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Granite Tile Kitchen Countertops?

sherrywho Mar 18, 2013 11:49 AM

I am considering granite Tile countertops. Any advice?

  1. s
    sherrywho Mar 19, 2013 01:54 PM

    I know the grout lines will show. I have always liked the look of tile countertops...I like the character it gives. Also, the pattern I am considering will be fine with lines.
    We live in an older area...nice homes, but not sure the granite slab will be worth the cost for resale.
    We also have a highly recommended tiler lined up to install if we decide to go that route; the grout lines will be small, too.
    I don't bake a lot of bread/pastry.

    6 Replies
    1. re: sherrywho
      INDIANRIVERFL Mar 19, 2013 02:39 PM

      Since you won't be doing prep directly on the surface, and you have a professional installer, looks like tile fills your needs without the above mentioned deficiencies.


      1. re: sherrywho
        escondido123 Mar 19, 2013 08:14 PM

        If you have an island, it might be worth it to do that in solid granite if you can get matching tile for other counters.

        1. re: escondido123
          monavano Mar 20, 2013 06:07 AM

          As I posted above, that's what we had prior to our remodel and it was a great compromise between looks and cost (on the part of the previous owners who did a total redo about 20 years ago).

        2. re: sherrywho
          DuffyH Mar 20, 2013 06:20 AM

          +1 on the resale issue. I've seen some dark tiled granite with barely visible grout lines, and know from my own experience that darker grout won't show the staining that lighter colors do. Bleach pens are great for 2x/year deep grout cleaning of white or light grout. "Paint" it on, leave it for several hours, rinse it off. Magic.

          1. re: DuffyH
            monavano Mar 20, 2013 06:31 AM

            Our dark granite tile had dark grout and the lines were visible only upon close inspection. I just wasn't evident at first glance and gave an overall look of granite.

            1. re: DuffyH
              sherrywho Mar 20, 2013 07:42 AM

              Thanks! We are looking at dark colors, so that helps a lot. I have been afraid to look at light colors.

          2. Sid Post Mar 18, 2013 08:58 PM

            I did nice hard granite tile in my first house. I won't do that again. Hard solid slab or nothing for me after living in that house for 11 years.

            Grout lines in a kitchen, even thin ones, are a pain to keep clean. They can also spoil the look if you aren't really careful with oil, wine, and grout color. Even sealed grout will take some color that is very hard to remove.

            1. m
              mikie Mar 18, 2013 08:06 PM

              I saw an article a while back in Popular Mechanics I believe, about using granite tiles. There are some new epoxy based grout that is quite good and the grout lines are very very small. It's not as good as solid, but much less expensive. I think if it's done right it can make a good and serviceable counter top. If I remember correctly, they were even able to put in an undermount sink. Do a little research and do it right.

              1. r
                Rigmaster Mar 18, 2013 01:47 PM

                Wait for a good deal and get a solid slab. Too many seems spoil the granite look and will definitely not help value should you decide to sell.

                1. i
                  Indy 67 Mar 18, 2013 12:44 PM

                  I've used slab granite in the past two kitchens I've remodeled. Make certain you ask about the hardness of the granite options on your short list. Not all granite is equally hard. I was leaning toward White Fantasy (AKA Alpine White) but the sales rep at the marble fabricator told me it was a terrible choice for kitchen use -- too soft.

                  When you look for granite, the varieties are labeled by price -- not hardness. Be sure to ask that crucial detail, too.

                  I'm not a fan of tiles on counter tops, either kitchen or vanities for the reason others have mentioned.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Indy 67
                    kagemusha49 Mar 18, 2013 01:50 PM

                    We installed solid black granite. Looks great but it is sooooo expensive. I don't understand why a piece of a mountain should be so expensive.

                    1. re: kagemusha49
                      sherrywho Mar 19, 2013 01:58 PM

                      Agree. We are having a hard time justifying the cost of granite slab. It's not that we can't afford it, we just think it's overpriced. Also, if it breaks or cracks we would possibly have to replace the whole slab....and we've seen it happen.

                      1. re: sherrywho
                        DuffyH Mar 20, 2013 06:15 AM

                        What are you considering instead? Granite tiles? Solid surface? We're face-lifting our kitchen and can't decide what counters to use. I've ordered edge-grain maple for our new island, but can't decide what to use for the rest. Right now we're leaning towards some of the new laminates. I agree about the cost of slab granite, it's hard to justify. I'd love to know your thought processes as you decide.

                        1. re: DuffyH
                          monavano Mar 20, 2013 06:29 AM

                          The cost of installing slab granite can vary a great deal. I suggest going to several sources and in particular, go to places that sell, cut and install.
                          Our first designer firm had us pick out granite and then told us what it would cost installed. Long story short, we put granite in our whole kitchen for what they would have charged us for higher-end granite on just our island.

