Anyone have porcelain countertops with the big tiles or slabs?

We’re in the process of designing the renovation of our kitchen in the property we rent out. I was going to use quartz until I learned it might burn (I’m good about using trivets but not everyone does) and I saw the huge porcelain slabs that really look like marble and are much cheaper (at least when looking at the material cost).

Does anyone have experience using the big (4 foot or larger) porcelain tiles or slabs in their rental for the kitchen countertops? My husband is worried the edges will chip or it will crack.

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No experience with the porcelain tiles but my 11 year old granite has gotten a couple of chips. My tile floors also have chips. I’d look into what sort of repair, perhaps an epoxy, could be done on the porcelain if it does chip.

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Just a thought: We learned this too late for our Airbnb, but when we remodeled our main kitchen we switched from granite to stainless steel from a commercial construction company. It was significantly cheaper, it looks clean and modern (very objective obviously) and it’s pretty much impervious to anything. The company scratched up the entire surface so that new scratches are just part of the look. The next time we have to redo the Airbnb kitchen, that’s probably the way we’ll go.


I like ameyer’s suggestion about the stainless steel. I’ve seen them, & think they’re cool. Another counter idea is butcher block… We just redid our kitchen counters, going from 1’ square marble tiles to a generic Corian. Any countertop with grouting is going to be high maintenance, imo. These Corian counters wouldn’t be good in a rental, as they’re susceptible to burns from hot pans, etc. Have you thought about concrete? They’re doing amazing things with it lately! I saw it everywhere in Mx, & love the look, & I hear it’s really durable. Post pictures after the re-do!
Btw, I’d love to get back to St Lucia some day, & will reach out, should we plan that.

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Using porcelain panels for kitchen counters can be a good choice as they are durable and resistant to scratches, heat and stains. Porcelain tiles are also relatively easy to clean and maintain, which is a plus for rental properties.

However, as with any material, there are pros and cons to using porcelain panels. One potential problem is that the edges of the tile can be prone to chipping or cracking, especially during installation. It is important to work with a qualified contractor who has experience with large porcelain panels to ensure they are installed correctly and safely. Another potential problem is that porcelain panels can be brittle and can crack under impact or force. This rarely happens, but it’s something to keep in mind, especially if your rental property is in a high-traffic area or you have tenants who are particularly fussy with kitchen counters.

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Large and small format tiles for countertops are very common in the Caribbean. I do think edge chips will be an issue as every house we have rented, I saw damage to either the edge of the tile or to the grout.

We had concrete countertops for 10+ years at our house. The only issue he had was acid, lemon juice corroding the top. Otherwise, they were fantastic.


Yes, lemon juice is a problem for concrete counters. I didn’t realize it actually corrodes the surface, but I know it leaves stains that can’t be removed.

Tiled countertops should never have the tile right to the edge. The edge should have rounded grout. It’s much easier to repair damaged grout than have edge chips on the tiles.
I can’t really think of any countertop material that couldn’t be damaged on the edge. Wood would be more forgiving, but even stainless could be dented.


@PitonView yes, actual experience!

we have porcelain benchtops, but they are in much larger dimensions, they aren’t “tiles”, it’s a benchtop, so they come in something like 2.5m max lengths. yes, they look the most like marble which is why we chose them. but NO, here in Australia they were not cheaper than quartz (although I’m not sure what you call quartz is the same as here?)

previously every reno we did we used ‘quartz’ or stone composite. We loved it, and it’s very robust and absolutely can handle hot things being put on it. When we did our farmhouse reno we wanted the marble look, but not actual marble (I’ve had marble, it’s actually a terrible idea in a kitchen, and super expensive), and all the stone quartz products had a marble look but they weren’t convincing, and then we found this “new” product (this was 2014) so we went for it.

would I do it again? NO.
it’s not as cold as other benchtops, which I was used to, and prefer. it’s not as robust, we rented our home out for 3 years and returned to many, many chips from disrespectful tenants. I’ve caused a few myself, notably at the dishwasher location. We had them repaired, so at least that’s a thing.

In Australia the concept of using tiles as the countertop is not common at all, so I’m not sure what product you actually are considering. but I’ve included a photo of mine to show you.

I still love how it looks, but it doesn’t perform as well as the stone composite products, which I will go for next time I do a kitchen reno.


@gillian - Thank you, thank you! Your kitchen is gorgeous! I can see why you picked that porcelain.

Yes, that’s the material I was talking about, and “quartz” is stone composite in the US, too. Since the porcelain costs $5-$20 US a square foot ($20 for the BIG slabs) for the material only, and quartz is usually $75-$100US installed, I assumed porcelain would be cheaper.

Thank you for that confirmation of not using it as countertop in a rental. And I’m relieved to hear you don’t have problems with burns on the quartz. I found a spare piece of quartz and put a really hot cast-iron skillet on it just this morning, and it didn’t leave a mark, either.

I think I’ll keep the porcelain for an interesting backsplash (like this one)

then either go with quartz or concrete for the countertops.


A friend was staying with me and baked something in a glass casserole dish. She took it straight out of the oven and put it directly on the cold tile countertop and the glass casserole shattered instantly. :frowning_face:

And there are countless colors to stain the butcher block, even a whitewash type stain. We are saving to do do it in our kitchen as well.

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