Ceramic Tile Countertops
When people speak of ceramic tile, they usually are referring to "glazed ceramic tile"
versus a porcelain tile. Ceramic tile is made from clay combined with some minerals
and water. Through a heating process, it becomes a durable solid. It is then sealed
with a glaze which determines its color, design and texture. Porcelain tile is primarily
made from ground sand which is heated at extreme high temperatures under pressure.
Porcelain tile is typically more expensive than its ceramic counter part but both types
are of similar quality and are installed with essentially the same methods. For purposes
of this conversation, we'll refer to both types of tile as "ceramic". Ceramic tile counter
tops are a mid-range cost between laminate and the natural stones of marble and
granite as well as quartz countertops.
Advantages of Ceramic Tile.
Since ceramic tile comes in a very wide variety of colors, patterns and finishes, it is
easy to match a design theme. It can be high in style and low in maintenance while
being very affordable. Ceramic tile is very durable and when glazed it is non-porous.
Unlike laminate counter tops, ceramic tile is scratch, stain and heat resistant. No need
to worry about placing hot pots and pans on its surface. Being non-porous, ceramic
tile will not absorb moisture. However, the grout between the tiles is not moisture resistant.
Since it can be installed by the do-it-yourself installer, it can be very economical while
still portraying an elegant, upscale appearance. Stains and even burn marks from
hot pans can be easily removed with a mild detergent and warm water.
Disadvantages of Ceramic Tile.
Ceramic tiles can be cracked and chipped under hard impact. They can have uneven
surfaces. The grout between the tiles can be weak and although the tile itself is non-
porous, the grout is not. Grout lines can be stained and will get dirty during normal
use requiring frequent cleaning.
Installation of Ceramic Tile Countertops.
Although installing ceramic tile is more "do-it-yourself friendly" versus granite, marble,
quartz and concrete countertops, it is never-the-less a complicated process that
requires research, accuracy and patience. If you expect the best results, it is wise
to hire a professional installation contractor.
Maintenance and Care.
As previously discussed, cleaning ceramic tile is easy with just soap and warm water.
Grout can be difficult to keep clean if not treated properly. Ceramic glaze sealer is
readily available and should be applied frequently to keep grout in place and to
minimize the collection of dirt, moisture and grime.