Porcelain tile countertops - anyone have them? will I hate them?

momorichelSeptember 27, 2008

today I saw some beautiful LARGE porcelain - 12 x 24 - and the sales woman said you could set the tiles very close together to keep the grout to a minimum. I've read the thread on the pros and cons of tiled countertops (mostly cons related to grout, cleaning, and the "bumpy" factor) - but this seems different to me, because of the size. Am I missing something?

I am one of the few people, it seems, who are not in love with granite - at the same time, I don't want the maintenance issues of soapstone or limestone (although that's the look I really like). I've been leaning toward Caeserstone cuz of the maintenance ease but the look is just too uniform.

then I saw this and fell in love with it. It's warm (not cold, like granite), it has movement but in a soft, calm way - I'm just concerned about the grout - both the look of the lines and the cleaning factor. Anyone have experience with this? Thanks all!

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Tiles have come a long,long way and the large tiles with a close grout is pretty maintenance free--and beautiful. We used to have them. Go with something that you love or you will never be happy. I, myself, have had a long journey. Two months ago I was willing to settle for a Caeserstone type but went to the stone yard (again) and a granite 'called out to us' much to my surprise. Installation will take place next week!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 7:10PM
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There's a lot to be said for porcelain or ceramic tile countertops. They are heat resistant and stain resistant. You can get nice edge tiles and create a nice thick edge. I personally feel that the grout line "problem" has been over-stated. You can use a darker grout and you can use a good grout sealer. Tiles for counters are out of favor right now, and that very fact makes them interesting. I'm doing sort of the same thing you are -- looking for something other than granite, think Caesarstone, while attractive and practical, might have too slick a feeling for my old-house kitchen. Am thinking seriously of butcher block, which happens to be what we have now, in combination with -- ceramic tile.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 9:06PM
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This is rectified glazed porcelain 24x24:

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 12:33AM
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Bill - those counters are beautiful! Can you tell me the company who makes the tile? ...are you using the same for stove backsplash? I notice you carried it up into the bay window - or at least, that's what it looks like in the photo...

Sayde and Deniselie - thanks for your responses. I too think the grout problem is overstated - esp. with these larger tiles. Love the idea that because it's "out of favor" it is more interesting ;-)...and you both are encouraging me to act on my impulse to avoid the caeserstone and keep looking - maybe if I keep visiting stone yards, I too will fall in love with a slab, but it hasn't happened yet. Right this minute that rectified porcelain looks awfully nice - hmmm...i better look up 'rectified' - thanks all...

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 1:43AM
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I wish I COULD tell you the company. The homeowner supplied the tile for that project, and no, there's no backsplash behind the cooktop, other than the little 4" splash that goes around the whole countertop.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 8:42AM
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Thanks, Bill!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 1:15PM
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We used Crossville's Empire Black Swan 28" x 14" unpolished tile on our countertops with unsanded charcoal colored grout in super thin grout lines. It's durable and very easy to maintain and I've received tons of compliments, although I think I'd prefer a lighter color in my next kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 2:56PM
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momorichel, I could almost swear the anonymous tilein Bill's countertop installation is Artistic Tile's Ironworks in either the steel or copper. We're using it for our kitchen floor.

Here is a link that might be useful: ironworks rectified tile

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 8:30AM
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Fori is not pleased

I love tile counters--I think the bad rap grout has is based on older grouts. The new grouts are not the same as what we all used to have in our old kitchens. (It's easy, sez my mom. Just leave a towel full of bleach on it overnight! No thanks, mom...)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 1:26PM
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Forgive me if this gets sent twice - cat on the keyboard!

Anyway, I was saying: the Black Swan is beautiful, and I thank all of you for your input and positive feelings about tile. It seems like it will cost a lot less for me to do tile than granite, which makes me wonder if that's why it's less "sexy" for re-sale - i.e., people think it means that you've cut corners? I don't know, just thinking aloud here...anyway, I do agree that it's come a long way and might be a viable alternative for those of us who want a less industrial look...I will check out the Black Swan and the Artistic Tile ironworks, while also lurking around the stoneyards - thank you all for your input!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 9:17PM
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The 30-year old kitchen I renovated had white porcelain tile countertops. The same in all the bathrooms and shower. The tiles were indestructable. The grout had failed, but the tiles were in perfect shape - unchipped, unstained.

Tile's just less sexy now because it's seen as dated, but if you choose a nice design and color in sync with the times, and you are not trying to sell, it will be fine.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 11:49AM
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I'd put in a bigger backsplash than the one shown, but that is a beautiful look (and I hate tile countertops)!

I'd go for subtle colors like the one shown rather than lighter colors.

Bonus with tile, you can set hot dishes right on it. Break one, and so easy to replace.

Outdated? Maybe. But everything comes back in style eventually, and understated good taste never goes out of style. :)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 11:59AM
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