Replacing Tile with Granite


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Old 01-10-05, 10:18 AM
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Replacing Tile with Granite

Im going to replace my kitchen countertops that have the 4x4 squared tile with 12x12 Granite tiles and have a few questions. Whats the easy way to take the old tiles off or should I take the plywood and backer board out and start with all new stuff. I was told to use 1/2 plywood then 1/2 hardi backer board. Another question is the grout lines...I plan on going with the Polished Absolute Black tiles and black grout but was wondering do I need to put grout lines in there or can I butt them up agaisnt each other to make it look more like a solid peice? If not whats the minimun spacing I should use?Also since the tiles are polished does this still mean I need to seal the tiles or just the grout lines? I plan on running a oak wood strip (treated) for the edges. I have installed 12x12 tiles on floors before but wanted some input from the pros! Any input or concerns would be appreciated.
 
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Old 01-10-05, 11:22 AM
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Personally, I would rebuild the counter tops from scratch. Granite needs much more support than tile. At a minimum, perhaps 2 layers 1/2" bc ply laminated together with a trowelable adhesive and screwed together would be ok, followed by a layer of thinsetted and screwed 1/4" cement board. I'd prefer to go even thicker and go with two layers of 5/8 ply. The tile should be set with white thinset, ensuring 100% coverage underneath. For grout spacing, a minimum of 1/16" is best. butting them together could reveal small imperfections in tile size and provide a great place for nasty stuff to get in betweenyour tile. As for sealing granite, it's best to test an extra tile first. Absolute balck comes in varying qualities and your tile may end up with a haze on it from using a sealer.
 
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Old 01-10-05, 09:21 PM
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If this is polished granite, you certainly don't want to use sanded grout!
That means grout spacing of 1/8" or less.
 
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Old 01-10-05, 09:47 PM
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Thanks for the great advice! I'll start from scratch with the countertops...I'll try to go with the 5/8ths and 1/4 hb. One more question...I have a few bullnose corners in the walls that I will need to go around..any special way to cut granite around them? Or just be creative with the tile saw?! Thanks again! Also is 5.58 a sq ft good for Absolute Black polished?
 
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Old 01-10-05, 09:51 PM
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One more quick question.......Im borrowing a wet tile saw from a friend..does the regular blades cut Granite or do I need a special blade made for granite/stone? Any suggestions?
 
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Old 01-11-05, 06:38 AM
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As long as the blade is dressed right, any diamond blade will cut it. There are special Granite glades that keep chipping to a minimum, but those too need to be dressed right.
 
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Old 01-11-05, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ddayton217
Thanks for the great advice! I'll start from scratch with the countertops...I'll try to go with the 5/8ths and 1/4 hb. One more question...I have a few bullnose corners in the walls that I will need to go around..any special way to cut granite around them? Or just be creative with the tile saw?! Thanks again! Also is 5.58 a sq ft good for Absolute Black polished?
I hope you mean two layers. Just one won't be enough for stone. This is before the backer. To dress the blade, run a piece of cement board through the wet saw.
 
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Old 01-11-05, 07:49 PM
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I was planning on 2 1/2" plywood with 1/4 backer if that will work. I was planning on keeping close to the regular thickness as Im going to run oak trim around instead of the bullnosing. I didnt want the oak trim to not cover up all the plywood from the front or am I overlooking something? I'll have to go measure the oak trim at the local Home Depot and see what the max I can go is...
 
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Old 01-11-05, 08:32 PM
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Arrow granite countertop

When replacing countertop there should be various granite colors to be chosed, sinowilling.com might help you something on it.
 
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Old 01-12-05, 07:20 AM
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I have a 6" tile backsplash that I am removing also, and it looks like it will tear up the wall behind it...do I need to repair the drywall or patch it up and put the granite backsplash up? I plan on using the same size backsplash but want to do it right..Also I dont need to apply backer board to the backsplash do I?
 
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Old 01-13-05, 07:27 AM
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Granite tile

I too am looking at tackling this project. I will remove the old lamiate top and replace it with Plywood. I was planning to use 3/4" plywood and add the backer board to it? Do I realy need to glue 2 - 1/2 inch ply together? This gives the same dimension right? What would be the difference?
I would also like to place the granite in a diamond layout instead of in parallel to the counter top because I think it looks nicer. I understand it is a lot more cutting but other than that is there anything that will be a gotcha?

I have a cousin who used dark gray (almost black) grout and sealed it. It looks nice and they have had no problems over the years.
 
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Old 01-13-05, 07:43 AM
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3/4 ply is not as strong as two laminated pieces of 1/2". I actually prefer 2 pieces of 5/8 ply expecially if there are alot of large cabinets which increas the span and flex from point loads. Stone needs much more support than ceramic or porcelain. THe backer offers a stable bonding surface and does nothing for structural strength. It is always a stronger installation to go with thicker ply and 1/4" cement board,vs 1/2" ply and reducing the thickness of the plywood.
 
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Old 01-13-05, 08:03 AM
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Granite tile

I was told to screw the backer board every 8 inches. It this correct?
How about added support under the plywood. Bracing around the sink etc?


Originally Posted by Tilebri
3/4 ply is not as strong as two laminated pieces of 1/2". I actually prefer 2 pieces of 5/8 ply expecially if there are alot of large cabinets which increas the span and flex from point loads. Stone needs much more support than ceramic or porcelain. THe backer offers a stable bonding surface and does nothing for structural strength. It is always a stronger installation to go with thicker ply and 1/4" cement board,vs 1/2" ply and reducing the thickness of the plywood.
 
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Old 01-15-05, 07:38 AM
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Bracing under the cabinets, especially over longer cabinets is a great idea, and I do that regularly to reduce the unsupported span of the ply. Teh backer does get screwed down every 6-8" over the face of the board, but just as important, it must be set in a bed of thinset as well. Failure to do so will create areas of no support under the backer between every screw.
 
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Old 01-17-05, 05:28 AM
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level

Are there any tricks to keeping the project level?
I am using 12 X 12 tiles on the countertop with a penney as a spacer.
My concern is that if it is started too low, there won't be enough thinset at the end of the cabinet.
I plan on laying out and cutting all the tiles before I put down any thinset.

Also, I was thinking about an oak edge instead of the granite edging. Too $$$$. I am looking for some nice looking routed design for the oak. Any ideas?
 
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Old 01-17-05, 05:52 AM
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If you can find one, a Tavy puck (I think Lowes has them) is a bullseye type level that will click when you drag it from tile to tile showing any lippage between two pieces. Otherwise a straight edge laying over a few tiles will reveal any gaps. installing your oak edge first will give you a good reference point for height. Prefinish the oak first, oak does not like thinsets and grouts. If you find a tile is too low, a medusa cup will make pulling it up without affecting othe tiles much easier. (suction cup with a handle)
 
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Old 01-17-05, 06:17 AM
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Cool

Thanks for the tip.

If I have the surface flat an level, could I use 1/8 inch bee bees at each 4 corners to help keep things the same hieght? Putting these in the thinset and push down until they stop the tiles. I thought this might help keep things the same hieght. Any thoughts on this?
 
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Old 01-17-05, 06:22 AM
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I think you are over engineering this. If you did that and a bb fell on the taped backer board seam, there would be no way to do any further downward adjustment. Just go for it. After you set a couple tiles, you will get the hang of it. A counter top is really a pretty easy job to keep plane.
 
 

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