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Shandon 06-02-2008 02:28 PM

Tile Backsplash - On Top or Behind Counter?
This may seem a silly question but...

I am remodeling our kitchen and we are putting in a porcelain farmer style sink that goes all the way back to the backsplash. Does everyone recommend installing sink and counters then install tile to be on top of counter and sink or can I install the tile first then butt the counter and sink up against the tile? Then caulk of course. I like this later option better because we may replace counter down the road and it seems it would require less tile cutting.

angus242 06-02-2008 08:38 PM

You install counters flush to the wall and then tile over!
yes, caulk too:thumbup:

Termite 06-03-2008 09:54 AM

You definately install the counter first and then tile over it. You can use a metal or plastic L-shaped channel that fastens to the wall and creates a nice transition between the counter and the tile. I like the clean look it gives. You should definately caulk it one way or another to keep water from getting to the wallboard.

Shandon 06-03-2008 12:40 PM

Okay, I will install the cabinets and counter first and then plan on doing some tile cutting. Can you show me this L-shaped channel?


Termite 06-03-2008 01:05 PM

I don't have a picture, but every tile store in the world carries it. So do Lowes and Home Depot in their tile departments...In a variety of materials and finishes. It is about 1-1/4" tall with varying base depths depending on your tiles' thickness.

You don't have to use it, but I like the clean look it gives.

angus242 06-03-2008 01:36 PM
Not sure if this is exactly what KC is talking about. This stuff is sold at Home Depot in various finishes. You need to be very careful using this as if your counters or first row of tile aren't perfectly even, your eye WILL see the uneven line.

Termite 06-03-2008 02:50 PM

That's the stuff. The picture shows it in a floor application, but it works well for perpindicular intersections as well.

Shandon 06-04-2008 12:20 PM

Thanks, I'll look for it. Now, one of my original reasons for wanting to tile first was because we were wanting to have the ability to remove the counters and replace them and not wanting to mess up the tile. This seems like it would make that possible.

angus242 06-04-2008 12:24 PM

That's a hard question to answer because of the various thicknesses of counter top materials. The typical thickness is 1 1/4" to 1 1/2". It really depends on what you currently have and what you eventually want to get. When you tile a backsplash, you leave a 1/8" gap between the tile and counter material and caulk the gap. If you got lucky enough to have the same thickness when you replace the counters, you would remove the caulk, slide the new counter in and recaulk the gap. Done!

Good luck

Shandon 06-05-2008 01:57 PM

Yeah, I didn't think about the thicknesses being different. I assumed they were standard. But I haven't even installed it yet and we (my wife) has already changed her mind and last night we bought a different counter. Good thing I haven't started because it is about a half inch thicker than the first.

I will be installing everything this weekend and may or may not get to the tiling. I have to patch a bunch of holes first.

DC-Brandon 06-10-2008 08:09 AM

I would definitely recommend doing the back splash very last. Best of luck!

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