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Old 02-03-2012, 02:10 AM   #1
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Granite and wood countertop???


I'm pretty new to the whole diy thing...actually my experience is limited to painting and patching holes. Sooo...before I start my kitchen I'm going to make a rolling kitchen island from a base cabinet I got for free. I decided I wanted to make my own countertop, obviously as cheap as possible. But I also like to get creative. I was initially going to just used wood flooring for it, but then decided I wanted to have a 12x12 in granite square on it because it would look cool and I could have a place to put my hot pots. Is that doable? Would I put grout around the edges of the tile between the wood?

Also, I was going to buy some remnant unfinished wood, do I glue and nail to the plywood underneath? what about the edges, how do I finishe them? Any suggestions? Oh and I was also considering using cork flooring...I know there cork countertops, but could cork flooring also be used as a countertop?

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Old 02-03-2012, 01:09 PM   #2
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Granite and wood countertop???


Granite tiles are a good choice. Edge them with wood trim or purchased tile trim. Use a tiny grout line and unsanded grout.

I was going to suggest checking with a granite fabricator in your area. Sometimes they have small pieces for cheap, but on second thought that is not a good idea. With a rolling cart you don't want it to be top heavy and risk it tipping over on someone. Even with granite tiles this is something to consider.

Flooring is not recommended as a counter top. The gaps between the planks can absorb water, spills, etc. And it is difficult to clean thoroughly. Those gaps are a great place for bacteria to grow. I'd consider using it to cover the sides.

What kind of flooring you have on your floor. If you have a floating floor or soft vinyl floor be aware that a heavy rolling cart can leave dents in it.

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Old 02-04-2012, 04:12 AM   #3
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Granite and wood countertop???


I have tile floors so I think they're ok. I never thought about the weight of the granite for the cart. Hmmm..gives me something to think about. I've seen other people use flooring and seal it really well. You don't think that could work? I'm trying so hard to be creative and cheap. lol
What kind of flooring you have on your floor. If you have a floating floor or soft vinyl floor be aware that a heavy rolling cart can leave dents in it.[/quote]
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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Granite and wood countertop???


Wood flooring would also have to have room to expand and contract.
I bought what was suppost to be a microwave stand at wall mart for about $45.00 that's on wheels, has a real wood butcher block top and real white oak sides, it also has a drawer and a two door cabinet under it.
I use it as a portable island just like what your looking for.

Just because you got the cabinet for free does not make it your best choise to try and repurpose. Your still going to have to reinforce the bottom so casters can be added, buy some casters, all the labor and materials to finish some form of top.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:45 AM   #5
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Granite and wood countertop???


[quote=joecaption;843795
Just because you got the cabinet for free does not make it your best choise to try and repurpose. Your still going to have to reinforce the bottom so casters can be added, buy some casters, all the labor and materials to finish some form of top.[/quote]
And it may not have structure to support a heavy top.

Flooring is not a good choice for countertops. Bacteria will love the gaps. If you want wood, go with something like pressure laminated maple or red oak butcher block. Or laminated strand bamboo makes a stronger cutting board type surface. I've had replaceable plastic cutting board surfaces made as inlays for client countertops. They love them. When they get carved up, they order a new one every few years.

Not sure I would pick natural stone as a material for setting hot pots on. You will, just to start, destroy whatever sealer you put on it for protection in short order if, depending on the thickness of the stone, you do not crack or fissure it first. It will stain badly on you.

You do need to calculate how heavy this thing is going to be to determine what casters you fit under it. What are the dimensions of this cabinet? What is the dimension of the framing material?
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:57 AM   #6
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Granite and wood countertop???


You guys are killing me. Flooring is not recommended but butcher block is ok???

Is anyone aware of the fact that both are wood and both expand and contract. Either will work as long as you glue the flooring together.

Secondly, granite tile would not be that heavy on just a rolling cabinet, unless it is huge.


