The Pros and Cons of
Ceramic Tile Countertops
There are advantages and disadvantages to ceramic tile countertops, just as there are when the material is used for flooring, although the “slippery when wet” disadvantage applies only to floors. We rarely stand on our counters.
Recycled Glass Tiles
Recycled glass tile, or tiles that are made mostly from recycled materials, are environmentally friendly options, as well as pocket-book friendly choices. Actually, tiles of all kinds for the countertop are less expensive than other choices, such as granite or
. Solid surface tops, which are made of plastic resins, are also less expensive than granite or quartz.
Ceramic Tile Countertops
Ceramic tile countertops require a backing material, sealant and mortar. Sinks must be selected carefully, in order to avoid problems with cleaning. If the rim of the sink rests on top of the tile, dirt and grime inevitably gets under the rim and it’s difficult to get out. A sink with a tile-in rim is a little more difficult to install, but easier to maintain.
Recycled glass tiles offer a very hard surface that is resistant to scratching, chipping and breakage. It is similar in durability to quartz and solid surface tops. But, with any kind of tiles, quartz or granite, there will be some problems with cleaning the seams. Solid surface counters are seamless.
Currently, the most popular type of recycled glass tile is made to look like terrazzo marble. Within each of the large tiles are smaller pieces. The result is a mosaic look.
Ceramic tile countertops are easier to break than other materials.
If a large item falls on the counter, it can chip or crack completely. Granite, quartz and solid surface counters are more durable in that respect. But, glazed ceramic is very resistant to stains and heat, making it a popular choice for kitchens.
While solid surface, granite and quartz must be professionally installed, there are many do-it-yourself projects for recycled glass tile counters. It takes some practice to get everything just right and the materials alone can be expensive, but for someone who enjoys the work, it can be fun. Some people have made the news by even doing their own recycling. That’s the hardest difficulty level, no question about it.
Tiles can be attached to wood, backer board or plywood as long as a membrane made of roofing felt or polyethylene is used.
Wire is often used as reinforcement, just below the mortar bed.
Then sealant goes in the seams.
Installing ceramic tile countertops takes time and energy, but the beauty of the end product can make it all worthwhile.
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