Design Confidently, Live Comfortably
Because tile itself is so infinitely varied, tile counters can adapt to any kitchen style -- from high-tech (think factory-made porcelain tiles) to French provincial (hand-painted terra-cotta). Even inexpensive mass-produced tiles can be combined in whimsical, original patterns that reflect your taste. Tile is also one of the few counter choices that a handy homeowner can install easily. (Setting tile requires time and attention to detail, but it's not particularly difficult.)
Tile is impervious to heat, although it can be scratched. It is essential to used glazed tiles for counters because they won't stain -- but the grout will unless it's periodically sealed with a grout sealer. Like stone, tile is unforgiving on china and glassware. Handmade tiles can make for an uneven surface, but the charm might outweigh the wobbly wine glass. Or consider combining a tile backsplash with some other countertop material.
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Made from pressed clays, ceramic tiles come in many varieties -- smooth glazed, matte finished, handpainted, crackled, and printed -- all the better to personalize your kitchen. Wood trim adds a touch of warmth to the countertop edge.