nightmare w/ granite tile countertop

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Old 03-25-06, 04:11 PM
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nightmare w/ granite tile countertop

We initially wanted a solid granite slab for our kitchen countertop. It was $9500. Due to budget restrictions we had a 37 linear foot countertop installed with 12" square granite tiles for $3500. The base consists of plywood and cement tile. Don't know what kind of grout was used. The problem is the tiles are spaced a little more that 1/8" apart. The grout is close to 1/8" deep. We told the installer we wanted the tiles as close as possible so the countertop would resemble a granite slab. If you wipe any crumbs they will get stuck in them. Also, the tiles are not level and if you slide something over them it will bump and not go or either fall over. Many of the tiles had to be cut and the edges are jagged and will cut you finger. We had a very reputable company install this countertop and also a 300 sq foot bathroom. The bathroom tile is beautiful. Is there a fix for the kitchen countertop or do we need to start over? Any suggestions would be appreciated ASAP?
 
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Old 03-26-06, 12:17 PM
David Edwards
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You don't need to start over. The installer does. Call them back in to re-do it, have them butt the tiles together and fill the joints with water-clear acrylic. (Just my opinion.)

At any rate, they should redo it if it's that far from what you said you wanted.
 
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Old 03-26-06, 12:43 PM
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Concrete underlayment is recommended beneath countertop tiles. This is installed over a vapor retarder that is stapled to plywood underlayment. Some use tile backer material like Denshield over plywood.

Tiles should acclimate at least 24 hours in your house before installation. Cutting a crisp, clean countertop nosing for edge of counter requires some skill to cut a perfect 45 degree miter. Some grind tile to create bullnose edge. Some opt for wood edge. 1/8" grout line with unsanded grout is generally recommended.
 
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Old 03-26-06, 03:02 PM
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You should have at least a 1/16" gap between tiles for the grout to fill in and maintain a foothold so it wont crack out. With the chamfered factory edge of the tile the final grout joint will look like it is 1/8". By butting them you will not give the grout any bite on the sides of the tile. The sharp edges were most likely produced by cutting on a wet saw, which is proper, but then the edge should have been field fixed with a new chamfer on the edge. Depending on the layout of the countertop you may not be able to avoid a cut tile edge along the facing of the countertop, hence the need for the field fix. For $3500 that should have been included. That price is not out of line if the granite is included in it.
How thick is the plywood under the tile? The supporting stucture under stone needs to meet more stringent deflection standards than ceramic tile. Your cabinetry has an open span of at least 2' from from to back and some of the cabinet units are going to be more than 2' from side to side, especially around the sink and in the corners. To help minimize the deflection there should be 2 layers of 3/4" BCX grade plywood and a 1/4" sheet of cement board that is set in thinset and anchored to the plywood with galvanized roofing nails or backerboard screws. If you were to drop a heavy object on the counter or stand on it to do something up near the ceiling there wouild be enough force exerted on the supporting stucture to have it flex if not properly built as I showed above.
I would put a paint on waterproofing membrane around the exposed edges of the plywood in the sink cutout and extend it back over the surface for a few inches before installing the cement board. I would also paint the underside of the plywood in the dishwasher opening to reduce issues of wood swelling from the heat and steam of the unit.
As for the grout itself, an unsanded grout that can be mixed with a latex additive instead of water should be used with the smaller grout joint, or you could upgrade to one of the newer epoxy based grouts that are much more user friendly than the old stuff. One like SpectrLock Pro from Laticrete wont sag or slump in the grout lines and will wear like iron, to the point it does not require sealing.
 
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Old 04-08-06, 12:10 PM
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granite tile countertop

Hi, We want to install granite tiles with wood edge or engeneered stone for kitchen countertop. Which one is better for home resale value? for granite its $1360, an engeneered stone is $3500 for "L" shaped kitchen.. Which one is good and durability? is engeneered stone is also a granite? I heard that granite has some grouts.is there any problem with grouts when water is dropped? Thankyou
 
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Old 04-08-06, 08:50 PM
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I think you are confusing some terms and also mixing apples and oranges. By Engineered Stone do you mean a one piece slab or tiles, as you are talking about with the granite? ES is about 93% ground up stone and about 7% epoxy resin.
A granite slab would have costs more in line with the ES quote while the tiles would be cheaper as you showed, but also require more prep work to get the base sound and secure to properly support the tile. As far as resale value added, I would think a granite slab would be the best. ES can be damaged by a hot pot and can scratch and not as many people are competent in repairing damage to ES. Repairs to a granite slab are accomplished much more easily by a competent fabricator.
 
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Old 04-08-06, 08:57 PM
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Homeowner 06 - Engineered stone is not granite. I believe what is sold as Silestone, Cesarstone and other trade names is actually a man made quartz/epoxy product. It is a good choice for a countertop. My understanding is that it actually has fewer maintenance problems than granite. Granite however, was designed and made by mother nature and there are some awesome color and pattern choices available.
There is a difference between granite tile and a solid granite countertop. The first post in this threads details some of the problems you might encounter with a granite tile countertop. Done correctly it can be beautiful, but shoddy workmanship can cause problems.
IMO if your budget can hack it, go for the solid surface. Either engineered stone or natural granite. I think if you asked a realtor they would tell you both are tops for resale.
 
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Old 04-09-06, 12:25 AM
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granite tile countertop

Thankyou Wayne Mitchell
 
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Old 04-13-06, 12:20 PM
dominogold
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Budget restrictions?

Due to budget restrictions you did granite tiles for $3500?

No offense but that is not "deal" at all. I'm putting in my own granite tile countertop on 27 linear feet for $500 or less. You could get solid slab granite in my area for that price and then some. That's almost $95 a linear foot... most solid slab granite places are $60-90 a lineal foot.
 
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