The part that is correct is you do need make the framing heavy enough to handle the castors. Make it heavy enough and it should work fine.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #7
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Granite and wood countertop???


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You guys are killing me. Flooring is not recommended but butcher block is ok???

Is anyone aware of the fact that both are wood and both expand and contract. Either will work as long as you glue the flooring together.
I think I typed pressure laminated butcher block or bamboo. Laminated meaning adhesive applied under extreme heat and pressure to form either into a safe kitchen surface?

No offense but the OP is thinking he can accomplish the same thing with a bottle of Guerrila Glue, leftover T&G flooring and some clamps? I don't think so. In fact I know so. You are asking for trouble suggesting you can just glue flooring together and make a countertop just because the flooring is maple, oak, bamboo or whatever! Suggesting it possible could make some people very, very sick when the bacteria catch on and move in to their new home!

I guess you could seal it in epoxy for food safety but we are now talking more bucks than just buying a real countertop? He wants something to set hot pots on and stone, expoxy over wood flooring or even laminated hardwood butcher block or bamboo is not the answer.

What he need is a heatstone sort of insert. If, as we agree, this thing can structurally handle the weight of the countertop and has a place to put decent wheels under it. Let's not forget the live load to be added with whatever the OP plans to put in the thing. Two cans of tomatoe sauce, a couple pounds of dry pasta, 20 pound bag of rice, decent clad cookware, a four year old that finds it the perfect place to play hide-an-seek, etc.

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Old 02-04-2012, 10:24 AM   #8
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Granite and wood countertop???


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I think I typed pressure laminated butcher block or bamboo. Laminated meaning adhesive applied under extreme heat and pressure to form either into a safe kitchen surface?

No offense but the OP is thinking he can accomplish the same thing with a bottle of Guerrila Glue, leftover T&G flooring and some clamps? I don't think so. In fact I know so. You are asking for trouble suggesting you can just glue flooring together and make a countertop just because the flooring is maple, oak, bamboo or whatever! Suggesting it possible could make some people very, very sick when the bacteria catch on and move in to their new home!

Bull. As long as a proper finish is applied it will be fine.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:46 AM   #9
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Bull. As long as a proper finish is applied it will be fine.
You are joking right? 20 pounds of boiling pasta gets slammed on to this guerilla glue T&G flooring countertop with coating and you are saying the finish is not going to crack and open up to the possibility of microscopic bugs finding new homes?

Blazing sublime to absurd!!!! And very, very dangerous thinking.

Thank God restaurants at least are subject to health and food safety inspections. With what you suggest, home kitchens probably should be too!

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Old 02-04-2012, 11:44 AM   #10
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Granite and wood countertop???


wow...didn't mean to get everyone riled up! lol My friend has a bar, which is a public food establishment and the counters are made from reclaimed barn floor. They did apply some sort of expoxy over it, so if it works for them, I thought I could do it too. I thought granite tiles were also good because they are thin and not too heavy. Since these cabinets were used in a kitchen before I don't understand why they couldn't handle the weight. Why would the framing not hold it? I really need to know this stuff, because I assume if it held a counter than it would again. I'll defiitely check the castors and see how much weight they'd handle. Its not very big, but I don't want to buy a new counter just for it. I want this more for experience than anything before I do any other projects. I know I could buy something like the person recommended with the microwave stand, but I gotta learn somewhere. And trust me, I know nothing and have a ton of learning. Does anyone have any other good ideas that are very cheap? I checked on butch block and its expensive. Oh and I hate laminates. I want it to be creative!!!
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:22 PM   #11
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Granite and wood countertop???


Kvmommy, I understand where you're coming from. I do the same thing. Yeah, you could buy a rolling cart at Wal-mart, but what's the fun in that. It's creating something unique, and saying "I did it" that's the fun part. Not to mention you're re-purposing stuff which is good for the environment!