                          1. re: DuffyH
                            sherrywho Mar 20, 2013 07:58 AM

                            We are considering granite tiles. I have always liked the look of tile (it gives character), but my husband had a bad experience with small tiles with light grout many years ago. However, he does like the larger, dark tiles with very small, dark grout, lines. They can even bull-nose the edges.
                            There are some beautiful laminates out there. In fact, we built a house about 8 years ago and used it. I have struggled with using it again, but we think the granite would be better for resale value where we live. We aren't planning to sell, but you just never know.

                            1. re: sherrywho
                              mike0989 Mar 20, 2013 09:33 AM

                              Granite tiles will be better for resale over laminate, but not over a solid slab. I'm with you on tile, I like the classic look it gives. But, it also comes at a price to get this look right. When we did our last kitchen, we went with a nice tile. And it ended up costing as much as we were quoted for granite.

                              1. re: mike0989
                                sherrywho Mar 20, 2013 11:35 AM

                                We have received quotes for both, not including backsplash with slab, and the tile is a little more than half (and that includes tile backsplash)
                                Also, if we go slab we will have to Sheetrock before installing backsplash because we were told that when they tear out current laminate it will probably leave some gouges in the wall.

                                1. re: sherrywho
                                  mike0989 Mar 20, 2013 01:39 PM

                                  The tile we used was one of Walker Zanger's. We could have saved quite a bit with some thing like Dahl Tile. We could easily of spent twice as much as well. Tile prices run all over the map. You also have to remember that it is the trim prices that kill you. They are priced by the piece, not sqft.

                                  1. re: mike0989
                                    sherrywho Mar 20, 2013 02:07 PM

                                    Right. If we go the tile route, it's more to bullnose the edges, done by the granite company, but that cost has been figured in. We haven't decided on a pattern....looking at several

                              2. re: sherrywho
                                DuffyH Mar 20, 2013 02:34 PM

                                We're not looking to sell for another 10 years or so, and while I prefer springing for at least a solid surface, the dude doesn't, but hates the idea of any kind of tile, even granite. In our neighborhood, the streetscape suggests quality cabs/counters, but inside, almost all are builder's grade. So we don't have to worry about getting good resale; simply replacing our undersized island and adding nicer laminate will get us good money. I just ordered a dozen or so large laminate samples, maybe I'll get on board with it. I've got to admit, there's some interesting stuff out there.

                                1. re: DuffyH
                                  mikie Mar 21, 2013 08:03 AM

                                  My son's first house was redone in laminate after he looked at granite prices. But, as you say, the neighborhood really didn't dictate granite for the purpose of resale. In his newer house, he installed granite, this neighborhood is considerably more upscale and I think granite would be expected.

                                  As someone mentioned up thread, there is a lot of variation in granite prices. Certianly the more common grades are less than half the cost or the more exotic grades. You also pay a premium for the thicker 3 cm stone than the 2 cm stone. Also a good portion of the cost of solid granite is the edge finish and how many and what finish is used on the holes for sinks, etc. For example a sink hole with a rough edge for a drop in sink is far less expensive than a polished edge for an undermount sink. Also the edge treatment, round over being one of the least expensive, to triple waterfall being one of the most expensive, can greatly effect your overall cost.

                        2. re: Indy 67
                          sherrywho Mar 19, 2013 01:59 PM

                          Thanks for reminding me to double check the hardness.

                        3. monavano Mar 18, 2013 12:39 PM

                          We just remodeled and had granite tile counters and a solid piece for our island.
                          The grout never showed and the grout lines weren't crumb catches. It is just as cold as solid.
                          The overall look is granite.
                          That said, I'm so incredibly glad we were able to get all solid granite for the new kitchen because it is gorgeous and just feels richer.
                          I highly recommend solid if you can possibly afford it.

                          1. mcel215 Mar 18, 2013 12:38 PM

                            My son installed his own, for a fraction of the cost of solid granite. He said he would never do it again, they were such a pain to do.
                            However, they look gorgeous and pristine, even the grout after 4 years.
                            I have 6 year old laminate and I envy the shine and feel of the granite, even if it's just the large tiled ones. He also did his back splash in the same tile.


                            1. i
                              INDIANRIVERFL Mar 18, 2013 12:20 PM

                              The grout will become an eyesore and repository for all things growing. Cannot use for bread and pastry manufacture. Does not defrost food as quickly as a solid piece of granite.

                              If budget is a factor, as it was for me, do a seperate portion in solid granite. The rest can be corian, formica, whatever. But please do not think you can get the tiles so close together that they will be the same as solid granite.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                512window Mar 18, 2013 12:32 PM

                                My mother had black granite tile countertops installed when she remodeled her kitchen 20 years ago. When we sold the house in November, they were in pristine shape. No eyesore grout and certainly no repository for all things growing.

                                But she didn't bake bread or pastry very often.

                                I think it was a cheap alternative to solid granite. There was significant countertop footage.

                                Now, I have worn out faux woodgrain formica in my kitchen so her's looked pretty good to me.

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