Tiled Kitchen Countertops
If looking for versatile design, tile countertops are the way to go. Not only are they heat- and stain-resistant, but tiles can also be found in a variety of colors, materials and sizes. Tiles can scratch and chip, so keep a few extra tiles in case one needs to be replaced. Design by Didier Michot
For an inexpensive solution to replacing kitchen counters, tiled kitchen countertops make for an attractive and often artistic addition to the kitchen.
A solid glass countertop by Glassworks, Inc., looks almost like ice, lending a cool, chic feeling to this contemporary kitchen. Although it's more expensive than other countertop materials, glass is growing in popularity for its stain resistance and sleek, dramatic style.
Say Yes to Soapstone
Soapstone countertops, like the ones in this kitchen by Jarrett Design, offer a soft look but can also look great in a sleek, modern space. Though pricier than some other countertop options, soapstone is environmentally friendly and durable, offering significant value.
Stainless steel countertops aren’t just for sleek modern spaces. Here, Dave Vogt of Case Design/Remodeling, Inc., used the metal in a country-style kitchen, where the gleaming surface contrasts beautifully with exposed brick and the well-worn bottoms of the homeowners’ cookware. Over time, the counters may scratch and show wear – but that’s part of their charm in a space like this – and they are super durable.
Clean and Streamlined
Developed specifically for countertops, Granicrete has the great modern look of concrete, but is seamless and is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation as being bacteria-proof and stain-proof. The waterfall edge here creates an especially sleek look, without the weight and cost of poured concrete.
Count on Copper
A custom copper countertop and backsplash add warmth and glamour to this bar area designed by Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri of HGTV's Kitchen Cousins. Copper countertops are highly germ resistant but are prone to dents and scratches. Polish it weekly to maintain its shine, or allow it to develop a patina of a burnished brown-black with green flecks.
Counters of Calacatta Gold marble with a polished top function as beautifully as they look. While marble has a rep for being high maintenance, it can age beautifully with a little care – and nothing beats it for rolling out pastry dough.
Wood on White
Dark-stained wood adds contrast and a country feel to this white country kitchen by Historical Concepts Architecture & Planning. Like natural granite, wood counters can vary widely in the uniformity and graining of their patterns. That variation is part of their appeal.
A Twist on Granite
Love the durability of granite, but searching for a new look? The stone takes on a more modern appearance when it’s cut so that the backsplash continues the countertop pattern. “We chose this piece because it looks like a watercolor painting of the home’s exterior wooded landscape,” says Ines Hanl of The Sky is the Limit Design in Victoria, BC.
A Growing Trend
One of the most popular countertop surfaces today, engineered quartz is versatile and durable. Its nearly endless range of color options allows you to visually tie an open kitchen to the surrounding living spaces, as designer Lori Dennis did here with dark blue tones in a kitchen by SoCalContractor.
Two countertops? Twice as nice! A center island topped with quartz by Cambria is a functional focal point in this kitchen by Denise Wenacur of DW Design & Decor, and the countertops around the room’s perimeter are solid black granite. “That mix – and those materials – represent the most current countertop trends,” Wenacur says.
Smorgasbord of Surfaces
And why stop at two surfaces? In this gorgeous space, perimeter countertops are Taj Mahal Quartzite, and the island combines 3-inch-thick walnut butcher’s block with 14-gauge stainless steel topped by Silver Waves marble.
Cost-effective (ceramic and porcelain tiles start at as little as $10 per square foot installed) tile countertops are also a great way to get an updated look for less.
If you're particularly drawn to the look of granite, for instance, granite tiles offer a much cheaper alternative than a thick slab. Even ceramic and porcelain tiles, though, have designs that mimic the look of stone and metal finishes, or even the feel of leather and other textiles.
For style-savvy homeowners, tile kitchen countertops offer the opportunity to get creative. Consumers may want to work with a contractor, installer or even an artisan to create a pattern, mosaic or an interesting color or textural combination to make the look carry one-of-a-kind appeal.
Despite their low cost, tile countertops are quite durable—though if cracked, a tile must be completely removed to be replaced. Homeowners looking to forgo a complete countertop replacement might consider laying tiles on top of their existing laminate surfaces for a low-cost refresh.
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