I want to replace my laminated kitchen counter top. Is it safe to use bath wall tiles instead?


I want to replace my laminated kitchen counter top. Is it safe to use bath wall tiles instead?

Asked by Julie

I've checked the prices with home remodeling companies, granites $25-30/ sq.ft then labor is another $28/sq ft. I am looking for a safe to health material to use in the kitchen. That's where I prepare food. Does bath wall tiles (the glazed ones are smooth and easy to clean)have asbestos? I want to avoid "chemical toxin" in the kitchen. If you feel strongly that laminated old counter top is probably "healthier " than bath wall tiles, then I'll quit thinking about that. Nothing is wrong with my counter top but periodic scrubbing with scouring powder (that is chemical too). Thank you!

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Sean Lintow Sr's picture

Asbestos - no, though lead is a possibility depending on where it was made. While one could use "wall" tiles it is something generally not done due to the thickness & durability issues. No matter what though you cannot escape chemicals as they are in everything. For example lets say you do go with tiles - while you could use regular grout (which many are "modified" & contain cement) you would have to seal it regularly which is a chemical. For a more durable, easy to keep clean surface you might opt for an epoxy grout... A few options - even if you do all the labor yourself, you are probably looking around $10 a SF for the materials to do it right. You may consider looking around for granite remnants, maybe even consider butcher block, or even a synthetic version. There are companies that also sell granite overlays for countertops though those prices are up there also & require one to seal all the seams also. As for your existing countertops, I am sorry to say but as soon as you used that powder, you made life nearly impossible for yourself as you introduced numerous little scratches which now will keep feeding onto itself. If you do go with another laminate or basically any other surface, make sure you use a chopping block and simply wipe them down with a simple cloth. Regular wipe downs will keep them clean.