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Low-Budget Tile Countertops: Good or Bad Idea?

shiny | Feb 11, 201211:46 AM

I'm remodeling my kitchen on a super low budget. Already getting some nice feedback about using only portable induction cooktops for my "stove". Now I'd love your thoughts about tile countertops.

The kitchen is a small "L" shape, about 62" x 66" of countertop. I've had formica in every kitchen I've ever lived with and hate it. Part of the problem, I think, is that in a tiny kitchen all the trivets and cutting boards needed to protect the formica make the countertop cluttered. I want to be able to put hot pots directly on the counter, cut on it, use it hard! My favorite choice would be stainless steel but I can't afford it.

Porcelain tile is inexpensive but the grout can be a pain. The old kitchen counters from the 40's and 50's with their 4" rounded-edge tiles don't appeal to me. The lumpy surface makes everything you put on it wobble! However, they now make very large tiles with straight edges that can take narrow grout lines- under 1/8".

So I'm thinking of large, fully vitrified porcelain tiles with very thin grout lines. Maybe an inset butcher's block. Or maybe tile on the sink side of the "L" and butcher's block on the other side. I'm not afraid of bacteria with the butcher's block because I wouldn't cut meat on it and I know how to clean it.

Do you think this would make a nice work space or not? Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

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