busy kitchens. Stain and heat resistant and low maintenance. There's no need to seal it and it's available in vibrant colors and styles that mimic natural stone. Coloring is consistent with stone sample.
edges and corners can chip, although rounded edges help. Stone finishes can appear too uniform and, therefore, less natural.
$50-$100 per square foot, installed. $2,800 to $5,600 for an average-sized kitchen.
a natural stone look that can withstand heavy use. It resists stains when it's properly sealed, and also resists heat and scratches.
granite needs sealing to protect it from stains. Color and grain can differ from samples.
$45 to $200 per square foot, installed. $2,500 to $11.200 for an average kitchen.
Tile (Ceramic or Porcelain) (76)
use near stoves because it is heat resistant. Comes in many colors, patterns and prices.
it chips and the grout between tiles stains even when sealed. Poor installation can increase these problems. Thinner grout lines and darker grout might help. (Editor's Note: Consumer Reports
appears to be unaware of epoxy and urethane grouts that are not cement based and do not stain.)
$10 to $30 per square foot, installed. $550 to $1,700 for an average size kitchen.
variety and budget-friendly price. It's excellent at resisting stains and heat damage and is simple to install.
It's easily scratched and isn't reparable. Shows seams, though post-formed (seamless) options are available.
$10 to $30 per square foot, installed. $550 to $1,700 for an average-sized kitchen.
Solid Surfacing (49)
seamless installations. Many colors and styles are available, such as those that mimic concrete, stone, and quartz. It's non-porous and stain resistant, and small nicks and scratches can be repaired.
it scratches easily. Stone-look finishes can appear more uniform than natural.
$35 to $100 per square foot, installed. $1,950 to $5,600 for an average-sized kitchen.
Metal Tile? You're Kidding, Right?
Actually, no. Both glass and metal tiles are increasing in popularity. While glass tile is usually not strong enough for countertops, metal certainly is.
The installation process must take into account the fact that metal expands and contracts significantly when temperatures change, but a properly installed metal tile countertop is beautiful, durable, hygenic, moisture proof and very easy to clean. If it is marred or scratched, it can be refinished. You might dent a metal tile, but it would take a lot of determined work.
It seems that virtually any non-corroding metal is being made into tile. Stainless steel is the most popular. But copper, brass, zinc and even titanium are catching up fast.
Costwise, metal tile is about the same price as high-end ceramic tiles (depending, of course, on the metal. Exotic metals are more costly.) Metal tile is also not as design-flexible as ceramic and porcelain products. It fits well in contemporary kitchens, giving the kitchen a desirable high-tech look. It would not be the first choice of traditional kitchen designs.
Sources of Supply: Metal Tiles
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