Ceramic tile kitchen countertops are a great and affordable choice for your new or renovated kitchen space. Extremely popular in warmer climates, Ceramic tile countertops can add texture, can be integrated with kitchen back splash designs and are available in many different color palettes. From a kitchen design perspective, ceramic tile can be a great fit.
Cost of Ceramic Tile Kitchen Countertops
Ceramic tile kitchen countertops are available in many sizes, shapes, thick nesses, colors, textures, and strengths all at various prices. You can spend as little as $.99 a sq foot to as high as $45.00 a sq foot for designer ceramic tiles.
Obviously it is more important to select a higher grade ceramic tile when considering them as a material for countertops. Remember that you are using heavy pots and pans not to mention plates, knives and other items which can potentially harm your counters if dropped onto its’ surface. Spending more on durable ceramic tiles will absolutely pay off in the long run.
Color & Design Options for Ceramic Tile Kitchen Countertops
Primarily made from clay and various natural minerals and materials, ceramic tiles get their strength once exposed to extreme heat.. Ceramic tiles are a porous material thereby requiring a sealant or a glaze. A natural glaze application would allow for the tile to gain a hard surface but would also leave the tile with its natural hue. In order for a tile to have a particular color, pigments are then added to the glaze and once fired, become an intentionally colorful tile.
* Glass tiles can also be a beautiful option for your kitchen as well. Remember that glass tiles are clear with color pigment inside the tile themselves. They change color with light, grout and backing.
Durability of Ceramic tile kitchen countertops
With respect to durability, all ceramic tiles are ranked using a Roman numeral grading system of I to V. Today the internet and discount tile supply stores are a fantastic option for getting great prices on tiles, but beware that not all packages will be properly labeled helping you to distinguish a strength grade.
In kitchen countertops, it is vitally important to have a ceramic tile with at least a grade III strength rating. With respect to durability, a grade III or higher glazed ceramic tile is an excellent solution for countertops in any kitchen for many reasons: It is very strong and can last almost as long as any other countertop surface product on the market today if installed properly and well maintained.
- Scratch resistance – Glazed ceramic tiles rank highly among similar materials for scratch resistance.
- Strength – Although the strength of glazed ceramic tiles are ranked in grades and can be very strong with respect to wear and scratching, these countertops can be more susceptible to damage than laminate and solid surface.
- Fire resistance – Glazed ceramic tiles are fire resistant and will not burn or emit toxic fumes. A great option if you want to use them around cooking surfaces.
- Water resistance – Glazed ceramic tiles are moisture resistant with an absorption rate of 3% to 7%. If water is left pooling on a ceramic surface for a prolonged period of time, damage can be expected. Proper cleaning and vigilance will keep tiles looking like new.
- Maintenance – Cleaning spills quickly and occasionally cleaning the grout can prolong the life of your ceramic tile countertop.
Construction & Installation of Ceramic Tile Countertops
It is not necessary to have Ceramic tile countertops professionally installed, but do make sure you follow these few rules and you’ll be fine.
Do your research and seek out credible advice. There are several fantastic web sites designed to help you install your ceramic tile countertops and be sure to visit your local building centers where some will host free lessons on tiling. The more information and advice you can receive the less mistakes may be made therefore saving you money!
Choosing a color or style of kitchen countertop ceramic tile is an important consideration, but so is your grout! Be sure to get the right grout and don’t forget to choose the right grout color as well. Be aware of the look you are trying to achieve and realize that your choice of grout color could dramatically change the overall look of your kitchen countertop for better and for worse! Space between your tiles is also something very important to consider, be sure to use tile spacers. With proper spacing,, a greater effect and style can be created in something as simple as tile spacing.
Another ceramic tile to consider installing is un-manufactured tile or hand-made ceramic tiles. One very important thing to note about using and installing these tiles is that each tile is generally different. This tile can add rustic beauty to your space but beware of inconsistencies; your end result may not resemble your intention!
If you aren’t comfortable with installing Ceramic Tiles as a Countertop option then we suggest you find a licensed tile installer to complete the work for you!
Ceramic Tile Countertops, the environment & your health
Ceramic tiles are an excellent choice for kitchen countertops in that they are very easy to clean. These tiles are non-conductive and therefore do not attract dust and dirt.
From a green perspective ceramic tiles have some potential concerns. Although they are created from natural ingredients and are not harmful to landfills, they still contribute to them. They also require quite a bit of energy to produce due to the high oven temperatures required to fire them.
Today you can find recycled ceramic tiles that use post consumer recycled glass and other recycled materials which is a great green option if you choose
In our eyes, ceramic tiles are a very sexy choice! Ceramic tiles allow for plenty of creativity in your kitchen design. They are durable and versatile and you can incorporate your ceramic tile countertops into your backsplash, match them to your floors; creating a great space with unlimited possibilities!
The Martini Factor
Ceramic & Glass tile countertops are a scary entertaining choice! Although easy to clean, tough on spills, heat resistant and sanitary, these countertops are problematic for stemware! The tiles are also subject to breaking when abused so be careful with heavy items and try to always clean spills quickly to avoid staining your grout.