Can Someone School Me On Tile Counter Substrate? - Kitchen & Bath Remodeling - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 09-17-2009, 10:43 AM   #1
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Can someone school me on tile counter substrate?

Ok, I have just about finished refinishing the carcasses of my kitchen cabinets. Sanded down to bare wood, restained, and have started the poly coats. So it is time to get ready for the countertops.

I need some guidance on preparing the surface. As it sits now, I have no overhangs, and a layer of 3/4" plywood on top of the cabinets. Its not going anywhere and is solid. I plan to put 12"x12" granite tiles on top of the counter.

So here comes my barrage of questions

I believe I need to put some sort of backer board down before the tile, any preferences? Does it matter or can i just use the generic backerboard at home depot?

How do I attach said backerboard? Can I just cut to fit, and then screw it down? Certain type of screws? or do I need to use some sort of adhesive as well(kind?)?

I've heard it mentioned I might need to seal the gaps/joints/screw holes in the backer board, what do I use for this?

I guess I am just looking for a nice overview of preparing my countertops to take the tile and would appreciate all advice and input.



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Old 09-17-2009, 11:36 AM   #2
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I would recommend not tiling counter tops. I know it's a cheaper alternative to solid surface but it is a royal pain to maintain.

To install the backer board first prime the 3/4" plywood with an adhesive primer. Then install 1/2" cement board in a bed of thinset mortar screwed 8" o.c. Finish the edges with fiberglas mesh tape and a thin layer of thinset.


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Old 09-17-2009, 03:15 PM   #3
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I hate to differ with ARI001 but we do kitchen countertops with tiles almost exclusively...I mean by that, that we would install a $100 eight-foot length of Home Depot's best - but most of our customers have gone with our suggestions using Schluter Ditra and Rondec...even had a class on doing so and we had an 4-foot island from plywood-to-tiled in 20 minutes. OK someone had to cut the Ditra and mix the thinset but that was it from A to Z...stainless steel edging and all.

Had a customer this moring asking if we could tile her 20' of laminate, since she heard it can be done. Said nope, we only start from scratch. So we have the order to take out the existing, put down two sheets of 5/8" CDX, Ditra, modified thinset for below the Ditra, regular for above and standard tiles. The edging is finicky but looks great, altho' expensive (~$300).

The choices are limitless - that's the beauty. Granite tiles are about $5 each but porcelain is cheaper.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:52 PM   #4
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CC's method will work fine also just make sure you seal the seams with Kerdi-Band and the area between the sink and Ditra with Kerdi-Flex.
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