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Kali Robledo

Kali Robledo

Social Media Maven

Shannon joined the team in 2013 as Fireclay's Social Media Maven. After graduating from the University of California Santa Cruz with a degree in Cultural Anthropology, Shannon pursued her lifelong passion for interior design by working as a freelance writer for Houzz. Her interest in design related content eventually led her to Fireclay where she gets to spend her day spreading the Fireclay word and help get tile to the people!

Favorite thing about Fireclay: The beautiful handmade nature of our tile, especially our new Handpainted Collections.

Susanne Redfield

Susanne Redfield

Creative Consultant

Tile designer and ceramist Susanne Kibak Redfield merges her Danish roots and love of traditional crafts with a modern sense of restraint that brings just enough to the design without going over the top. After graduating from the University of California Santa Cruz in 1981, Susanne started her own business making ceramic tiles. She introduced Kibak Tile through Kneedler Fauchere, a revered interior showroom to the trade, then spent twenty five years in a successful relationship with Ann Sacks. "I began hearing about Fireclay Tile, their sustainable story and youthful energy really captured my imagination, I absolutely wanted to be part a company that really cares about tomorrow. Designing product for Fireclay Tile is energizing, truly inspirational.



Tile Countertops: Everything You Need to Know

Rectified Tile countertops in our office kitchen

If you're tile obsessed like we are you would put tile anywhere and everywhere, so why not your countertop?  We know, tile countertop debates tend to get heated and arguments over cleanliness dominate the conversation, and we agree–countertop surfaces need do be clean.  But despite all the naysay around tile, we think it is a viable option that is too often discarded.

Tile is a highly durable and affordable material and with the right tile type, grout, and maintenance, will last decades.  We love tile countertops so much we installed one in our office kitchen!  If you are considering following in our footsteps here are a few things to keep in mind.

Grout and Size

Grout is the main cause for concern with tile counter tops.  With grout comes a possibly breeding ground for bacteria, which is not ideal in spaces like kitchens and bathrooms where cleanliness is key.  To handle this issue we suggest two things: choose a larger format tile so you will have less overall grout lines, and use a smaller grout joint.  Rectified tile, meaning tile that fit closer together, is an ideal choice because the tile creates a very small grout line, making maintenance a little easier.  We recently installed rectified tiles on our office kitchen countertops and couldn't be more thrilled with the result!  Love the idea?  Stay tuned for more information on our rectified tile launching late this Spring!

Grout color also makes a difference. Darker colors show less dirt and debris while a light grout may highlight imperfections.

Rectified Tile countertops

Grout Types

Epoxy:  Epoxy grouts are the most durable of all grout choices because they are resistant to stains and water damage, and will hold up against harsh cleaners.  Epoxy grout is a great choice where moisture and food will be present, making them an even better choice for tile countertops.   Epoxy grout is the most expensive grout option, however it doesn't need a sealer, which will save time and money in the long run.

Non-Sanded: Non-sanded grout is a cement-based grout used for smaller grout joints with spacing between 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch, (remember we suggested a smaller grout line)

Sanded: Sanded grout is a cement-based grout where sand is literally added to the mix. Sanded grout is most suitable in installations with grout lines wider than 1/8th of an inch, so if you need a larger grout line and aren't using an epoxy grout this would be your option, however this grout type might require more maintenance than the others.

Rectified Tile countertops


All countertops require regular maintenance, and yes, tile might require a little bit more to keep it looking it's best, but all good things require a little TLC, right?  A daily clean with warm water and mild soap will do the trick. Try to avoid cleaners with harsh ingredients as they may damage your grout.  Overtime your grout will most likely need to be resealed.  Repeated sealing will help keep bacteria out and your countertops looking fresh and clean.

Need some more advice on tile countertops, or ready to start shopping?  Simply fill out our Design Assistance Form or chat us and one of our Talented Design Consultants will help you out.

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