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josefismael 06-13-2009 04:04 PM

weight of tile countertop?
First time posting here - did some searching and couldn't find any specifics on this question (sorry if this has been answered before)

I've had a kitchen island/bar project in my head for about a week now, and I want to make sure the shortcuts I'm planning won't end up costing me more in the end : )

Basically the plan is to use plain old shelving units from your friendly big-box retailer (.5" particle board all around). I'll reinforce the backs of them with .5" plywood, and get additional screws (or L brackets) into the shelving joints where you would usually have just dowels. The arrangement would be 2 of the shelving units back to back, then another one with it's back to the side of those 2, then drill and glue them all together.

My question is this - if I take 2 5'x3' sheets of plywood and lay tile on top, would my reinforced particleboard base withstand the weight of the top? I've thought of just using a regular laminate top (there are nice ones for cheap) but if this would work, then I'd like the opportunity to get some "low risk" experience with tiling.

thanks in advance all!

Just Bill 06-14-2009 07:10 AM

Tile should not go directly on wood. Moisture in the adhesive will cause it to warp or decompose. Use a tile backer such as duroc or hardibacker. If there is any lengthy span of unsupported underlayment, make the underlayment 3/4 plywood and 1/4" or 1/2" tile backer.

josefismael 06-14-2009 01:19 PM

thanks for the advice, JB - to be honest I was wondering about this myself as I had heard differing opinions on the matter. Any thoughts on the additional weight of the backerboard vs plywood?

Or perhaps some opinions on this stuff?

thanks again!

Paragon 06-16-2009 09:12 PM

JM You need to also make sure you have proper substrate under that tile so that you do not get excessive deflection because if it deflects the tiles WILL come up and the job will be a bust.

You need to determine what size tiles you are going to use and determine the proper level of substrate that you need and then you need to determine the strength of the cabinetry you are looking at. These are all hard things for us to determine here without knowing the specifics.

Good luck and be safe!


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