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hit_em 02-24-2012 10:48 AM

Tile Countertop debate.
I'm looking to get some new countertops in the near future. I have been researching different kinds of countertops, and there seems to be a few that like Tiled countertops and ALOT that don't.

I had tile countertops in my last place and they were horrible, they were small 4" tiles right on top of plywood, no backer board or any type of membrane. the grout was white and the gaps between tiles were 1/4". Everything about those counters were wrong.

I personally don't mind the tile look. and with bigger tiles smaller grout lines a dark epoxy grout, and proper installation tile would work just fine.

So the reason I'm posting this is to see what such the hate for tile countertops, Or why do you like your tile countertops?

BTW I'm talking about kitchen countertops.

joecaption 02-24-2012 10:56 AM

I hate them.
Far more prone to leaking around where the sink sits due to all the low areas where the grout is.
There going to be right where there's a high chance of someone dropping something on top of them causing damage.

user1007 02-24-2012 10:59 AM

I think, like anything else, countertops should fit with the character and design of the kitchen and ultimately the house. I think, for example, some ultra modern, sleek-lined, euro-industro look kitchens look nothing short of goofy in an 1800s Victorian.

So anyhow, there is a big debate about tile countertops? I hadn't heard about it. I have nothing against tile countertops if they are done right, the grout is appropriate for a countertop and sealed nicely. There are some gorgeous tiles out there that would yield an appearance achievable in no other way that I would be proud to put in the right kitchen. Or put more accurately, to have put in place by a qualified and experienced tilesetter. Near nothing looks worse than a bad tile job and up off the floor and at counter height you notice it instantly.

I think the generic (for lack of a better word) tiles look really crappy if the grout gets stained or they were installed in such a way you can tell there are tons of replacement tiles where the originals cracked.

Finally, I think there are so many alternatives to tile countertops now below/at/above the price range---glass, concrete, stone, glass terrazo, copper, bamboo, etc.---that they are not an obvious choice. And I guess I prefer flat surfaces.

Wishy washy answer I know.

hit_em 02-24-2012 11:16 AM

Guess the title could of been a bit different, there is no big debate over it. I just don't seem to see why so many people dislike them. and by so many people I have read countless threads on a few different forums about people saying they don't like them, they hurt resale value. but they never give a reason as to why.

ccarlisle 02-24-2012 11:25 AM

The main reason people hate them is that a marble or granite tile countertops cry out: 'a poor-man's marble or granite countertop'. Done cheaply; I've done about 5 so far and to me looked good, used Schluter products all the way, mostly marble 12" tiles, very small grout line, stainless edges.

No telling for taste...

hyunelan2 02-24-2012 11:44 AM


Originally Posted by ccarlisle (Post 862024)
The main reason people hate them is that a marble or granite tile countertops cry out: 'a poor-man's marble or granite countertop'.

This. Though I grew up in a house with tile countertops and know all of the horrible functional aspects of them - my number one reason for despising them is how the message they convey: "I wanted a new countertop but couldn't afford it." About the only place I think they are even remotely acceptable is in a basement bar, but think there are better options as well.

cleveman 02-24-2012 08:41 PM

I like them and I don't see any reason why you have to be much of a tile-layer to make them look good.

You'll want to use a nice porcelain tile. I prefer 3x3 tile, but I have done 8x8's. You can tour a showroom. 12x12 looks fine diagonally. I wouldn't use marble, but you could use granite. The right porcelain can be mistaken for granite and has lower maintenance.

Small grout lines are good, as is epoxy or urethane grout. The edge is important. I have used tile and wood and I prefer wood because you have a couple of materials working together then.

The backsplash can be tile as well, something which looks good with the countertop.

I have installed maybe a dozen tile countertops and I haven't seen or heard of any breakages. I have them in rental properties and I cleaned one that was 10 years old with a steam cleaner some time ago. It had begun to look a bit shabby and it came back to its original condition.

The layout is important. Design your kitchen so there are no cuts. With one exception. You can have a cut through the kitchen sink and no one will ever notice it. This is why the 3x3 tiles are so nice. You can design in 3" increments.

I did one at a convenience store with a schlueter profile edge, stainless, and it looked fine for where it was. I would consider this for a modern, minimalist kitchen as well.

As for the construction, I build cabinets with 3/4" tops, then a layer of 3/4" plywood on top of that, then 1/2" denshield. And I have full backs in the cabinets and build some "headers" on the front out of plywood which will be covered by the facing. This gives a lot of stability if you have a cabinet which is 4' wide for example.

diy'er on LI 02-25-2012 11:03 PM

as a cook, I can tell you a couple problems with certain types of tile countertops:

grout discolors and is difficult to keep clean (especially when not properly sealed, large grout lines, and white grout)

counter is difficult to clean because of the "bumpiness" (especially with irregular tiles, small tile counters) Cooks love to just carelessly swipe puddles and food from the counters. some even are bothered by sinks that are not undermounted.

I think if you use a flat, large, uniform tile, and 1/16" grout lines, you may eliminate most of those problems.

Aaric williams 02-27-2012 01:30 AM

There are many benefits of choosing a granite tile than all of the other stone or wooden countertop. If you're looking to replace your kitchen counter, a tile countertop is a very good option. Ceramic tile is versatile and heat resistant.

Windows 02-27-2012 09:24 AM

I like the way tile looks, and in bohemian kitchens I think tile countertops look great, but i would never have them in my house for the same reason I would never have stone - too unforgiving. Anything dropped is surely broken.

dustinbabich 09-14-2012 07:18 AM

glass countertops
A countertop may be constructed of various materials, both natural and manmade, each with its particular attributes with respect to functionality, durability, and aesthetics and may incorporate or house appliances or accessory items relative to the intended might be made up of natural material and wood as well.

retro 09-14-2012 08:27 AM


The main reason people hate them is that a marble or granite tile countertops cry out: 'a poor-man's marble or granite countertop'.
I will admit though, that I saw a counter top recently made with granite "mini slabs" they were 18x26 1/2 in thick. With a very thin grout line matching the granite color. It looked pretty good.

princelake 09-14-2012 06:33 PM

i was going to tile my kitchen counter because i was on a budget and i have to sell my house as a seasonal camp so no point in putting money into it. i went to a place in town that sells laminate counters and asked if they had any scratch/dent counters and they did and the color i wanted. i brought them the measurements and they cut it for me and i installed it. i still cant find a single scratch on the counter and it was cheaper then tiling it and saved me a bunch of time.

weekendwarrior9 09-15-2012 12:55 AM

IMO you need a very well done tile countertop for it to look good and be functional. There is a LOT of tile out there that shouldn't be used as countertop surfaces. Thin grout lines, minimal rounding on edges, etc.

But most of the time I see 1/4+ grout lines, extremely rounded edges, contrasting grout and tile colors. Just ugh (IMO)

I'm considering doing a concrete countertop when we get to the kitchen phase of our remodel, to go along with a concrete floor.

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