Tile Design IdeasTile TipsA bright kitchen with blue cabinetry and a white marble-look counter atop a kitchen island.

We expect a lot from our kitchen and bathroom countertops: They must be able to meet numerous functional demands while also looking great. It’s a tall order, and it makes finding the right countertop material an important decision.

Gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs for countertops are extra large porcelain tiles that are growing in popularity as a stylish countertop material. Keep reading to learn why gauged porcelain tile is inspiring beautiful new room designs. We’ll cover the health, safety, and easy maintenance advantages of gauged porcelain tile countertops plus all the beautiful styles that are winning our hearts.

Benefits of Using Gauged Porcelain Tile for Countertops

Health and Hygiene

The food your family consumes comes into direct contact with your kitchen countertops on a daily basis, so hygiene is crucial here. Likewise, every bathroom application can use all the help it can get to fight off germs.

Gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs are inhospitable to the growth of bacteria. Options are also available with antimicrobial properties, which can suppress and even destroy harmful microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, mold, and fungi.

Have any allergy sufferers in your home? As with all ceramic and porcelain tile, gauged porcelain tile does not contain or harbor allergens. Allergens such as pollen, dust, and dirt cannot penetrate porcelain’s hard, nonporous surface. Instead, these particles merely settle on the surface of your gauged porcelain tile counter where you can easily wipe them away.

Additionally, ceramic and porcelain tile won’t emit toxic fumes if exposed to heat or flame — an important consideration for kitchens.

Gauged porcelain tile panel/slab countertops also have important benefits when compared to other common countertop choices.

For example, some countertop sealers contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be emitted as harmful gases and are the subject of various health concerns. Introducing these compounds into your home as recommended for resealing granite and marble is not ideal. Gauged porcelain tile counters do not require sealing and contain no VOCs.

Gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs are also free of the adhesives, chemical binders, and other sources of VOCs that can be present in engineered quartz and laminate countertops, as well as the formaldehyde present in the particleboard substrates that can be used in laminate countertop installations. Exposure to formaldehyde is associated with various respiratory concerns.

Made of naturally occurring materials fused together at high temperatures, gauged porcelain tile countertops are inert and a healthy choice for your home.


Gauged porcelain tile panel/slab countertops are low-maintenance, stain-resistant, and easy to clean: Simply brush away any crumbs, dust, or other debris and then wipe with a little soap and clean water.

The primary benefit of this easy cleaning routine (besides the convenience that it offers), is the ability to avoid using chemical cleaners in your home. Some cleansers may contain dangerous chemicals that you wouldn’t want your family to come into contact with:

  • All-purpose cleaners generally include ammonia, sodium hypochlorite, trisodium phosphate, and/or ethylene glycol monobutyl, that can irritate the eyes, nose, skin, and throat, and can be poisonous to both animals and humans if ingested.
  • Antibacterial cleaners typically contain a pesticide (generally phenolic chemicals or quaternary ammonium) that has been known to irritate the throat, skin, and eyes.
  • Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite and can irritate the eyes, nose, skin, and throat in both liquid and vapor form. Direct skin contact may cause dermatitis, and ingestion can lead to issues ranging from nausea and vomiting to esophageal injury. Mixing bleach with other household cleaning products may form poisonous gases that could cause serious breathing problems.

Using these chemicals in the kitchen is especially concerning, as they could come into direct contact with food or utensils.

[Related: Easy Cleaning Tips for Porcelain and Ceramic Tile]

A bathroom with gray stone-look tile on the walls and sink counter.

A gauged porcelain countertop bathroom vanity offers easy maintenance to keep a healthy home for your family.


A number of easy-care benefits make gauged porcelain tile countertops a smart choice for anyone who doesn’t have the time or energy to devote to high-maintenance routines:

  • No sealing: Gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs do not require sealing as do granite and other natural stone countertops.
  • Water resistance: Porcelain is impervious to water, meaning you won’t have to worry about moisture penetrating the surface and ruining your counters.
  • Scratch resistance: As with all ceramic and porcelain tile, gauged porcelain tile is incredibly durable and resistant to scratches, scuffs, and dents that might be caused by small appliances, cookware, and utensils. In fact, porcelain tile has been proven to be stronger than granite.
  • Stain resistance: Berries, wine, spaghetti sauce — your countertops face many stain-producing foes on a regular basis, but they generally aren’t a concern for ceramic and porcelain tile.
  • Heat and flame resistance: Ceramic and porcelain are noncombustible, won’t give off toxic fumes, and won’t melt, burn, or smoke when exposed to heat or fire. This means ceramic and porcelain are safe near a range, oven, or open flame, and you can also set hot pots and pans directly on your counter without fear of damage.
  • Minimal grout joints: Gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs are large enough that many countertops require only one panel or slab — that means minimal seams for a neat, clean, and hygienic countertop solution.

[Related: Low-Maintenance Benefits of Ceramic and Porcelain Tile]

Convenient Installation

Thin gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs range in thickness from 3.5 mm to 6.5 mm. Common sizes for thicker gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs are 12 mm and 20 mm.

Installing natural stone countertops is often time and labor intensive, as well as tedious, requiring custom fabrication specifications. While it may be necessary to cut gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs to specification as well, the process may be possible to do on the job site. This easier installation can translate to significant cost savings compared to the labor for traditional natural stone slabs.

[Related: Post-Pandemic Dream Kitchen Guide]


One of the biggest driving factors behind the popularity of gauged porcelain tile countertops is design versatility.

Gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs can be manufactured with almost any design imaginable. This ability, paired with their large size, means panels/slabs, once installed, can be  indistinguishable from natural stone slabs — but without the sustainability concerns (or price tag) of sourcing them, and without scratching and staining concerns.

