removing kitchen counter tile

Old 02-04-06, 07:50 AM
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removing kitchen counter tile

Hi, Some time ago we used 4" x 4" tile over our formica countertops.
I should have not done so; have been very disappointed in it ever since.
I didn't realize the tiles would be so hard to keep clean and new looking;
especially the grout. Several places have dried up to the extent that
some of the tiles on the edges have come loose and fallen off and the
ones around the curved end of the counter bar are already loosening -
I suppose because they are in the walk way and constantly getting

Can the tile be removed and the original formica rejuvenated? What
other options do I have? I love the tile as my backsplash and down
the half wall under the bar - it is only the countertops that I am
sorry about.

Also, can formica be painted and then sealed with polyurethene or
some type of acryllic for protection (in case they are too scarred from the tile removal)?

Old 02-04-06, 10:28 AM
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I think the reason you are disenfranchised with your tile, is the underlayment. You shouldn't have used the formica as a substrate. I doubt you will be able to rejuvinate the formica. Since you like the other tile, why not pull all the countertops, start fresh with 3/4" pressure treated plywood, topped with backer board, install contrasting 6" tile on the countertop. Band the whole thing with a good quality maple or other hardwood 1x2 to dress out the edges. I think you will be happier with that than with the original formica. You covered for a reason to begin with, I don't think that reason has gone away. Good luck. If you need more information, post back.
Old 02-12-06, 06:31 AM
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I also had bad experience with counter tile. I installed the tile over new 3/4" PFS plywood. Besides difficulty cleaning, within a couple of years several of the edge tiles had chipped. After a while the countertops looked like they were 20 years old.
Removing the tiles was a real PITA. I ended up busting the tiles with a hammer and chisel and removing the underlayment in arge sections with the tiles attached. I ended up getting granite installed.
If it were me, I would rip off the entire countertop and toss it. I don't think there is any way to salvage the formica underneath. Making laminate countertops is fairly easy and relatively inexpensive. I just bought a sheet of laminate for a workshop bench for less than $50. Depending on the size of your kitchen you could probably redo with laminate for a few hundred dollars.

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