for your countertops: ceramic, porcelain, concrete and stone.
Popular styles and colors of tile countertops
Ceramic tile is made of pressed clay that has been glazed to a glossy finish. Ceramic tile often comes in 1- to 3-inch pieces, which can make them a bit tedious to install. By contrast, porcelain tile is made of different types of clays that have been mixed together and heated to provide durability. Porcelain tile is usually available in 11- to 14-inch segments, which make it easier to install but more difficult to use for detail work.
Stone tile comes in 12-inch pieces and can mimic the look of a slab marble or granite countertop for a fraction of the cost. Concrete tile offers excellent strength but can be more expensive than the other options.
All styles are available in virtually any color you choose. They can be made of everything from very simple colors applied in a factory to pieces hand-painted, one at a time, to your exact vision.
How durable is it?
Ceramic and porcelain tiles can chip or break if they are struck with something heavy, such as a pot or pan. Though stone and concrete are sturdier, they are still prone to the occasional scratch or discoloration. The grout used to fill the gaps between the tiles and hold them in place can become stained or chipped. A good sealant can help reduce the chances of this, as can regular cleaning.
What will your tile countertop cost?
The cost of your tile countertop will depend upon many factors, including the type of tile you choose. Tiles can range from $1 per square foot to $225 or more. For a typical kitchen with 30 square feet of counter space, a tile countertop can cost as little as $30 or as much as $6,750. Simple glazed ceramic tile is the cheapest option, while artisanal tiles cover the higher end of the price range. Handcrafted and hand-painted tiles, especially those that are designed specifically for your kitchen, are often the most expensive.
Installation cost for your tile countertop can run between $35 and $40 per square foot. Tiles that are in unusual shapes or require other special handling can drive up the installation cost.
How to get started
Begin with a rough estimate of the size of tile countertop you will need, and then choose a style that appeals to you. If you need some guidance, check out sites like reliableremodeler.com and faceyourkitchen.com. Then use the form on this page to get in touch with contractors who can handle the installation of your tile countertop.