If you love the timeless look of granite but not the hefty price tag,recreate the style on a budget using granite tiles. We take a look at the pros and cons of this beautiful and practical choice.
Granite is quickly becoming the most in-demand material for countertops in the kitchen and bathroom. Although the price of slab granite has started to decrease in recent years, it remains among the most expensive materials for countertops. For those who love the look but not the cost, granite tile can be a budget-friendly solution. In addition to a lower upfront price, granite tiles are a DIY-friendly product that can save on professional installation costs. Even better, they can be used to cover dated countertops for a low-cost remodel.
As aesthetically pleasing as granite may be, the material is also extremely practical. The hardworking surface is the most durable of all countertop materials. If properly maintained, granite is stain, chip, and heat-resistant and can least for years or decades. Hot pots can be placed directly on granite, you can cut right on the surface without damage, and spills wipe away easily. The natural stone's elegant beauty appeals to homeowners wanting a classic and chic look. Available in a wide range of colors and patterns, granite can fit into nearly any style home.
To install granite tile, start with either a particleboard base or install a sheet of thin cement board over existing laminate counters. Lay out the tile, using rounded bullnose tiles for the front edge, set them with mortar, and then add grout. To create the seamless look of slab granite, use the largest tiles available and choose a matching grout that will disappear into the design. Vanities and other smaller counters often have so few seams that tiles can look nearly as sleek as slab granite.
Granite can be quite heavy. While most new cabinets are designed to bear the weight of granite tile counters, you should consult a professional installer if you are planning to place the material over older cabinets, which may require expensive reinforcement. Also, it's important to note that professionally installed tiles that use minimal grout will never have the same sleek look of a solid slab of granite, especially on larger counters with more seams. So, while granite of any type helps your home's appearance and resale potential, tiles don't carry the same cache (or value-boosting effect) as slab granite.