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sbrunke 01-22-2012 12:32 PM

24x24 polished porcelain tile counter
I am installing a tile countertop using 24x24 Polished porcelain tile. I see that I Should be using a min of 1/2"x1/2" notched trowel. I am wondering how much this size of trowel will raise the finished height of the tile? I am using Shluter Rondec CT edging to face the countertop and I am concerned that the thinset with a 1/2 x 1/2 trowel will raise up the finished tile too much to look right with the front of the counter?
I am also wondering how small I can go with the Grout lines? I would like to go 1/16" using unsanded grout. I want the counter top to appear like a solid slab. Will I have any issues going this small with the grout lines? The Substrate is 2 layers of 1/2" plywood glued and screwed, Surface is perfectly level and solid?
Please offer adice if you can help out

Bob Mariani 01-22-2012 04:48 PM

place the tiles right together and use non-sanded grout. The larger depth tile assures proper adhesion and you should not go any smaller. Just get larger tiles for the edge. A thicker edge counter top is more stylish anyway

JazMan 01-22-2012 07:20 PM

Is this a kitchen or bath? Kitchen counter tops are at least 25" deep, how's 24" gonna work? You shouldn't need 1/2" trowel for this. The counter is perfectly flat and the tiles are flat backed, go with 1/4x3/8x1/4 which will raise it about 3/32".

Your plan to tile direct over ply is not such a good idea. Why not concrete backer, Ditra or at min. a liquid membrane?

You can butt the tiles, but a tiny gap is best, credit card.


I want the counter top to appear like a solid slab.
That is not gonna happen. :no: Unless the lights are out.


sbrunke 01-22-2012 08:42 PM

total depth of counter once the front edge is on and backsplash is installed will be about 25".
I thought about using ditra but figured using 24x24 tile and the limited # of grout lines that ditra would be a waste of money since the tile is practically water proof and there are very few grout lines for water to penetrate, this is for a kitchen counter.

Should I still be using ditra on top of the plywood or can I just thinset the tile directly to the plywood and not have issues?

JazMan 01-22-2012 09:41 PM

Ditra isn't only for waterproofing. I would use Ditra or 1/4" concrete board if you can't find it. At min. liquid membrane as already mentioned. Tile on ply, especially on counters is not a good idea.

I guess you can make 24" work if you keep it about 5/8" or so away from the back wall, then drop in the wall tiles.


rosst 11-07-2012 09:29 AM


Originally Posted by JazMan (Post 831554)

You can butt the tiles, but a tiny gap is best, credit card.

That is not gonna happen. :no: Unless the lights are out.


Could you use an epoxy (like they use for countertops) instead of grout?

a1corno 11-18-2012 03:15 PM

I am putting the same thing on my counters and wondered if using a glue/vapor barrier like mapei 995 instead of thinset or mastic then grouting with an epoxy grout would provide the right kind of water protection i need. My plan is to remove the formica from the countertop and tile from there. It's an unconventional approach but as long as my counters are solid, the tile will stay solidly adhered to the surface without any water issues and I can AFFORD it...then I'm okay with it. The formica is coming up in spots and I can feel bubbles when I clean it. Also just ready for a change and upgraded look.

JazMan 11-18-2012 07:54 PM


That is not a good plan at all. First of all I think you will find the "wood" product under the plastic laminate is MDF or particle board. Neither are approved for under tile. I also wonder how solid the top really is. I bet you could lift a corner fairly easily. But doesn't matter since it's the wrong kind of substrate.

As for Mapei 995. It's made for glueing wood floors to concrete substrates. Completely the wrong way to go. You should read their date sheet.


cleveman 11-18-2012 09:12 PM

I've done a lot of countertops on kitchens I have built, and unless we are talking about a cantilever, I always go with 3/4" ply over the 3/4" ply tops on my cabinets, then 1/2" tilebacker, then tile.

The depth of the counter is unimportant. All my cabinets are sized for the tile. Generally I have 22 1/2" deep cabinets, then the piece of 3/4 on top of this is 1/2 of 4', and I pull it out from the wall a bit so it is 2'. Then the tilebacker is 2' as well. I generally put a wood edge on the front.

If you have 11 3/4" tile and are planning no grout line, then you had better plan a countertop close to 23 1/2" deep.

As for the backsplash, I have backsplashed the wall, then installed the cabinets. I have also set the backsplash on the countertop. Do whatever works for you.

It gets a bit complicated sometimes going into and out of corners, trying to get your cabinet facing and countertop edging to work together. Remember it is always easier to have your countertop extend out past your cabinet and facing in the front and on the ends than to have to notch your facing or your edging. No one ever looks up at a countertop from underneath and sees the plywood sticking out past the cabinet facing.

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