Your kitchen counter tile and kitchen backsplash tiles are often made up of the same material, Which is tile. But what sets the tiles apart is their functionality. The job for the thinner kitchen backsplash tiles is basically to stay up on the wall and look elegant while protecting it from wayward splatters, While the countertop tile lays, flat on the counter substrate and takes a real beating.
Kitchen counter tiles have to endure the food preparation that takes place on its surface along with attacks from knife blades, sweating drinks, hot dishes, and the erosive acids from everyday foods. So they need to be durable, stain and scratch resistant and to sum things up, Tough! You'll also want them to have a smooth texture so your kitchen countertop will be flat and level.
A tiled countertop offers an affordable alternative to traditional solid countertops, at just a fraction of the price. And they're easy to install and repair.
There are a vast array of options available for kitchen counter tiles. And there's no need to swap appearance for performance. For the majority of countertop tiles today, Style and functionality go hand in hand.
If your kitchen cabinets aren't up to par, installing new countertop tiles will surely make it more visible. Depending on the condition of your kitchen cabinets you may want to consider either painting them or if they're beyond the painting stage refacing them. Both of these options are far less expensive than replacing them.
Countertop tiles need to be extra tough and durable that's why countertop tiles are actually floor tiles.
Floor tile designs are different than wall tile because they need to be tough enough to walk on, And they also need to be water and stain resistant. And these are the same qualities required for countertop tiles.
But there are floor tiles or countertop tiles such as unglazed ceramic floor tile designs, natural stone floor tiles, and cement and terrazzo floor tiles that are tough enough to walk on but have a porous surface making them easy to stain. Staining occurs to unprotected kitchen counter tile when they're exposed to food and liquids and also when repeatedly exposed to moisture.
The solution is to apply a tile sealant, to protect the tiles surface from scratches, moisture, and stains. And when the tile sealant, wears thin maybe in a year or so. You'll need to apply a new coat of tile sealant to protect the tiles again.
The best way to go about choosing your countertop tiles is to take your time! Because chances are this surface is going to live in your kitchen for many years to come.
To make an informed decision, Choose a few smooth textured tiles that you like and then borrow or purchase samples and live with them for a while. Consider the tiles durability, ease of maintenance and sustainability.
Countertop tiles can be highly polished, matte or even textured, but keep in mind the highly reflective surfaces will need diligent upkeep and cleaning. And it doesn't matter if it's a shiny stone surface, ceramic or even stainless steel any scratches will show.
You may want to acquire certain information about your countertop tiles such as where the material comes from, how the tiles are made and most important are they able to stand the test of time.
Glazed Ceramic tile designs make for beautiful ceramic tile countertops. And the brilliant colors are out of this world. There are Ceramic tile designs to complement any style kitchen. And they're affordable, easy to install and require very low maintenance.
Glazed Ceramic tile designs are also waterproof, and create ceramic tile countertops that can withstand high temperatures. And they never need to be sealed.
But the downfall is that glazed ceramic tile countertops can be scratched or even cracked or chipped if too heavy an object is dropped on it.
You can avoid the scratching and chipping by using Unglazed Ceramic tile designs. Their smooth matte finish is resistant to scratches or chips, But Unglazed Ceramic tile designs are porous and will require the protection of a tile sealant.
Granite tile is a natural stone product that's beauty cannot be denied. Granite countertops are very popular and expensive in its solid slab form. But granite tiles offer all the beauty of the solid stone slab at a fraction of the cost.
And it's not just the rich crystalline character and the range of beautiful colors that make Granite tile countertops so popular among designers and homeowners, But it's also one of the hardest stones available. Granite tile is up for any job you may have around the kitchen.
Knives won't scratch it. Hot cookware won't scorch it, and household acids won't etch it. However, Rather you choose Granite tiles with the gleaming shine or a Honed Granite tile with a matte finish Granite tile countertops will need to be sealed after installation and at least once yearly To keep that fabulous surface looking good for years to come.
A Granite slab countertop can be very expensive, but a granite tile countertop can cost far less than the slab, and by using a matching grout you can give your granite tile counter top the look of a whole slab.
When you are using tiles of stone, concrete, or any other material that also comes in solid slabs,
you can match your grout to the tiles, and give them the illusion of being a solid slab.
Limestone tile countertops are typically pale in color, with an elegant aesthetic appearance. Some Limestones are incredibly soft, making it easy to scratch. And this has given limestone tile countertops a bad name, But Limestone tiles come in a range of hardness. And some can be as tough Granite.
