Tiling over laminate countertop


  #1  
Old 01-16-05, 08:55 PM
Lisa1704
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Tiling over laminate countertop

I am updating my kitchen and want to place ceramic tile over my existing laminate countertop. The existing countertop seems pretty level, but maybe a little sloped in the middle. Can I tile over the existing laminate? Do I need to sand the laminate countertop first or should I remove the laminate sheet and tile over the plywood (or particle board) underneath it? Do I need to place a backerboard over existing countertop (I attended a how-to clinic at Lowe's and he mentioned using a type of liquid leveler - I don't remember the name - to seal and level the existing countertop instead of backerboard). Any help would be greatly appreciated - I have done a lot of research but nothing I've read gives instructions on how to approach an existing laminate countertop.

Also, I have vinyl flooring and want to replace it with new vinyl tiles. Can I place new vinyl tiles on top of the existing vinyl tile? the existing tiles are in good shape and appear level. Thanks for any suggestions.
 
  #2  
Old 01-17-05, 12:42 AM
S
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Talking don't do it that way.

First things first, your tile will only stick as well as what your are sticking it to. That being said, I think everyone has seen a laminate counter delaminating or peeling off of it's sub base, so don't tile over it. Even installing a backerboard over it will not help.

Secondly, if you only peel the laminate off the particle board it is adhered to, you are left with a very poor substrate to try to install tile over, again even if you install backerboard over it. The reason being that the product laminates are adhered to cannot stand up to the moisture content of tile adhesives. They will fall apart, maybe not tomorrow but soon. As for a (liquid) self leveling cement, you still run into the same problems of moisture attacking the subtop.

Your only solution is to remove ALL of the existing counter top, and replace that with a new (exterior grade)plywood subtop, follow that with a cement backerboard both screwed and adhered with an adhesive approved by that backerboard manufacturer.

Don't let anyone talk you into installing over any part of that existing counter, none of the products it is made of are recognized as acceptable substrates by the Tile Council of America or by any tile adhesive manufacturer.

The rest of your research, should be able to guide you pretty well, and of course you can always come back here with questions if you need more detailed information.

BTW be careful of the Home Depot "How to Tile" book. A DIYer friend showed me his, and the number of flat out errors in thier methods is scary. I mean the kind that keep us pros in bussiness replacing problems. I told him to burn it in his fireplace, at least he'd get some heat out of it.
 
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Old 01-17-05, 06:17 AM
T
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I agree, 3/4 bc graded exterior plywood, followed with a layer of cement board thinsetted and screwd to the plywood is your best option. Also, I like to cut a narrow strip of cement board as wide as the height of the ply and backer and fasten it to the front of the couter if the apron is tiles to give a good surface for the couter rail tiles. One thing the Lowes folks forgot to mention is how self levelers over plywood need 2.5 daimon lath and a minimum 3/8" pour. I'm right now envisioning all these people trying to pour self leveling cement unreinforced over a counter top and I know how they're feeling . If you want a water proof installation, you can paint the counter top with Latticrete blue 92 (Lowes) or Redguard (HD). Set your tile with a modified thinset mixed with water. DOn't let anyone talk you into any sort of premixed thinsets. Use either Laticrete 253 modified thinset (Lowes) or Versabond (HD). Come back with any other questions. For the vinyl tiles, use a floor stipper to clean the existing vinyl and then use an embossing leveller with the flat side of a trowel to skim coat the existing vinyl and fill in any pattern. Then you can go over with your vinyl tiles. You shouldn't need any extra glue if the surface is prepared correctly.
 
  #4  
Old 01-18-05, 06:00 AM
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cover up

There are products that cover the complete thing. Solid surface like Silestone. It is basically a granite countertop that they put on top of the old one. Not tiles though.
 
  #5  
Old 01-21-05, 11:35 AM
Lisa1704
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Replacing laminate countertop

Thanks so much for your guidance. I am now rethinking the whole ceramic tile countertop project. My budget is very small - I want to replace my countertop but only have a couple hundred to spend. I thought tiling over the existing countertop would be the easiest and cheapest project. ha. Is tiling over the laminate impossible - or just not the ideal fix (can I nail the laminate to ensure that won't peel?). What would you suggest doing to update the countertop with a small budget? Thanks again for all your help.
 
  #6  
Old 01-21-05, 11:44 AM
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Tile over laminate

It's not impossible but, if you have a raised drip edge or curved backsplash it's tough. They make latex mortor for that purpose. If there is a tile shop local to you. It's worth getting their opionion and the one here has free classes on how to do it. You can ask them about it then and they will explain the process.
Good luck.
 
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Old 01-22-05, 07:47 AM
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This is where common sense takes over.

If you thinset and nail/screw the CBU to and through the laminate, I'm not understanding how the laminate will peel?


10 years ago, in my parents home I went right over the laminate, using mastic. That tile is as good today as it was the day I installed it.(the grout is a little dingy)

Take it, that 10 years ago, I didn't know what I know today. I had not done much ceramic 10 years ago.

It is a judgement call, with common sense dictating your next move.

I'm not saying it will work or won't work.



EDIT: Man time flies! It was 14 years ago in 1990
 
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Old 01-24-05, 12:33 AM
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Say it again

Tile will only stick as well as what your sticking it to. With the correct adhesive, getting tile to stick to the laminate is no problem, ' but is the laminate sticking to it's sub top' is the question. If conditions are ALL ideal, I have seen this work, BUT more often than not the job has failed. Not a situation to recomend to someone who can barely afford to do the job the first time.

Mastic over laminate? Man, you got lucky.
As for thinsetting and then nailing or screwing through, the process of screwing or nailing will delaminate the laminate top, I have seen this after having been called in to "fix" someones problem, once the laminate has been damaged in this manner your tile is now ONLY sticking to the CBU, which does not fall into industry guidelines by any means. The CBU (Wonderboard, Hardibacker or similar product) MUST be fully adhered to and screwed or nailed to the sub top.

As for an update to your top, the bigbox stores do offer prebuilt laminate counters in some very appealing finishes that are very reasonable in price. Ask about them in the same department where you would order cabinets. Then, you can dress it up with a tile backsplash.
 
 

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