Ceramic tile countertops are generally scratch-resistant. However, some ceramic tiles are more resistant to scratches than others. Choose your ceramic tiles well, so you would have lesser problems with scratches and cutting.
Ceramic tiles with a glazed matte gloss finish are recommended for kitchen countertops because they are more resistant to scratching. Ceramic tiles with a high gloss finish are susceptible to scratching and can look uneven and dull over time. Ceramic tiles with a bright glaze finish also get scratches easier than those with a matte finish.
The color of your ceramic tiles can also determine their ability to resist scratching. Get ceramic tiles in light colors because the scratches are less obvious on the surface. Ceramic tiles in deep primary colors can get scratches easily and the scratches are more apparent on the surface.
It is highly advised not to cut food directly on ceramic tile countertops because this increases the chance of the surface getting scratched and eventually destroyed. Cutting directly on your ceramic tile countertop can also chip and blunt your knives. Always use a chopping board when cutting on ceramic tile countertops to protect the countertop surface and the cutting knife. Also, using a chopping board prevents food materials from getting into the grout and prevents the growth of bacteria, molds, and mildew on the surface. Always take care when handling metal utensils or cookware on your ceramic tile countertop because the ceramic tiles are fired to a density that can scratch metal and leave marks on the tile.
Ceramic wall tiles are more susceptible to scratching than floor tiles. If you want stronger and denser ceramic tiles, look for Class 4 tiles or floor tiles with a higher PEI rating for your ceramic tile countertop.
To remove scratches from your ceramic tile countertop, use a magic eraser to remove them. You can also try polishing them with a brass polisher or toothpaste. Wiping a soft cloth soaked in vinegar over them can also do the trick. The only way to repair ceramic tiles with deep scratches and cuts is to replace them with new ones without disturbing the ones that are not damaged. It is always recommended to keep spare ceramic tiles in the same lot and shade so that you can use them for emergency repairs or if the manufacturer had run out of stock.
Although ceramic tiles are durable and impact-resistant, the grout joints are not. The grout joints are susceptible to cracking and can be cut with a sharp kitchen knife if done deliberately. They can crack with the slightest wood shrinkage and cause the ceramic tiles to leak. Check for caulking every six months and re-grout from time to time as necessary. A grout sealer, which is available in most hardware stores, can help strengthen and prevent the grout joints from cracking. It should be applied as soon as the ceramic tile countertop is installed.