So, you’ve decided to remodel your kitchen after living with it for decades. Good for you! I was in the same boat about 2 years ago and let me tell you, if you’ve never done this before, don’t be like me and think that you can manage this on your own. No, I’m not kidding.

We bought this house almost 20 years ago and I still love it. After a few decades, however, you can’t help but look at newer houses and all those great pictures and ideas online and think that it’s time to give your kitchen an uplift.

There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s a great idea overall. As long as you don’t get in over your head and if you don’t make my mistake and not listen to anyone else’s opinions.

I Confess.

Let me be right up front and confess that sometimes, I can be a real cheapskate. I love quality, but I honestly look at women who spend $3,000 for a purse or guys who blow $5,000 on a pool table they rarely use and think, “WTH.”

So, while I’m more than willing to fork over more cash for, let’s say, a quality pair of shoes, I will NOT pay extra for a popular label. I’m a diehard fan of thrift stores, garage sales, and eBay.

So, while I was looking at granite, marble, and concrete countertops, I saw a picture of a beautiful farmhouse style kitchen with old fashioned tile countertops.

My Kitchen

My old kitchen had laminate countertops that I couldn’t wait to get rid of. However, the price of granite and marble was enough to make me choke on my diet Coke. Once I saw that picture of a gleaming white tiled kitchen, I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

Are You Crazy?

I think those were my husband’s first words to me when I showed him the picture. I tried to explain how beautiful I thought it was; so pristine looking, but he looked at me like I had a blue and a green eye. It helped to tell him that it was half the cost of granite, but he still wasn’t convinced.

My mother also told me that I was crazy. She said ceramic tile was nice but white? What if it chipped? “I can replace it! I’ll keep a box of extra tile in the garage!” My mother had a bathroom with a tile countertop and I thought it was still nice looking, even if it was pink and more than 40 years old.

The Problem

I was 100% right in that I loved, loved, loved my new tile countertops. I did the backsplash in white subway tile and with my new red and stainless-steel appliances, I was in love with my new kitchen!

For about a year.

I think the real problem with tile in the kitchen is that no one tells you all the work that is involved in keeping it clean. Of course, there was no one to blame but myself that I wanted white tile with white grout, but unless you picked yellow, red, or dark brown grout, you will still have to clean it more than you wanted to.

Yes, I had the grout sealed, but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped. There are spots around the stove that simply won’t stay clean and they never look as pristine as the day they were installed.

I use one of those “soft scrub” types of cleaners that have bleach, but they need to be rinsed off more than once to make the tiles shine like they used to.

I’m actually embarrassed to have friends take a closer look at my kitchen and frequently suggest we have coffee in the dining room.

My Advice

Listen to people when they warn you from doing something. I mean seriously, think more than twice because this is something you will have to live with for a long time.

If I had it to do over again I think I would opt for granite because one thing is certain, spilled coffee or red wine won’t cause a panic.