But all limestone countertops share one weakness, The surface will begin to dissolve immediately when exposed to acids, such as citrus juice, vinegar, coffee or wine. In some cases, the damage can be evened out with steel wool.
So if your choice is on the look of beautiful, elegant limestone countertops, another option is in do choosing a porcelain floor tile that mimics the look of limestone. You'll get all the beauty and elegance of limestone tile countertops along with the high durability and low maintenance of Porcelain floor tiles.
Honed slate is about the best of all slate tile designs to use for slate countertops. It not only makes for very handsome and stylish slate countertops. But they're also very durable and have a beautifully smooth, matte, nonporous surface that resists staining, cleans up very easily and does not harbor bacteria.
The surface of Honed Slate countertops has a more uniform appearance than Granite or Marble, Allowing other colorful elements of the kitchen to take center stage!
It comes in lovely unique shades of black, charcoal, gray, pewter, brown and some even have highlights of green, blue or red, So each of the Slate countertops is unique.
Even though the surface of Slate countertops are very durable, you'll still want to treat it with a special slate tile sealer to keep up on the durability of the tiles and their good looks for years to come.
Few kitchen counter tiles can compete with the beauty and elegance of marble. A Marble kitchen countertop is one of the priciest countertop materials available, But the beauty you get from Marble countertops for some is priceless. And if you want to cut down on the cost of marble in your kitchen, just use it on a kitchen island or as kitchen backsplash tiles.
Some Marble countertops can be polished to a glass-like shine, But these Marble tiles can be scratched, And they will also require re-polishing from time to time to maintain their beautiful finish.
A honed Marble floor tile design shows less wear, And it's easier to refurbish the tiles when it does. Polished marble gives a glossy, reflective finish while honed marble gives the appearance of a matte finish.
Marble tiles are available in an array of beautiful colors like creamy whites, sunny yellows, garden greens, soft oranges and pinks and even the most midnight of blacks. And the distinctive veining adds a bit of a dramatic look to these luxurious tiles.
The lighter Marble colors tend to blend better with any scratches to the tiles.
If Lighter Marble floor tiles become scratched, the white crystals that form along the scratches will make them less apparent than in Dark Marble tiles.
Nothing beats the ease of maintenance and the durability of a porcelain ceramic tile countertops. Porcelain floor tiles are the toughest of all ceramic tile designs, because during the process of making them they are fired at much higher temperatures than other Ceramic tile designs.
Porcelain tiles are everything you could want in a kitchen counter tile. They are highly water and stain resistant, And they'll be no scratching or chipping to these tiles! They require no tile sealant, They're low on the maintenance scale, and they're easy to clean.
Porcelain floor tiles feature all the brilliant colors and glazes of the standard ceramic tile designs. There are even Porcelain Tiles that convincingly look like natural stones such as limestone, Marble, Slate, Granite and more, all the way down to the texture. And they also offer the larger sized tiles that are perfect for kitchen counter tiles.
Porcelain floor tiles offer the elegance of glazed ceramic tile countertops or the beauty and warmth of a natural stone kitchen counter tile with the durability and ease of maintenance of Porcelain floor tiles.
*If you choose a kitchen counter tile that is bumpy, or a countertop tile that is embossed, or has steep bevels around the edges, you can add another smoother surface to your countertop surface.
You can use the smoother surface for most of your chopping, kneading and mixing and use the rest of your kitchen counter tile to just look beautiful.
* Now's a good time to check your kitchen cabinets for needed maintenance and repairs. Because installing new kitchen counter tile will make it more apparent if they're worn or outdated.
* In some cases simply replacing the kitchen cabinet hardware can significantly improve the look, But your cabinets may need more of a face-lift like maybe painting or refacing them.
* It's a good idea to always use coasters, cutting boards and trivets to protect your new kitchen countertop against spills and scratches.
* Mark the date for when your kitchen countertop tiles will need to be resealed. You'd be surprised at what a difference this simple yearly task makes in prolonging the condition and good looks of your tiles for many years to come.
* You may want to consider how you'll want to edge your kitchen countertop tiles while you're in the market of choosing them.
Many of the Porcelain and Ceramic tile designs have matching v cap or bullnose trim tiles. You can use them to wrap around the edges of your countertop tile.
* For stone tile, you can cut tiles to fit around your edges, and then if necessary use bullnose tiles around the perimeter of the countertop surface.
* If your grout blends well with your Granite tiles, this will help to create the illusion of a solid slab countertop. If not the grout lines between the edge tiles can highlight the fact that it's a tiled countertop