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Sportbilly 11-26-2006 11:32 PM

Marble Tile Countertop?
I need to replace the countertop in the kitchen of my home, thinking about using marble/granite tile instead of solid granite (prohibitive cost for 40sqf).

The Plan:

3/4 ply, Hardibacker, Redgard, Thinset, 12 inch stone tiles. A row of the same tile on the wall for backsplash, probably set on the old rock, might replace strip of rock with green if it's bad.


1. I want to keep narrow grout lines, is 1/8 inch doable?

2. Plan on having the field tiles overhang edge by the amount necessary to cover the vertical front face with hardibacker strips and hang tile strips under the overhang of the field tiles. Good Idea?

3. Would like to get radius on the field tile edges then polish, to ease them a little, what kind of person do I call to do this? (I plan on cutting the tiles and taking them in to be finished)

4. Is the Redgard a good idea there? Should I use treated Ply?

That's really it for now :)

Hope you can help me get this right, TIA!

747 11-28-2006 10:54 AM

1. The tighter the grout lines the better. On a kitchen counter top. Go with a color match.

2. Would get a granite tile which comes with matching bullnose tiles for that.

3. I don't have a clue.

4. Sorry i don't know what red guard is.

Sportbilly 12-01-2006 09:03 PM

Redgard is a red, liquid, roll-on membrane, commonly used in bathrooms around windows etc as far as I can tell, just don't want water getting into my substrate. (Am I being paranoid?)

Gotcha on the grout lines, thanks :) Is any narrower feasible? Would I need any other than the typical sanded grout for this application?

Rehabber 12-02-2006 07:18 AM

Use non-sanded grout for your countertop!:thumbup:

Sportbilly 12-02-2006 08:40 PM

Ty sir :)

Mike Swearingen 12-02-2006 10:03 PM

We had our kitchen tiled with 12" ceramic tile and also jumped it up to the countertops (over cement board, of course). Used half-tiles for backsplash.
Our contractor advised us to use ceramic, but not marble because "marble scratches easier".
We used off-the-shelf pine molding stained to match the cabinets for the edging. It was much easier to install.
We keep it clean with a contractor-recommended mixture of 1 part ammonia to two parts water (in Windex sprayer).
It all looks great!

Sportbilly 12-02-2006 10:06 PM

Hmm, more options to consider. Which is easier to crack? I have an uncle who's had a terrible time with hs ceramic countertop tiles cracking (yes, I know, "Dont drop stuff" but accidents happen LOL)

Granite tile mayhaps? Similar pricing to the marble.

Bonus 12-03-2006 12:08 AM

Marble is also susceptible to etching by acids (vinegar and some foods) and staining (wine)

Mike Swearingen 12-03-2006 12:58 AM

That countertop tile has been there since we remodeled in 1998, and it has no cracks anywhere so far.
I've accidentally dropped some pretty heavy things on the same-same floor tiles, and none of them have ever cracked either.
I thought that cracked tiles mostly came with settling issues.
I have no idea. I'm certainly no tile expert.
I've been DIYing for more than 50 years, but tiling, sheetrock and insulation are three things that I hire done by pros. LOL

Sportbilly 12-03-2006 10:12 AM

Thnks guys :)

I think you're right, looked under his counter last night, his handyman used MDF for substrate, and little 4" tiles. Wide unsealed groutlines.

The missus, and I to a certain extent, are hooked on stone still unfortunately, does anybody know if garnite suffers from the same problems as marble, re: etching, staining and scratching?

Bud Cline 12-03-2006 03:19 PM

Tile installations are not waterproof and moisture can get through the grout. Tile should NEVER be installed over MDF, it is stricly forbidden throughout the tile industry. Moisture is getting through the grout and damaging the MDF, that is what is cracking the tiles.

Granite is a much much much wiser choice for a kitchen countertop and IS NOT as readily suseptible to the same pitfalls that marble is. Marble is a poor chioce for a lot of reasons.:)

Use a tilebacker.

BILZ 05-04-2007 01:20 PM

Granite is much more damage proof than marble. Read up and consider their pros and cons thoroughly.

send_it_all 05-04-2007 01:51 PM

Marble= no good for kitchen counters. Granite is definitely the way to go.

All your ideas are good. Red guard may be a little much, but better safe than....whatever. Somebody makes 12X12 granite tiles with bullnosed edge specifically for countertops. Dont know the company, but I've seen them.

MattCoops 05-06-2007 07:45 AM

You can lose the RedGuard by using a water-resistant tile backerboard, such as DensShield, over your plywood top.

I wouldn't suggest marble on countertop. It is susseptable to cracks and attracts mildew. It stains. It discolors.

Granite tile would be a far better choice.
Some granite tile is sold with edge profiles, that are custom cut to be installed on edges and corners.

Some more literature at our website:

Cndiyer 05-17-2007 12:01 AM

Marble tile countertops or granite
Marble is not a good choice for kitchen countertops. Marble is somewhat soft and can become etched with normal use from daily foods, wine, lemon juice, etc. Granite tile countertops will of course save you money over slab.
You can either bullnose tiles or buy matching edges from several companies. The one that tried and like is

They had the tiles, edges, corners and trim pieces to complete the entire countertop.

Redguard supposedly is a favorite for many and works well, but I prefer a cement backer board like hardibacker board, because it cuts easily and works well.

Definitely put the tiles as close together as possible and use non-sanded grout in a matching color. Level the tiles and it will have nearly the appearance of slab for a lot less money.

Make sure you seal everything with a good impregnator. Two coats is a must.

Good luck with your choices. I hope this helps.:thumbsup:

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