Tile Countertops Make A Comeback – Know Your Options

Globally, every region has a unique kitchen tile countertop style. The standard for where you live might seem odd for someone living elsewhere.

Granite tiles on kitchen island countertopView in gallery

However, there is an international consensus on the top-five tile options. And tile countertops are one of the most popular.

The Beauty Of Tile Countertops

Kitchen island with tiled countertop 1024x683View in gallery

Tile countertops were popular in the 80s. They fell out of favor in the 90s because of grout. 

Tile Kitchen Countertops

Today, kitchen countertops are ceramic, porcelain, granite. Tile countertops are cheap. If you install a countertop the right way and take care of it, it will last a long time. 

Granite Tile

Granite tile is good for kitchen countertops, but unlike ceramic tile, it’s expensive. A granite kitchen countertop ranges from $2,250 – $5,000.

Although that’s higher than ceramic or porcelain, it’s worth it because as a natural stone, granite is scratch-proof and heat resistant. Another feature is how the color will never change or fade. 

How To Paint Tile Kitchen Countertops

There are three main types of tile used in kitchens, ceramic, porcelain, and granite. Paint each one involves a different process.

Before and after kitchen paintView in gallery
Image from artzyfartzycreations

How To Paint Ceramic Kitchen Countertop

  • Clean – before you paint ceramic tile, you need to clean the tile with warm water and a clean towel.
  • Primer – apply one layer of gray or white primer over the tile and let it dry.
  • Paint – apply two coats of oil-based paint with a soft brush or roller.
  • Protect – after the paint has dried, apply one coat of urethane as an added layer of protection.

When you’ve finished, wait 24 hours before using the countertop.

How To Paint A Porcelain Kitchen Countertop

  • Clean – sprinkle a powdered cleanser over your tiles and clean them with a scrub brush or sponge. 
  • Sand – if you have a laminate countertop, sand the surface. When you’re done, clean the surface and make sure it’s free of dust.
  • Primer – apply one coat of primer and with a paintbrush. For larger areas, use a paint roller.
  • Paint – acrylic urethane enamel or food-safe paints are the best. However, acrylic latex paint or two-part tile epoxy will also work.
  • Seal –  cover the tile with polyurethane after the paint has dried.

Remember, make sure your space is ventilated. You will also need to wear protective eyewear and a face mask.

How To Paint A Granite Kitchen Countertop

When painting a granite countertop, backsplashes, fireplace surrounds, and coffee counters, you will need the right paint and primer. Painting over granite isn’t as easy as porcelain or ceramic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Paint by itself will not adhere to granite. 

  • Coating – use a high-quality epoxy coating or professional polyurethane made for countertops.
  • Remove caulk –  you will need to remove the silicone caulking and clean the area with rubbing alcohol.
  • Clean – use a degreasing soap and clean the countertop.
  • Abrade –  this is when you roughen the surface so the primer and paint stick. You can use a chemical etching product. 
  • Primer – apply a layer of primer. After it dries you’ can paint your granite countertop.

DIY Tile Countertops

DIY Tile CountertopsView in gallery
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As cottagecore and the dark academic aesthetic style gain in popularity, younger homeowners are keen on modernizing their tile countertops. There are three DIY tile projects you can do that will give your kitchen or tile countertops a modern look.  

Temporary Tile Decals  

Find a theme and stick decals on your tiles. This is great if you have children, and they have a favorite superhero. You can cover their bathroom with Superman or Batman decals. 

Concrete 

Cover your tile counter with concrete if you want a modern industrial look.  First, sand the tile counter. This will help the concrete to adhere to the shape of your countertop. After you pour it in place, nobody will know the difference. All the concrete to cure and remove the forms. Next, cover it with a sealer to protect your countertop. 

Add Room Decor 

The cheapest and easiest way to add decorations on your countertop. This is where you can get creative and surprise yourself. 

The History Of Tile Countertops

There was a time when tile countertops were all the rage. In the late 70s and throughout the 80s they became popular and tiles started being used in kitchens and bathrooms. After this, they became less popular.  