In your shoes, I would cover it in tile. I'd head on down to my local Habitat for Humanity re-store for supplies. Find some trim for the edges, and see what kind of tile they have. Granite squares would work, but with smaller tiles you may be able to minimize, or even eliminate, any cutting. Just be careful that it doesn't end up top heavy and "tippy".

Edited to add: We have some local discount tile places that have glass mosaic tile for as little as $10.00 a SF. Depending on how much area you have, that might be awesome too!

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Old 02-04-2012, 02:00 PM   #12
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Granite and wood countertop???


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wow...didn't mean to get everyone riled up! lol My friend has a bar, which is a public food establishment and the counters are made from reclaimed barn floor. They did apply some sort of expoxy over it, so if it works for them, I thought I could do it too. I thought granite tiles were also good because they are thin and not too heavy. Since these cabinets were used in a kitchen before I don't understand why they couldn't handle the weight. Why would the framing not hold it? I really need to know this stuff, because I assume if it held a counter than it would again. I'll defiitely check the castors and see how much weight they'd handle. Its not very big, but I don't want to buy a new counter just for it. I want this more for experience than anything before I do any other projects. I know I could buy something like the person recommended with the microwave stand, but I gotta learn somewhere. And trust me, I know nothing and have a ton of learning. Does anyone have any other good ideas that are very cheap? I checked on butch block and its expensive. Oh and I hate laminates. I want it to be creative!!!
The bar you mention is serving drinks and maybe plates of pub food on the epoxy surface? No problem. You said you wanted to be able to set, one supposes, heavy hot pots on your surface. Different issue.

And as far as framing? You are going to need some woodblocks or something into which the wheels you want on this get bolted? You are on to a good ideas and I hope I do not come off suggesting not. You just need to think it through.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:25 PM   #13
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Granite and wood countertop???


Oh and I was also considering using cork flooring...I know there cork countertops, but could cork flooring also be used as a countertop?

I would not recommend using cork flooring on the counter tops because the density of the cork they use for flooring is not the same as the ones that they use for cork counters. Also the majority of the cork out there has a veneer so if you drop something on it or cut it with a knife you will see a different color underneath and it may separate.

One option you could try as a DIY project is get cork underlayment and glue it down to a board and then get butchers wax and give it multiple coats of wax to seal the surface and then test it out for awhile. You should be able to get the underlayment at one of the big hardware stores cheaply.



If you do the DIY project let me know how it goes and take photos. I'm sure our other followers will be interested in your opinion of it.

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Old 02-27-2012, 02:33 AM   #14
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Granite and wood countertop???


Wood countertops are becoming more popular in modern kitchens. Solid wood countertops are natural products made of wood from trees. Anyways Thanks for sharing the link Cork.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:06 AM   #15
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Granite and wood countertop???


I have no problem building your own wood countertop, in fact I have built two in my time. I used sugar maple (sold as rock maple some places) because it is hard. Many butcher block surfaces are similarly made, if you look at them they consist of usually pretty thick (6 inches or more) maple slabs, typically about 1 inch wide, glued and often bolted together. Sometimes the surface is finished only with salad oil (food grade oil), sometimes the surface is finished with epoxy.

This may not be suitable as a food PREPARATION surface, since as has been pointed out bacteria can get into the cracks, but truth is that every surface in your house harbors millions of bacteria, even stainless steel will support a nice colony of bacteria on the surface, so if you are going to go OCD on bacteria, there is no surface on earth that will meet the strict test of zero bacteria. Myself, I learned to live with the bacteria many years ago, and I don't get too obsessed over it, but to each their own.

That said, certain woods are better for a countertop. You want a hard wood, so this leaves out species like pine, fir and all the other confers. You want a surface that has minimal pores, so this leaves out open grained wood like oak. I have seen countertops out of cherry, ash, maple, and some exotic tropical woods. If you plan to epoxy the surface, this expands the choices,since the epoxy is going to be very hard and effectively waterproof.

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