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Old 01-05-2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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Procedure for tiling countertop


What is the procedure for 12" x 12" granite tiles on a kitchen countertop.
Is it cement board first or can these be put over formica(this is current countertop)? What about the seams? I am going to butt them up tight but should they be sealed with something special? Also what type of trim can be put in front of the countertop to hide the edges.

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Old 01-05-2009, 03:10 PM   #2
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Procedure for tiling countertop


If you have a good substrate under the formica, you can screw backer board to the formica then lay the tile on the formica.

For a countertop, I would leave a slight gap in the tiles then grout with an unsanded grout.

For the edges, if the manufacturer makes bull nosed 2 x 6 strips, you can cover the edge of the top tiles with bull nosed tiles with the bull nose on the top. If not, one method is to use a painted or stained wood as edging. Not my choice though because the wood edging needs periodic maintenance. If the manufacturer doesn't make bull nosed tiles, it's hard to make the edges look right.

You might also look at 6" x 6" tiles as well. Generally they are more common at countertops and bull nosed tiles are normally available.

Main thing about laying tile is to lay it out where the cut tiles are across the back and inside corners as they are the least visible areas.

Most of the big box home centers have short seminars on tiling. Check and see if any of those are available. It will help.

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Old 01-05-2009, 03:24 PM   #3
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Procedure for tiling countertop


The TCA (tiling specs for North America) recommends a MINIMUM of 3/4" exterior grade plywood and then CBU. Formica typical is constructed of partical board and that's not good.
Seams are addressed with alkali-resistant tape and thinset. You need a layer of thinset between the exterior grade plywood and the CBU. Attach with alkali-resistant screws.

Here is a link to a member's website (who occasionally visits). You should read carefully:
http://www.creativeceramicandmarble....ountertops.htm
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:05 PM   #4
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Procedure for tiling countertop


You could certainly overlay the existing formica with the appropriate plywood and backerboard. Pay close attention to Angus' advice about taping the seams and mudding them with thinset. Very important!

You can use unsanded grout for the tile joints. Use thinset to set the tiles. I'd also suggest bedding the backerboard in thinset. The edges can be done with edge profile tiles that are widely available, cut strips of tile (sharp edges though), or wood if you're into that look.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:09 AM   #5
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Procedure for tiling countertop


Since the requirements state a minimum layer of 3/4" exterior grade plywood and CBU, why would you want to increase the height by keeping the formica top? I dunno but I think having that thick of a substructure would make choosing the edge detail harder.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:50 AM   #6
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Procedure for tiling countertop


Thanks for all the help, now to start.
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:37 PM   #7
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Procedure for tiling countertop


I did exactly what you are talking about. The link to finished pics is below. Ripped up the laminate, layed 3/4" ply and then cement board on top.

Kitchen Project Complete with pics!

There are some before pics on this forum also, the link is somewhere in the above thread.

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