Green tiles for kitchen countertopView in gallery
Green lime tiles for countertop and backsplashView in gallery

But tile countertops are back. Tile complements modern and contemporary interior designs. Although things changed, the basic idea remained the same {found onnorberrytile and lifesevenphotography}.

The Pros And Cons Of Tile Countertops

There are pros and cons to tile. Let’s begin with the pros. First, tiles come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes which give you more room to play with when choosing a kitchen countertop style.

Corner kitchen layout with tiles on countertopView in gallery

Neutral colors allow the countertop to blend in, but if you want it to stand out, choose a vibrant color. You can also use color to match the counter with other kitchen elements like an accent wall, a cabinet or use different colors to define different functions. For example, one portion of the counter can be a prep space and can have a certain color while the rest can be a breakfast area with a different color.

tiles are heat-resistantView in gallery

Another big pro is tiles are heat-resistant. You can put hot pans and trays on it without hurting it. Tile countertops are also scratch and stain resistant up to a point.{found on echeloncustomhomes}.

Sunny retro kitchen designView in gallery

Tiles are cost-effective and easy to install. You can even turn this into a DIY project and install your tile countertop. You just need to know the basics and from there you can get creative.{found on jacksondesignandremodeling}.

Tiles countertops are durableView in gallery

Another plus is if one or more of the tiles cracks, chips, or is damaged, you can replace them without replacing a new countertop.

Light Blue tiles for kitchen countertopView in gallery

Now, for the cons. Tiles don’t create a smooth and even surface. This can be a minus when rolling a pie crust or balance a cutting board.

Large kitchen design with tiles on backsplash and countertopView in gallery

Also, as durable and resistant as they may be, tiles have their limits and sometimes they can crack or even get damaged by extreme heat. Scrubbing can also damage a high-gloss finish and this can ruin the look of your kitchen countertop.{found on cgnd}.

Ranch style kitchen designView in gallery

Grout offers problems. If it’s not sealed, it will stain and become damaged by moisture. Grout can store bacteria and is hard to clean. Your best option is to seal the grout and to get a shade darker than the tiles.

Maintenance Facts And Tips

A tile countertop is easy to clean. You have to clean it like any counter. However, you must be extra careful when cleaning grout between tiles. The lines should be as thin as possible.

Mountain home kitchen designView in gallery

Make sure the grout is sealed. Do not let it absorb stains because it will be almost impossible to clean. You also don’t want the grout to absorb moisture because bacteria can get trapped inside (postandbeam).

tile countertopsView in gallery

To keep your tile countertops clean and shiny, an anti-bacterial cleaner works best. If you want a shiny finish, rub the tiles dry after cleaning. This prevents water from staining your counter (dhd}.

How To Remove Tile Countertop

Removing a tile countertop is not as hard you might think. For someone with average carpentry skills and the right tools, it would be a good DIY home repair project.

A step-by-step guide on how to remove ceramic tile from a countertop:

  • First, clear the area where you will work. Shut down and unplug any appliances and turn off the electricity in the kitchen.
  • Shut off water to the sink. Loosen the faucet with a wrench and drain the water from the pipe. 
  • Remove the sink by unscrewing the bolts at the bottom. With clamped sinks, release the clamps to remove the sink from its opening. 
  • Lift the sink out of its opening. You might need a small knife to cut the tile surface to break the sealing.  
  • With a crowbar or pry bar, tap the front edge of the tile that’s closest to the wall. The purpose is to break the mortar that’s stuck to the tile.
  • Slowly chip away until the area is free of the tile you want to replace. 

Tile Types

When you hear the word “countertop,” most think of ceramic or porcelain tiles. They might be the most popular tiles but there are more. Porcelain tile is almost 30 percent cheaper than ceramic tile. Both tiles are durable and resistant and available in many colors.

Urban outdoor kitchen with mosaic countertopView in gallery

Natural stones are another option. Porous stones in particular are not a very good option in the case of countertops and that’s because they stain. You have to be careful in the kitchen, avoid stains, water damage, or scratches. Maintenance is also more demanding in this case.

