Tile Countertops Make A Comeback – Know Your Options

Different areas on the globe have different standards and different popular options when it comes to kitchen countertops. So what’s basic and standard for some of us can be perceived as unusual or outdated for others. However, everyone agrees that some options are in the top five anywhere in the world. Tile countertops are on this list, representing one of the most popular options.

Granite tiles on kitchen island countertopView in gallery

Tile countertops throughout history

There was a time when tile countertops were all the rage. During the late 70s and throughout the 80s they became popular and tiles in general started being used extensively in kitchens and bathrooms. After this, there was a period when everyone seemed to have forgotten about tile countertops.

Green tiles for kitchen countertopView in gallery

Green lime tiles for countertop and backsplashView in gallery

But that period stopped recently and tile counters became fashionable again. They started to be adapted to complement modern and contemporary interior designs and, although some things changed, the basic idea remained the same.{found onnorberrytile and lifesevenphotography}.

The pros and cons of tile countertops

Like in any other cases, there are both good things and bad things to say about tile countertps. Let’s start with the pros. First of all, tiles come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes and this makes these countertops highly customizable.

Corner kitchen layout with tiles on countertopView in gallery

As far as color goes, the options are numerous and so are the ways in which you can use them. Neutrals let the countertop blend in but, if you want it to stand out, pick a vibrant color. You can also use color to match the counter to other elements in the kitchen such as an accent wall, a cabinet, etc. 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 the fact that tiles are heat-resistant and this means you can put hot pans and pans on it without worrying it will get damaged. 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 they’re also relatively easy to install. You can even turn this into a DIY project and install your own 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

One of the biggest advantages is that, in case one or more of the tiles get cracked, chipped or damaged in any other way, you can replace them without having to get a new countertop.

Light Blue tiles for kitchen countertopView in gallery

Now let’s also review some of the cons. A big disadvantage is the fact that tiles don’t create a smooth and even surface. This can be a big minus when you’re trying to roll a pie crush or to balance a cutting board on the counter.

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

The grout presents us with a big problem. Unsealed grout can get stained easily or can get damaged by moisture, not to mention that it also holds bacteria. The grout is also a bit difficult to clean. Your best option is to seal the grout and to get a shade slightly darker than the tiles.

Maintenance facts and tips

Basically, a tile countertop is quite easy to keep clean. You just have to clean it regularly like you would with any other type of counter. However, you have to be extra special when dealing with the grout between the tiles. Ideally, the lines should be as thin as possible.

Mountain home kitchen designView in gallery

Make sure the grout is sealed and, as a general rule, avoid allowing it to absorb stains because it becomes very difficult if not impossible to clean after that happens. Try not to let the grout absorb moisture either because it can trap bacteria.{found on postandbeam}.

Mexico house kitchen with bold lime tilesView in gallery

To keep your tile countertops clean and shiny, you can use an anti-bacterial tile cleaner. To get a shiny finish, rub the tiles dry after you’ve cleaned them. This allows you to avoid having ugly water stains on the counter.{found on dhd}.

Types of tiles

Basically, when you say tile countertop, everyone thinks about either ceramic or porcelain tiles. These are the most popular types but not the only ones. Porcelain tile is usually 25-30% cheaper than the ceramic tile and they’re both durable and resistant and available in a lot of different 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 mainly because they stain easily. You have to be extra 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 in a natural stone, very popular in kitchen décor and tiles made from this material are very durable. They hide fignerprints well and are long-lasting and resistant to stains. However, they have to be sealed regularly in order to keep them in good shape.

Quartz countertop tilesView in gallery

Turquoise mosaic kitchen countertop tilesView in gallery

Quartz is another option to consider. 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 are completely non-porous. Repairing damaged quartz tiles, however, is difficult. In addition, it doesn’t offer a lot of color options.

Design options

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 own unique design for your tile countertop. You can choose to keep it simple, with a single color, preferably something neutrals, or you can choose to make it stand out.

Cool blue kitchen tilesView in gallery

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, your pendant light, curtains and a lot of other things. You can also choose to coordinate it with elements in the living or dining area in the case of an open floor plan.