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Tile Countertop Installation Prices
The classic kitchen tile countertop is made from ceramic or porcelain and is one of the least expensive options. You can also save considerable money on natural stone countertops by installing them in tile form. And if you want to get creative, consider a mosaic countertop made from tiny tiles that can be mixed and matched for colorful results.
Types of Tile for Kitchen Countertops
Compare the following types of tile for use on your kitchen countertop project:
Ceramic and Porcelain
Ceramic tile, made from fired clay and minerals, is sold in a large variety of colors, sizes, textures, patterns, and finishes. The material has excellent heat resistance, but glazed tiles are recommended for maximum protection from moisture, scratches, and stains. Porcelain tiles, baked at a higher temperature than ceramic, are essentially a higher-end version of ceramic. Porcelain performs better and costs more than regular ceramic and the color goes all the way through the tile. Order extra tiles so that if a tile breaks, it can easily be replaced.
Stone slab countertops are often cost-prohibitive, but natural stone tile offers a way around high prices. Whichever type of stone you're interested in, you should be able to find it in tile form. Granite, quartz slate, marble, and travertine are popular options. Choose engineered stone for a lower-maintenance countertop (most types of stone require occasional sealing due to their porosity).
Mosaic tiles are small (usually 1 inch squares) and available in numerous materials, including ceramic, glass, and natural stone. You can buy them already attached to a backer-board material for easy installation or mix and match tiles of your choice for a one-of-a-kind creation. Consider how much traffic your counter will receive in order to select mosaic tile that is appropriately durable. Prices vary considerably not only according to the mosaic tile material, but also the material grade.
Tile Kitchen Countertop Installation
One of the best things about tile is that it can often be installed as a DIY project. But if you want to take this money-saving route, there's an aspect of tile installation that requires special attention: the grout. Grout lines in tile can undermine the performance of an otherwise nonporous and microbial-resistant countertop. And when they're too thick, grout lines detract from a countertop's attractiveness.
Grout, then, should be installed as thin as possible, cleaned frequently, and sealed for added protection. Darker grout is better at hiding stains, while epoxy grout is easier to maintain. Discolored grout can be cleaned with a toothbrush and a non-ammoniated household cleaner. Larger tiles reduce the need for grout lines.
Kitchen Tile Countertop Average Costs
- Ceramic and porcelain tile typically cost $5 to $30 per square foot (materials only) or $10 to $40 installed. Some types of tile cost $50+ per square foot, while budget materials can cost under $2 psf.
- Stone tile typically runs $5 to $25 per square foot, although budget materials can be purchased for less and high-end materials can easily cost double. For professional installation, add $3 to $7 per square foot.
- Mosaic tile varies widely in price depending on the material; they start at $2 to $5 per square foot and cost up to $50 psf (although at most home improvement box stores you can find an array of mosaic tile priced between $10 and $20 per square foot.
- For DIY projects, budget an additional $100 to $300 for grout, grout sealer, tile sealer (if needed), mortar, adhesive, and underlayment. You can rent a tile-cutting saw for $40 to $60 per day.