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Posted: 3/13/2005 7:03:11 AM EDT
I'm going to be building a tile countertop for my kitchen. I plan to use granite tiles. I really don't want the big gap that the grout goes into since I want to make it look almost like one big piece. Is there any way that I can install the tiles butted together and still seal them with some sort of grout? I plan to use an epoxy grout. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,
Kris
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:06:52 AM EDT

Use the smallest spacers you can find, and non-sanded grout.

I belive they make some 1/16" spacers.

Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:12:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 7:14:55 AM EDT by PVFD304]
Tagged for future counter-top upgrade.

I'm looking to tile my counter top and backsplash.


edited to add - The guy who is doing my countertop says he will put some type of coating over the grout to help with clean up.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:13:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 7:15:30 AM EDT by Atencio]
You can butt up and glue granite together. Thats what they do on the big slabs when they make a countertop. The problem is mositure. If those tiles do not have perfect lines and match up with each other you will end up with gaps where moisture can get into. Thats the whole benefit of grout, don't have to worry about slight imperfections.

edit: if you use the 1/16 spacing and use grout material that matches your garnite it does not look that bad.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:49:04 AM EDT
1/16" gaps would'nt be bad. It's those 1/4" gaps that I don't like. I'll probably look for some of those.

Kris
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 8:02:15 AM EDT
don't forget to lay it all out first on a dry surface. You may have to switch a few around to get a good mix of color shades
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 8:03:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 19suburban96:
don't forget to lay it all out first on a dry surface. You may have to switch a few around to get a good mix of color shades



Good advice. Thanks!
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 5:14:49 PM EDT
i did the same thing for my kitchen countertop. be sure to put at least 1/2" cabnet grade plywood down first(3/4" is better). then put glue and nail hardibacker on thop of that. use a quality thinset mortar to set the tiles. i left about 1/8" spaces between the tiles...you don't need spacers if you are careful. you'll need a diamond-bladed wet saw to make the cuts. be sure to use a darker grout than the tile...light grout will get dirty and stained and really look bad. you'll need to use a granite/marble sealer once a year to keep it protected. you'll also nee to put some kind of front edging on it. i used 1x3 oak (since my cabinets are oak). be sure to put 3 or 4 coats of exterior ureathane on it since it will get extensive wear and tear.
it's a lot of work, but i got a granite counter top for $10/ sq. ft. solid granite here is going for $125/ sq. ft.---quite a savings!

good luck.

earlybirdnj
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 5:17:58 PM EDT
one more thing...be sure to have plenty of extra tiles...you'll break a few cutting them, etc. you'll also need extra so you can match up the tiles for the best match---granite tiles are never exactly the same and some really look shitty next to each other.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 5:19:23 PM EDT
You will want to use epoxy grout. It is a BITCH to work with. Strongly suggest you make up 1 or 2 sample tops and experiment with the stuff.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:22:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By earlybirdnj:
i did the same thing for my kitchen countertop. be sure to put at least 1/2" cabnet grade plywood down first(3/4" is better). then put glue and nail hardibacker on thop of that. use a quality thinset mortar to set the tiles. i left about 1/8" spaces between the tiles...you don't need spacers if you are careful. you'll need a diamond-bladed wet saw to make the cuts. be sure to use a darker grout than the tile...light grout will get dirty and stained and really look bad. you'll need to use a granite/marble sealer once a year to keep it protected. you'll also nee to put some kind of front edging on it. i used 1x3 oak (since my cabinets are oak). be sure to put 3 or 4 coats of exterior ureathane on it since it will get extensive wear and tear.
it's a lot of work, but i got a granite counter top for $10/ sq. ft. solid granite here is going for $125/ sq. ft.---quite a savings!

good luck.

earlybirdnj



Would you recommend anything special when resurfacting a counter top over existing Formica?
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:34:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 6:37:15 PM EDT by Housefull]

Would you recommend anything special when resurfacting a counter top over existing Formica?

what do you want to put over the formica? usually, the only thing you can put over formica is new formica
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:04:01 PM EDT
I've got a book that says you can tile over top of formica. If you want, I can scan the page and send it to you. Email me if you want it.

Kris
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:08:50 PM EDT
depending on what is under the formica, IMHO you shouldn't put tile over the formica
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:24:49 PM EDT
I spent half a damn day chipping tile off of a laminate top. "They" make a special adhesive for that application. If you go over laminate there is no worry of moisture getting to the substrate. Put in down with no grout space and seal it after. Your supplier should have all the goodies.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 8:22:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 8:31:41 PM EDT by howlie]
Shop_rat,
I'm a journeyman tile setter. Putting in a granite tile countertop that looks good can be tricky, the key to a professional looking job is the sub surface prep and layout. A mortar bed is the best sub surface, but I would'nt recommend the average homeowner trying to float motar without some previous experience.

I would put down 3/4" exterior grade plywood as a base. Thinset and screw down 1/4"or 1/2" cement backer board over the plywood. Make sure the sub surface is rigid and FLAT. (I think Hardibacker sucks, and I never use it. It is made of compressed paper sheets and cement.) Next, get some straight pine stock and screw it to the edge of the plywood where the wood trim will go (make sure it is level and true). This will act as a guide as to where the tile will terminate and also serve as a guide to set the tiles level.

Lay out and dry fit all the tiles BEFORE you start stickin' 'em. I use 1/16" shims. Even if you butt the tiles together there will be a grout joint, as most all 12" granite tiles are beveled along the edges. Use a 'marble and granite' type thinset to stick the tiles.

Use a dark, unsanded grout. Lighter color grouts will stain in time. Epoxy grout would be best to use, but it's not as easy to use as cement based grout. The thing about epoxy grout is that once it sets up, that's it. It's harder than Supermans knee caps, and damn near impossible to remove without scratching/chipping the tile.

Remove the wood guide boards and install the wood trim. Get a color matched caulk to use between the trim and the tile, grout in that joint will crack over time as the wood expands and contracts.

Easy, right?

There is a book I recommend to homeowners. It's called Setting Tile, by Michael Byrne. Published by The Taunton Press. It's a good reference with solid techniques. You can do the job yourself and have it look good, just take your time.

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