When I think about tile countertops, I think about the kitchen in my grandparent’s house growing up. While that makes me smile with all the warm and fuzzy memories, I cannot say it makes me want to run out and fill my kitchen countertop with tile. This type of design was popular in the 70s and 80s, but it is making a comeback in specific designs. Continue reading this article to find out all the details about tile kitchen countertops.
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Uses of Tile Countertops
When you think of tile, you most often think of flooring in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as backsplashes in kitchens. They have many other uses, including added texture to any kitchen. Tile countertops are most often found in a house that is decorated in the Arts and Crafts style homes.
They are used to create timeless beauty within your kitchen. You are able to create a variety of patterns by mixing different shapes and colors. Tile countertops provide you with many options from which to choose when designing your kitchen. Tile can be made out of various materials, but the most common materials are natural stone, ceramic or porcelain.
Ceramic tiles are affordable and low maintenance. Ceramic tile is waterproof and can handle the heat from most hot dishes.
Mosaic tiles are small colored tiles that are quick to install. They are really durable and the entire tile is colored, so cracks and chips are not seen as easily on this type of tile.
Granite tiles are natural stone but are much more affordable than traditional stone. The surface of granite tiles is patterned in such a way that it can hide fingerprints and dirt. These tiles are strong and last a long time.
Quartz tiles are created to look like granite but provide a more durably performing tile. This tile has a surface that is smooth and uniform grain. This type of tile does not need to be sealed and is long-lasting. This tile is also nonporous which means that it will not trap bacteria beneath the surface.
Challenges of Tile Countertops
While there are many reasons why you would decide to install tile countertops, there are also some challenges of which you should be aware of. One of those challenges is that tile is textured and the surfaces are not smooth, which makes them hard to clean. The surfaces of tile are porous which means they are likely to collect bacteria.
They may also be susceptible to stains. The tile does require sealing which will protect the tile from staining. The grout can also collect bacteria and hold it, especially when uncooked food is put on the countertops.
Tile countertops are not often durable. While they are resistant to heat and slightly resistant to scratches, they can chip easily. Depending on the material you use in your tile countertop, the tiles may be softer and more easily damaged. All you have to do is drop something heavy on the countertop and it will get damaged.
Popularity of Tile Countertops
Tile countertops have been in use since the late 1800s. This was the time when ceramic tile manufacturing really began but most people did not really catch on until after the Second World War. This was a time when kitchens really began to become more functionally and larger. The countertops reached the top of popularity during the 1970s and the 1980s. The tile countertop lost some favor when solid surfaces were created.
There was the increased availability of stone slabs which made became more popular than the tile countertop. Since that time, the definition of the tile countertop has expanded. The tiles today are fired ceramic or porcelain and are cut from larger stones. There are now tiles available in glass, which is newer. Tiles are even used in showers and roofs in addition to the classic floor and bathroom tiles.
Other Countertop Styles / Materials Currently in Style
When considering a countertop for your kitchen, there are many options to consider. Laminate countertops are a popular option because they remain affordable. Laminate has a wide range of colors and patterns, so your options are limitless. Butcher block countertops or other types of wood countertops are incredibly popular for a kitchen because they provide a large and safe surface for food preparation.
Stainless steel countertops give your kitchen a unique look. They combine elegant beauty and practical benefits for most kitchens. They do give your kitchen a more industrial look. Many kitchen appliances have finishes that are stainless steel that a stainless steel countertop seamlessly blends with all kitchen appliances.
Lava countertops are a unique countertop. They are made from lava stone quarried from the site of ancient volcano eruptions. This countertop gives your kitchen a look that cannot be found in most kitchens.