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Old 08-04-2012, 03:08 PM   #1
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Help me Win my Layout "Discussion"


Okay so we are getting ready to granite tile our kitchen countertop see my project link in my signature and hubby and I are having a "Discussion" about the layout.

He wants to put full tile, full tile, then thin strip against the wall (where it meets the backsplash). When I say thin, I mean 3" or less with some wall variation (due to a wall bulge). And the thin strip is not decorative. It would be the same granite.

This goes against every tile layout design guide recommendation that I have read (including several on this site).

I think since the wall has some substantial variation that will require some careful scribing for the cut that we should do full tile in the middle and then two smaller but even cuts on the top and bottom.

I think this would mask the wall variations because the line would look symmetrical.

Hubby thinks the extra cuts are a lot more work and the amount of medium sized tiles will look bad.

I think the eye will be drawn to the crazy small tile line especially since the wall is not straight.

I told him that we need to dry fit all of the cut tiles first to make sure it all looks nice before we set them.

He wants to cut one at a time.

I don't want this to look like crap because we have been working on this project for 10 years.

So I need your help. Should we lay the tiles my way, his way, or another way (please specify)?
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Last edited by shadytrake; 08-04-2012 at 03:16 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:19 PM   #2
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Help me Win my Layout "Discussion"


Not a big fan of tile counter tops, (Ya I know you could careless about my opion)
There hard, so there's more glass brakage, all the low spots where the grout is becomes a night mare to just do a simple wipe down, more prone to leaking around the sink because of the grout lines.
All my customers that have them now want solid tops.

Why would you not take the time to fix the wall so it's all even? If you do not fix it the grout line will make that uneven wall stick out even more because the eye will have a referance line.

Where else would you make your cuts other then where the back splash is?
He's right the main tile gets laid, then you go back and make your cuts.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Not a big fan of tile counter tops, (Ya I know you could careless about my opion)
There hard, so there's more glass brakage, all the low spots where the grout is becomes a night mare to just do a simple wipe down, more prone to leaking around the sink because of the grout lines.
All my customers that have them now want solid tops.

Why would you not take the time to fix the wall so it's all even? If you do not fix it the grout line will make that uneven wall stick out even more because the eye will have a referance line.

Where else would you make your cuts other then where the back splash is?
He's right the main tile gets laid, then you go back and make your cuts.
A granite slab, solid surface, or concrete is not a good ROI for this neighborhood and I do not like Formica or Wilsonart laminates. This way, I get granite in my kitchen without over-improving for the neighborhood. (no house in this neighborhood is selling over $60K right now).

I know about the grout lines. It is just a matter of a level install, proper grout sealing and a good caulk line.

RE: fixing the wall. This is a 1952 house and the wall is on the exterior which is brick. My home inspector 15 years ago did a very thorough job going over the bones of the house. He said the studs were solid and yes there was some settling but the cost of pulling all of the load bearing studs out to replace just to get an exact straight wall is not necessary. A lot of older houses have settling issues and no wall is completely straight.

So, we did the next best option. We pulled the old wallboard, hired an electrician to re-wire to modern code, added insulation and vapor barrier, and then installed new mold resistant drywall as straight as was possible.

So you are saying that the cut looks better as a thin strip in the back like this example picture? (this is NOT my tile, just an example)
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #4
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Options would be to change the size of the underlament for the top so the tiles come out even, (unless your going with really big tile) change the size of the tiles your going to be using.
I would think bigger tiles would show that gap more.
Or Try using a narrower tile to form a border at the front not the back.
I would think the border at the back would stick out like a sore thump againt the back splash.

Someone would really have to have the tile in front of them to play with it to see what looks best.

I ended up using some tops that Home Depot is selling, there formica but look nothing like the old style curved front and back.
Instead they have a Roman Ogee edge.
It really does look like a real stone top untill you feel it.
And they were easy to install and cheap to buy.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:04 PM   #5
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Wait until Jazz chimes in, he's the grand popa wizard with tile.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:53 PM   #6
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Thanks Joe for the feedback. The granite option is the only one both hubby and I agreed on for the kitchen so we won't be going back on that now. The "discussions" get pretty intense. We are both very opinionated and pretty stubborn. I do a lot of online research while hubby has real-world experience. We both have knowledge, just very different types so we have to discuss, debate, let off a little steam, and then come to a compromise.

We agreed that since he is having to make the cuts that we will set the underlayment back and try to get as close as possible so that the backsplash will cover the seam.

My job is to puzzle the granite together so that it looks like it was cut from a single piece. I'm so glad we bought 3 extra boxes.

I will take photos before we set the tile so y'all can chime in with comments.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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I'm dealing with the same question. One alternative I considered (I still haven't decided) is to alternate. One row with the small sliver in the back, next row with the small sliver in the front. Haven't laid it out yet to see how it would actually look, just considering it.
Any other ideas I've come up with involve a lot more cutting, which is probably what I'll end up doing.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:28 AM   #8
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Have you thought of laying them on the diagonal? Maybe the cuts will look better as alternating triangles instead of skinny rectangles?
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Options would be to change the size of the underlament for the top so the tiles come out even, (unless your going with really big tile) change the size of the tiles your going to be using.
I would think bigger tiles would show that gap more.
Or Try using a narrower tile to form a border at the front not the back.
I would think the border at the back would stick out like a sore thump againt the back splash.

Someone would really have to have the tile in front of them to play with it to see what looks best.

I ended up using some tops that Home Depot is selling, there formica but look nothing like the old style curved front and back.
Instead they have a Roman Ogee edge.
It really does look like a real stone top untill you feel it.
And they were easy to install and cheap to buy.
I happened to be walking down the aisle where these are located the other day can could not believe how nice these looked. I had to really touch them and look closely to see they were formica.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:37 AM   #10
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One thing with those I found out is there thinner, so a simple fix was to just add 1 X 4's to the tops of the cabinets sitting flush with the face frames, using Tite bond II glue and finish nails.
I predrilled holes in the 1 X 4's once they were in place to be able to attach the tops with screws from under the cabinets.
Once the tops on the 1X does not show unless you layed on the floor and looked up.
If you do not do this they sit to low around a range.
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