As such, natural stone looks like granite and marble are popular for gauged porcelain tile panel/slab countertops. You can even choose the look of rare precious gemstones such as agate or onyx, or forsake the natural look trend altogether and choose a solid color or a creative pattern.

Whatever style you choose for your gauged porcelain tile countertop, ceramic tile’s versatile functionality means that you can coordinate (match or contrast) your countertop with your flooring, backsplash, wall tile, and shower or bath tile, depending on whether the counter is in your kitchenbathroomlaundry roomhome office, etc.

Bird's eye view of a kitchen island with an ivory stone-look tile countertop

gauged porcelain tile sink can be fabricated to match your countertop tile, creating a contemporary, minimalist design. Another modern design idea is to integrate your cooktop directly into the counter — a look made possible by gauged porcelain tile’s heat and flame resistance.

[Related: 2020 Tile Trends: Counter Culture]

Our Favorite Designs for Gauged Porcelain Tile Countertops

Now that you know the benefits of gauged porcelain tile countertops, let’s explore some of the most popular gauged porcelain tile countertop designs.

Marble-Look Gauged Porcelain Tile Countertops

Image of a bathroom with white and gray marble-look tile

This impressive master bath has gray marble-look tile just about everywhere, with the gauged porcelain tile bathroom counter, vessel sinks, floating shelvescurbless shower, and indoor-outdoor design setting a contemporary vibe.

marble-look is perhaps the most common choice for gauged porcelain tile panel/slab applications. Because of manufacturing advances, gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs can be created to look like any type of marble found in nature — and then some.

Common marble color looks include white, black, and gray, but you can also find gauged porcelain tiles in pinks, blues, greens, and more. Veining is an equally important consideration: Subtle veins in a color that doesn’t stand out can create a dreamy look, whereas thick veins in a contrasting color set a bold mood.

[Related: 2020 Tile Trends: Modernized Marble]

Granite-Look Gauged Porcelain Tile Countertop

An open, outdoor kitchen with stone-look tile countertops and floors.

This outdoor kitchen keeps things simple with an earthy beige granite-look gauged porcelain tile countertop and island that fit right in with the natural surroundings, plus flooring and pool pavers to match.

You can’t go wrong with granite-look gauged porcelain tile counters either, whether they’re for a bathroom, indoor kitchen, or outdoor kitchen. Options range from sleek dark granite looks, to playful multicolor designs, to dazzling white granite styles.

Wood-Look Gauged Porcelain Tile Countertops

Modern kitchen with white marble-look tile on the kitchen island

This kitchen opts for juxtaposing a wood-look gauged porcelain table with white marble-look counters, a patterned tile backsplash, and concrete-look tile flooring.

Wood tables or countertops provide a warm, rustic look that can be just right for a comfy setting. Unfortunately, wood can be easily damaged by moisture, stains, scratches, and even cracking if it is not properly maintained. None of these are concerns you want to have for your kitchen or bathroom countertops.

Wood-look gauged porcelain tile countertops are a perfect solution to this dilemma, providing the look of wood but the low-maintenance benefits of porcelain. Gauged porcelain tile provides design flexibility with wood looks, allowing you to find the exact wood type, color, and graining you want.

If you do choose a wood look for your gauged porcelain countertops, take a moment to consider whether you’ll embrace wood with coordinating wood cabinets and wood-look flooring, or contrast with other designs.

[Related: 2020 Tile Trends: Refined Natural Wood Looks]

Concrete-Look Gauged Porcelain Tile Countertops

Bird's eye view of a kitchen with concrete-look tile countertops

These concrete-look gauged porcelain tile panel/slab counters feature a slightly oxidized design for an added degree of interest and to coordinate with the flooring.

Concrete looks may not be a traditional choice for countertops, but industrial decor is becoming increasingly popular. Concrete-look gauged porcelain tile counters are the perfect choice to create an urban minimalist look and — unlike real concrete — they’re moisture- and bacteria-resistant and do not require the use of polishes or sealers.

[Related: 2020 Tile Trends: Industrial Chic]

Gemstone-Look Gauged Porcelain Tile Countertops

Bathroom with green gemstone-look porcelain tile.

This bathroom opts for the same pale green onyx-look gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs for the counters, walls, and flooring, creating a simple and sophisticated statement.

Want to create the ultimate luxury design? Choose a gauged porcelain tile countertop that looks like a giant gemstone, such as agate, onyx, quartz, opal, or turquoise and transform your kitchen or bathroom from plain to palatial.

[Related: 2020 Tile Trends: Giant Gemstones]

Monotone Gauged Porcelain Tile Countertops

A modern, minimalist kitchen with maroon monotone gauged porcelain countertops and cabinets.

These maroon gauged porcelain tile counters and cabinets add to the room’s color palette while allowing the crisp white hexagon tiles in the backsplash to pop.

Gauged porcelain tile can achieve the look of any other material — but that doesn’t mean that your countertops have to.

Sometimes a monotone design is the way to go. Single-color gauged porcelain tile countertops have the dual benefits of creating a contemporary look and letting other design elements in the space do most of the talking.

A modern kitchen with geometric tile floors and a gray tile kitchen island countertop.

This gray gauged porcelain tile counter allows the patterned tile rug surrounding it to shine without a competing pattern or texture.

[Related: Five Places You’ll Secretly Find Porcelain]

The Right Choice for Countertops

This comprehensive look at the benefits of gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs for countertops equips you with the knowledge you need for choosing a high-performance, stylish countertop material. We can’t help but say that it would be counterintuitive to choose anything else.

For more gauged porcelain tile countertop design inspiration, explore our Pinterest board. Then visit the Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) to find certified porcelain tile products near you.