Classic Ceramic Tile Countertops Add Beauty And Function
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By Sammy Kay
When it comes to choosing countertops for the home, most people will tell you that it is a decision that you should not take lightly. Covering a large amount of space – at an often affordable price – countertops have the ability to maximize their design impact, dollar for dollar.
Choosing those countertops that will work best within your space comes down to overall design theme, level of functionality desired, and proposed budget. There are many different materials used to make countertops and they differ according to price and durability.
In particular, ceramic tile countertops continue to be one of the more popular countertop materials on the market today – as much for their beautiful appeal as their resilient and functional surface.
Ceramic tile countertops have such enormous appeal for a number of reasons; owners choose this material as much for its ability to set a warm and gracious tone in the kitchen, as its ability to function successfully for cooking. Such countertops come in individually colored and textured tiles that when put together make up a larger pattern.
The prices of the ceramic tiles range even within this category. Hand-painted designs tend to be extremely costly per tile but the effect can be stunning if a few pieces are appropriately added to the overall look.
The installation of ceramic tile countertops can certainly be done by a professional – either the company from which you purchase the ceramic tile or an independent contractor. But many tenacious do-it-yourselfers find the installation of ceramic tile to be the perfect project for them – to be tackled over a long weekend.
Of course, it helps to have as much information as possible; there are free instructional classes offered at most large home improvement retailers that will arm you with the tools and knowledge to get the job done right.
Grout, between the tiles, is also a part of the look and design. Primarily used to hold the ceramic tile in place, it is also a critical modifier of the overall look when installing ceramic tile countertops.
This is evidenced by the fact that grout can be obtained in different colors to match or highlight the color choice of the ceramic tile chosen. When choosing grout it is important to remember that the grout should be sealed to prevent seepage of water that will provide a haven for microorganisms. It is recommended that grout made from acrylic or epoxy be used.
Finally, upon installation of the tile and the addition of the grout, the ceramic tile countertops are either left alone or finished with a glaze. A glaze provides a shine to the finished product and also prevents tile damage that could result from heat, cutting, or staining. If you choose not to apply a glaze the countertop will have a flat – rather than shiny – appearance.
Ceramic tile countertops are a durable and beautiful way to complement your overall kitchen and add a unique flair to your decor. With some simple installation, before you know it you’ll have a kitchen that’s sophisticated and appealing.
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