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I'm new to the site; this is my first post. My fiancee and I are renovating a kitchen, basically building it from scratch. A problem arose this week after the countertops were installed on our kitchen island.

island backsplash.JPG

The tile I've chosen for the backsplash is a tumbled slate that is 1/2 inch thick. Unfortunately, there is only a 1/2 inch space below the bar top counter overhang, thus making it nearly impossible to install backer board over the wood and dead space where the backsplash will go. (Note: to the far left there is also a vent opening for when we eventually install a gas cooktop here.)

a) Should we remove and reposition the quartz countertops ourselves? This option scares me to death, as if anything breaks or cracks, we're out buku $.

b) Is thre any suggestion as to how I could "fill" the dead spaces so I can just mastick the tile directly to the 2x4 construction? There's little space to nail anything here, and I've run out of ideas.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Firstly, use 1/4" cement backboard (Wonderboard) to minimize depth - pretty sure HD stocks this. After that, here are a couple of options:

1) select different, thinner tile no thicker than 1/4"
2) if using same 1/2" tile, try to find matching bullnose to top it with to be flush with the higher countertop (in which case, you might want to use 1/2" backerboard to true everything on the same vertical plane)
2) if using same tile and 1/4" Wonderboard, dig out 1/4"+ from each of the 2x4s with a chisel (be sure to protect your brand new countertops!)

Don't forget to count for the add'l thickness of the thinset (1/8" ish, doesn't have to be too thick for this application, I would think).

Hope this helps.
 
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