Kitchen counter tops are arguably the most important component of the kitchen. They take quite a beating, with hot pots and heavy appliances placed on them, so they must be durable and resistant. Wanting to give my kitchen a refresh, I looked into the best tiles for a kitchen counter top.
Granite is a firm favorite for kitchen countertops. Extremely hard-wearing, granite’s mottled surface conceals fingerprints and dirt and is easy to clean. Counter top tiles made from ceramic, porcelain and mosaic are more cost effective, offering value for money.
The biggest advantage of counter top tiles is that they are much more cost-effective than the solid stone slabs that they are often made from. They are also easy to install and repair, so redoing your kitchen counter tops could be a fun DIY project. Read on for a roundup of the best tiles for your kitchen counter top depending on your needs…
Top Pick Tile For Kitchen Counter Top: Granite
Granite tiles are a top pick for kitchen counter tops. They are strong, durable, and heat resistant – you can place hot pots and pans directly on the surface.
Granite tiles are expensive but drastically cheaper than installing slabs of granite. Installation is not easy – granite is heavy, and granite tiles may require cutting, which requires special machinery.
Installing granite is a huge commitment; not only is it expensive, but once glued to cabinets, removing it can damage your cupboards.
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That said, granite will add value to your home. It is resistant to chipping, scratching, and staining.
Granite is easy to clean and low maintenance, provided that both the tile and grout are sealed
Hot tip: Use tinted grout for a more seamless finished look.
==> Check out my article “Should Kitchen Granite Match Bathroom Granite?“
Most Durable Tile For Kitchen Counter Top: Quartz
Quartz tiles are manufactured, and because of this, they are consistent in appearance – what you see on display in the showroom is what you will get if you choose to buy the tile. With natural stones like granite and marble, you can expect colors and patterns to vary.
Like granite, quartz tiles are durable, tough, and resistant to chips and scratches. They are also completely waterproof, making them resistant to stains. Quartz tiled counter tops should be cleaned with a non-abrasive, mild cleanser. Quartz tiles are waterproof and non-absorbent and therefore don’t need to be sealed.
Manufacturers usually issue generous warranties against defects and damage since quartz is so durable.
Quartz counter tops are not completely heat resistant. A very hot pan placed on quartz tiles could cause the tiles to discolor.
Quartz tiles are also very heavy, so you need to ensure that your cabinets withstand this weight.
Best Value Tile For Kitchen Counter Top: Ceramic
It won’t be difficult to find a ceramic tile that will compliment your kitchen. Ceramic tiles cost significantly less than other tiles. They offer good value for money, provided you take care of them.
If you are looking for a DIY project, ceramic tiles are easy to cut and install.
While ceramic tiles can withstand the high temperatures of pots and pans, they can easily be chipped or cracked by cast iron cookware or anything heavy that is dropped on the surface. They also have a high absorption rate, which means any spills must be wiped up immediately to avoid stains.
Durable Tile for Kitchen Counter Top: Porcelain
Porcelain is made up of different clays and minerals that, when fired, form a harder, denser, tougher, and more durable surface than ceramic tile.
It is also less porous than ceramic tile and has a low absorption rate, making it less likely to stain.
When selecting porcelain tiles for your kitchen counter top, choose vitrified porcelain as this type of tile has color pigment all the way through, which will make chips less noticeable.
Porcelain is more expensive than ceramic tiles.
It is not ideal as a DIY project as a wet saw with a diamond blade is needed to cut cleanly through this dense and hard tile.
Most Unique Tile For Kitchen Counter Top: Mosaic
Mosaic tiles are Made up of 1-inch square units, attached to a mesh backer-board, and sold in sheets. They are easy to install; you could redo your kitchen counter top as a weekend DIY project.
Like ceramic, mosaic tiles come in various colors and designs and can be arranged to create different patterns, allowing you to create a unique kitchen.
Mosaic tiles are durable, and if there is a chip or crack, it won’t be as visible because mosaic tiles are colored all the way through.
The Ultimate Splurge For Kitchen Counter Top: Marble
The hallmark of luxury and opulence, marble is an expensive natural stone.
If you covet a kitchen with marble tile counter tops, you have to be prepared to go the extra mile to keep it in good shape.
Marble tiles are prone to scratching and chipping. They also have a high rate of absorption and are unforgiving when it comes to spills.
Wipe up spills immediately. Ensure that the counter top is properly and regularly sealed to protect it from staining. Avoid harsh and abrasive detergents. Always uses cutting boards, place mats, and pot racks.
You could also choose a darker shade of marble to minimize the appearance of stains.
Many people believe that the wear and tear of life gives a home its character and therefore embrace the stains and scratches that marble-tiled counter tops inevitably get.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Counter Top Tiles
- Kitchen counter top materials come in a range of price points. Determine your budget before you decide on a counter top material. You are certain to get something that suits your budget.
- Think about your household and lifestyle. If you are a couple who uses the kitchen mainly to make coffee and defrost a ready-to-eat frozen meal, your counter tops don’t necessarily have to be robust and resilient to stains and chips. If you have children, often cook or entertain frequently, you will need more hard-wearing tiles.
- Counter tops will need some form of maintenance to keep them in pristine condition. Some counter top tiles require less maintenance than others. Consider how much time and effort you are prepared to invest in the upkeep of your counter tops.
- Whether it is modern or Country Chic, your counter tops need to compliment the overall style of your kitchen, so keep that in mind when choosing your tiles.
When choosing a counter top tile, you need to consider the budget, followed by how much effort you are prepared to put into maintaining the counter top. Lastly, think about the overall look you would like to achieve.
Choosing a tile for your kitchen counter top is a big commitment. Granite is durable and requires little maintenance to keep it looking in top form. Therefore granite counter top tiles will be a great investment. For counter top tiles that are more cost effective and give you good value, go with ceramic tiles.