From the Floor Up

Tile Countertops for Various Settings

Posted by Daltile Team on Mar 17, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Choosing Tile Countertops to Enhance a Country, Cottage, or Cultured Design

Tile countertops give a nod to retro decor—but as a part of a cultured or worldly design, they're always in style. Counters that are dressed in modern tile that's 6 x 6 or smaller can also help develop cottage-chic and contemporary-country settings. And not only do they offer economic benefits but they're a long-lasting option when used to finish a studio apartment or basement suite. Here are a few ideas to bring your favorite look together with suitable flooring, cabinets, and accents.

Matte tile on the counter
Matte in Pearl White and Desert Gray

Developing a Cultural Design

When you're after a cultural or cross-cultural design, color is an ideal starting point. For example, going with a mix of warm, earthy hues, and a vintage vibe—think travertine tile counters, richly toned wood cabinets, exposed beams, and stone tile flooring—can help develop a Tuscan theme. To blend old-world charisma with today's preference for minimalism, swap in pale, streamlined cabinets and hardware.

You can also give a wink to Scandinavian design with abundant minimalist effects and pale shades. For instance, consider going with streamlined white cabinets that are topped with mosaic hexagonal marble tile countertops that extend up the backsplash. Then finish off the look with white wall paint and tile flooring that's inspired by birchwood and ready to handle any drips or spills.

Roping in a Country Effect

In the kitchen, tile countertops can easily add to a rustic, country vibe, but if you don't want horizontal planes of small squares outlining the room, there are two ways to downplay the lines:

  • Use a midtone tile and a similarly colored grout to camouflage—but not eliminate—the tile shape, creating an almost seamless appearance that maintains a rugged texture.
  • Cover only the island countertop in a hexagonal or penny tile, using a color that matches—or contrasts nicely with—the slab on the main countertop.


Again, color inspires design. Tile color names often provide cues for pulling together a specific style. For instance, the Saddle Brown penny mosaic from the Retro Rounds collection is ideal for a rustic or countrified setting. This mosaic fits nicely with tile flooring planks that feature a bit of brown, such as Farmhouse from the Saddle Brook series.

Completing the Cottage Kitchen

Is there anything more inviting or soothing than a bright, charming cottage kitchen? Natural light bounces from a gleaming white tile countertop, and you can play up limited square feet and maximize the room's airiness with other white effects, such as pickled shaker cabinets, wide-slat blinds or shutters, or a painted shiplap ceiling, and by continuing the countertop material onto the backsplash. Anchor the space with casual, kitchen-smart tile planks in a pale wood tone—the weathered-wood designs of the Season Wood collection offer ideal flooring solutions.

Considering Value, Strength, and Neutral Aesthetics

As fixtures, finishes, and furnishings wear, it's easier to blend new materials into a neutral setting than a space that has a bold scheme. So whether you're a rental-property owner looking for quality finishes or a first-time homeowner who's after a relatively straightforward, chic kitchen or bathroom upgrade, going with tile is a smart decision. Check out Haut Monde's 2 x 2 mosaic tile, which offers modern neutral tones and uniformity for the countertop, floor, backsplash, and surrounds.

In either scenario, opt for materials that have a neutral, timeless appeal, such as porcelain or granite tile countertops, slate flooring, stainless-steel appliances, nickel hardware, and greige wall paint. The higher the material quality, the higher the rental or resale value, so whenever possible, use tile in the kitchen, bathroom, entryway, laundry room, and outdoors.

Regardless of your style, tile countertops can tie your whole look together. When you're ready to choose the perfect option for your space, head to your local Daltile showroom or slab yard.

Topics: Countertop

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