Choosing Granite Tiles for Your Kitchen Counters

If you have decided to install your own granite tile counter top, then this article will walk you through all of the steps. If you are still undecided, read along to see if installing a granite tile counter top is right for you.

Granite is a durable material that is suited for use as a counter top in your kitchen, however the high cost of installing a granite slab will detract many buyers. Don’t despair. You can achieve the look of granite as well as the low maintenance of granite by installing a granite tile counter top yourself.

Over the course of the next several articles, I will walk you through the selection process, gathering materials, determining layout, installing the counter top, finishing details, and care and maintenance of your granite tile counter top.

The first step in installing a granite tile countertop is selecting your granite tile. Granite tile comes in a vast array of color and textures. Most tiles are highly polished and reflect light. Their surface appears as smooth as glass. This finish leads to low maintenance and easy clean-up. However, granite tiles are also available in a honed finish or a matte finish which are both less glossy. First decide if you want the traditional glossy, mirror-like granite counters or if you would like a lower gloss finish.

Once you have chosen the gloss level, you can now turn to color selection. Granite truly comes in nearly every color that you can imagine. From vivid blues, to yellows, pinks, black and whites, the choice is endless. Make a color selection that compliments the rest of your kitchen. The granite tile can blend in with existing cabinets or can contrast with your cabinets to stand out.

Now that you have chosen a color, you will need to select the type of veining and distinction you want in you granite tiles. Some granite is nearly uniform in color with very little veining. Other types of granite are far from uniform and display several different colors in each tile. This type of tile is dramatic, but may be too dramatic for your space. Veining refers to lines that run through a piece of granite. A granite tile with significant veining will likely have several lines throughout the piece and dramatic color combinations. A granite tile with little to no veining will usually be uniform in color. Selecting a perfect color will be time consuming and you should elect to have samples sent to you or pick them up so that you can see the look in your own kitchen.

Now that you have chosen the finish and the color as well as the uniform ness of color, you will have to select the size of tile how much to purchase. Most granite tiles come in 12 inch by 12 inch sizes. For a standard countertop, this size will work perfectly without making any cuts. You will learn more about this in my other articles.

As for how much tile to order, calculate the square footage of your existing countertops. For measurements, always round up to the next closest foot. For example, if a section of your existing countertop measures 23 inches by 52 inches round it up to 2 feet by 5 feet. This assures additional waste material. Once you have completed your square footage calculations, add an additional 10%. For example, if you have determined that you will need 30 square feet of granite tile add 10% or an additional 3 square feet.

Finding a reputable place to purchase your granite tile has never been easier. Today there are numerous online retailers that specialize in hard to find tile and there are sure to be local tile shops in your neck of the woods.


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