Black Granite Kitchen TilesView in gallery

Granite is a natural stone, a popular and durable kitchen décor. They hide fingerprints and are long-lasting and resistant to stains. However, they have to be sealed regularly to keep them in good shape.

Quartz countertop tilesView in gallery
Turquoise mosaic kitchen countertop tilesView in gallery

Quartz is another tile option. Quartz tiles have a consistent grain and smooth and uniform surfaces. They’re more durable and long-lasting than granite tiles and they don’t need to be sealed. Also, they’re non-porous.

Repairing damaged quartz tiles is difficult. Quartz doesn’t offer many color options.

Kitchen Countertop Designs 

Bay windows for kitchenView in gallery
Aqua blue countertop tilesView in gallery

This is the part where you can get creative and come up with your unique design for your tile countertop. You can keep it simple with a single color like neutrals, or you can choose to make it stand out.

Cool blue kitchen tilesView in gallery

Modern Tile Countertops

Countertop kitchen tiles patterns and a round windowView in gallery

An idea is to create patterns. You can use tiles of different colors to create contrasts and geometric designs or you can improvise and include a lot of different colors and even different prints and patterns to create a mosaic.

Match tiles with cabinetsView in gallery

Your tile countertop can match your cabinets, your kitchen island, pendant light, curtains and more. You can also choose to coordinate it with elements in the living or dining area in the case of an open floor plan.

DIY Countertop Project

DIY Countertop ProjectView in gallery

Are you looking for a DIY tile home project that doesn’t require a power saw? Here’s a fun DIY tile project for people of all ages from Abeautifulmess:

Tools: Wood board, backer board, box cutter, tile, grout, adhesive, trowel, rubber float, grout sponge, haze remover, wood screws, drill.

  • Cut your wood board at a hardware store.
  • Cut backer board to make deep cuts along the lines.
  • Snap the pieces from the board.
  • Put the backer on top of your wooden board and secure the backer to the wood.
  • Add a thin layer of tile adhesive on half of the board, and then score lines in the adhesive.
  • Lay the tiles onto the adhesive with your spacers in the corners.
  • Line the corners and edges together with the board.
  • Add adhesive and tiles until you cover the board.
  • Make necessary adjustments and wait 24 hours for the adhesive to set.
  • Push the grout in the spaces between the tile with the rubber float.

Tile Countertop Frequently Asked Questions

How To Tile A Countertop?

If the condition of your tile’s laminate surface and lower substrate is good, you can put ceramic or porcelain tile over the laminate. A laminate countertop in good condition is the best surface for tiling. 

How To Clean Tile Countertops

Mix a 1/4 cup of bleach in two cups of water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray your tile countertop with the solution. Cover the grout lines if applicable. Let the solution sit for five to ten minutes. Afterward, wipe off your tiles with a clean, damp cloth. Dish soap will also work well. 

How To Remove Paint From Ceramic Tile Countertop?

Ceramic tiles are durable. They can withstand hard cleaners. Regular paint remover will not hurt hard glazed ceramic tiles. With soft glaze tiles, you can use a DIY solution. White vinegar is the best natural paint remover.

Boil the vinegar before you use it. Use a clean towel and gently wipe the tiles until the paint is gone.

How Long Does Grout Last After It’s Opened?

Grout comes in powder form and pre-mix. After using grout, it will last one year or six months from when you last worked with it. 

How Long Does Bathroom Grout Last?

Bathroom grout lass between 15 to 20 years. With proper care and cleaning will last. If it does not stay clean, will not last as long.  

When Is The Best Time To Replace Tile?

The best time of the year to replace tile is in the spring. It’s best to replace tile when the weather is warm but not too hot. 

Tile Countertop Conclusion

The kitchen tile countertop is a mainstay in US households. As its resurgence is underway, new methods are available that make tile installation and maintenance easier. The latest uptick is at the beginning and seems to be a trend that will continue to grow. 

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