Tiling a kitchen island


  #1  
Old 09-10-05, 10:08 PM
patnjax
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Tiling a kitchen island

I'm going to be tiling the top of a small kitchen island which is currently Formica. There is no sink and it won't be exposed to a lot of water. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on what surface to put the tile on, and everyone seems to agree that I shouldn't tile on the existing Formica. However, I've seen it done by a professional and it has lasted for years (on a whole countertop WITH a sink). I would like to leave the Formica if possible and add a layer of cement board or whatever if I have to. Now I'm hearing that I should remove the Formica entirely. I sure don't want to use 2 layers of plywood and 1 layer of cement board if I don't have to. I'm an "old lady" and working with those things is not as easy as tiling!

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 09-13-05, 09:50 AM
T
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As long as the Formica is solid and in good shape, no cracks or open areas to the substarte it's adhered to and you have a square edge, scuff it up and use a good modified thinset, don't screw anything into it.
 
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Old 09-13-05, 10:06 AM
patnjax
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Before I got this msg. I already bought some 1/4" cement board . . . probably won't hurt to use it. The Formica edge, however, is beveled, but I don't think that should make a huge difference either. I planned on screwing the cement board to the top AND sides, but it would be nice if I didn't have to put it on the side edges because that makes the top stick out over the cabinets a little more than I would like. The Formica is in perfect shape.
 
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Old 09-13-05, 10:14 AM
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DO NOT, install the backeboard anywhere, once you screw through the top, it will cause voids where it will crack it, even with thinset under the board and it will expose the substrate which is probably particle board, which once exposed to water or moisture, even humidity, will expand and cause all kinds of problems.
 
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Old 09-13-05, 02:31 PM
patnjax
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Thanks for the advice . . . sounds like I'm back to square one. Are you saying that putting some screws in the top of the cement board -- even if you sealed them with something -- will let moisture get to the particleboard? I thought the cement board was supposed to be pretty waterproof and does not expand, and that's what the tile would be on.

I'm more confused than when I started!
 
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Old 09-13-05, 02:52 PM
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Cementboard isn't waterproof, just moisture resistant and even if it were, once you penetrate the formica and expose the particle board, that's when you'll have problems, either just go over the Formica like I said, with a good modified thinset, or biuld a new top with 2 layers of plywood and cementboard, one or the other, don't screw or cut any of that top for tiling, you'll be fine as long as it's in good shape.
 
 

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