Tileing Countertops; How to?


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Old 11-19-06, 11:01 PM
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Lightbulb Tileing Countertops; How to?

I am thinking I would like to rip out my ugly yellow counter tops fromt eh 70's and put in a tile counter top. We are thinking of scaling down a wall and making in an eating bar. (our condo is tight and theres no room for a dining set) I think it would look real good as all tile. (there is ALOT of counter space already)

Any suggestions on size of tile, type of grout, what to use as the supporting counter? (as in when I rip out the old counter you can see in the drawrs, right? So do I have to put down wood, what kind? Would ply wood hole that kind of weight? Do you have to re-enforce it?) As I have never tiled anything in my life, and I would not want the counter to cave in when I put the first potato on it!!

(lol I can just picture it, all that work, and "oh-no" crash, bang, it all comes tumbling down... Ha Ha!) =
 
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Old 11-20-06, 03:54 AM
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There is not enough space here to teach you all about tile. Pick up a good DIY tile book at any home or hardware store. It will give you the details you seek.
 
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Old 11-20-06, 04:06 AM
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I would check with the local Lowe's or HD; they have DIY clinics all the time and tiling is a frequent one.

Here's some basic answers:

Size: I've done this a couple of times and used the 4 1/2" tile (think that's the size). Keep in mind the smaller the tile, the more grout lines, the more work to grout and the more lines to seal and keep clean.
Grout: Regardless of which type you use, it must be kept sealed to keep out stains.
Base: Usually 3/4" plywood, cement board, or a combination such as 3/4 plywood with cement board over that. The advantage of the cement board is that it is completely stable, i.e. it doesn't expand and contract like wood products. It's even possible to tile over existing laminate provided you rough it up first. Most pro's advise not to do it this way, although I have and got good results.
Support: Provided you don't have some type of overhang that would need extra support, base cabinets will give you plenty of support as long as they are properly mounted.
 
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Old 11-20-06, 07:52 AM
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Thanks for the input, I have talked to a few ppl at the HD, but they always seem uncertian on their advice, so I thought I would ask here, as someone may have done this before. Mine as well learn from others mistakes. Noone has mentioned teh cement board, is it hard to cut? Heavy?
 
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Old 11-20-06, 10:49 AM
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There are a number of products out there now that are very easy to work with, lightweight, and durable. As mentioned above, I would suggest a "big box store clinic" on the subject - which are held frequently - or , if you're a good reader - a DIY book on the subject. Tile work is relatively easy - but there are a few "tricks of the trade" that will separate your amateur work from that of the pros - unless you know the tricks.
 
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Old 11-21-06, 02:57 PM
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The most important thing to remember when preparing any substrate for tile is that it needs to be constructed in such a way that there will be minimal movement. Ideally, you'll want two layers of plywood. 3/4" followed by 1/2" will be good. Screw the two layers together with 1 1/2" deck screws. Glue between the two layers is not necessary. Then youll need a layer of 1/4" cement backer board. The cement backerboard gets set in a bed of unmodified thenset, then screwed to the plywood substrate. You can then set your tile directly to the cement board. This is the basics - ask away and we'll try to answer any questions you might have.

My experience with the HD clinics is that the people that give them have no experience. Id avoid those like the plague. They are full of misinformation. Good tile books are the John Bridge book or the Michael Byrne book. Avoid the HD Tiling 123.
 
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Old 11-23-06, 10:16 AM
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Thanks for the input. It is greatly appreceated. I agree about the HD mis-information. Any one can get a job there, so I dont neccicarly think that they are the best sorce for information all the time. Thanks again. I'm sure I will have a few more questions closer to construction time on this one!
 
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Old 11-24-06, 04:37 AM
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I confess I've never sat in on a big-box clinic and it's probably a crap-shoot as to the ability level of the instructor. Not sure I would generalize that they are all bad; some may be quite knowledgeable.
 
 

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