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tcseacliff 12-11-2007 10:15 PM

counter remodel
I am remodeling my kitchen on a budget. I want to tile my counter. it is mica, in great shape. I know cement backer is preferred, but can I tile on top of the formica if I sand it well? Is there a thinset that would allow this application? I figure just remove the sink and stove and do it. I layed it out, figured all the cuts. the kid at lowe's said "oh, sure you could do that!". well, I would like some second opinions, I think this kid was trying to get to the break room rather than talk to me. I mean, why rip out the old one if I could get away with tileing on top. the counter is level and solid.

redline 12-12-2007 07:48 AM

How long is the counter?

Mike Swearingen 12-12-2007 08:06 AM

I'm no expert on tiling, but when we remodeled our kitchen, the pros who tiled it screwed cement board (1/2") on the floor and (1/4") on the Formica countertops before ceramic tiling. They didn't remove anything. We used off-the-shelf wood molding stained to match our cabinets around the countertop edges. Looks great!

tcseacliff 12-12-2007 11:14 AM

the counter is an u shape ,stove on one wall, the right wall sink, third an island (7 ft). I know i can screw down the backer was just wondering if there is a thinset that would cure properly on top of the formica. screwing 1/2 in. backer would them mean having to try an refit the cooktop. the tile thickness is doable but the backer plus tile would mean having to hope the cooktop hinges could still work,but from what I am seeing there is no thin set for this application.

Cole 12-12-2007 11:46 AM

I am under the assumption, you are wanting to keep costs down.

You could possibly tile over the mica, but you would need to rough it up a lot.

tcseacliff 12-12-2007 11:49 AM

I know I will have to rough it up ,my question I really need answered,is there a thinset that would cure on top of mica? backer board usually will absorb some moisture from the thinset, the formica won't so is there a thinset that can cure on top of formica without cracking later?

NateHanson 12-12-2007 05:00 PM

If it's a custom formica top, and not a preformed, rounded edges type counter, then you might be able to get a putty knife under a corner of the laminate, and get that old laminate off the particle board. Then tile on that, or screw on 1/4" CBU.

tcseacliff 12-12-2007 08:02 PM

counter remodel
that was my next option. I just figured the counter was so smooth and level that it would be easy to tile , just need the thinset question answered. I know if it does not cure properly it will crack.

jerryh3 12-12-2007 08:26 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I don't know if I would do it but if you do, you may want to use unmodified thinset. It should cure faster being between two non-porous surfaces such as formica and tile. We tried to keep costs down on our kitchen also, so we went with granite tiles instead of a slab. About a quarter of the cost and it didn't turn out too bad.

kiwi54 12-13-2007 12:24 AM

If you're remodeling on a budget then why risk lay thin set on that bad boy then expect problems. Nate is offering a budget concious solution, remove the formica and/or sheath the formica with ply and go over'll raise your counter level a fraction but.......get it right or double the cost when it breaks down.

diytipsguy 07-10-2008 12:28 AM

It's called Bond Coat & 14,000 Polymer
If you want to go right over your formica, you are looking for a product called Bond Coat Mix & SBC 14,000 Polymer Concentrate. You will want to use 30 grit sand paper and sand in circular motions systematically over entire counter, wipe clean with denatured alcahol, Use the Bond Coat Mix and full strength Polymer. It's specifically made for going over formica and tiled countertops. You can find it online at
Hope this helps, Bryan

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