Ceramic Tile Countertops
Cost and Quality Considerations
Ceramic tile countertops are ideal for people with a unique sense of style, who want their kitchen to be an original artistic expression that matches their personality.
Because there are literally thousands of different ceramic tile designs on the market, the opportunity to express one’s self is greater than with any other kitchen countertop surface.
However, because installing a ceramic tile countertop is more labor intensive than most other types of countertop, it is also more expensive. Ceramic countertop tiles also vary greatly in both cost and quality. For example, imported, hand-painted or antique tiles can have a stunning visual impact in your kitchen, but have just as much of an impact on your wallet! Generally speaking, the more detailed and original the artwork on the tile is, the better the quality of the tile itself and the more you will pay for it. Therefore, fuzzy, unclear or spotty tiles should generally be avoided as they will be of inferior quality.
Ceramic countertop tiles are constructed in a simple, but time-honored way. The body, or bisque, of the tile is made from clay. The top surface design of the tile is made of colored glass. These two layers are fused together during the extreme heat of the firing process to make a tough and durable tile. Good quality ceramic kitchen tiles are waterproof and will resist burns, stains and scratches. But it is important to realize that the grout which affixes the tiles to the kitchen countertop needs to be properly sealed, or water will seep through into the tiles and cause damage.
Make sure to buy ceramic tiles created specifically to cope with the needs of kitchen workspace use. Countertop ceramic tiles are built stronger than wall or floor tiles to resist the heat and pressure they are subjected to.