kitchen countertop tile

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Old 01-22-07, 07:11 PM
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kitchen countertop tile

I am preparing to tile a countertop. I have lots of different colors and dimensions. My hope is to create a non-patterned look. Someone told me I cannot cut the countertop tiles unless the cut will be at the edges- which ruins my whole idea, of course. Is this true? If it is, why. Thanks
 
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Old 01-22-07, 07:44 PM
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You can put your cuts wherever the heck you want! Just be sure to use a rubbing stone on your cut edges otherwise they're going to be sharp and people getting cut on your counter top is not cool. Mix your grout on the thick side and don't get too crazy with cleaning the grout lines too deep, because they will need to be filled all the way to the top of the joint. If you want to make it very random, don't cut the tile, carefully break them.
 
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Old 01-22-07, 08:58 PM
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People do mosaic tops all the time with broken tiles!
 
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Old 01-22-07, 09:00 PM
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Ditto. Patterns done with broken tiles in a mosaic can look really good.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 07:21 AM
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The key is as Daniel said to pack the grout joints good and dont dig the grout out as you are cleaning. Get the grout joints high enough so no tile edges are exposed. This way if you are using a clay body ceramic you wont see the color change.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 04:08 PM
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Thanks for all your help. Now, I have a million ideas. Better go order that tile saw!
 
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Old 01-23-07, 04:36 PM
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If you do what smokey suggested you dont need the tile saw, just a hammer. Hey we just saved you a whole bunch of money.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 05:26 PM
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OK, one more question. I was thinking of putting the thin set on the back of each tile instead of spreading it on the counter for two reasons. Some tiles are thicker than others- so I could spread it thinner or thicker as needed. The other reason is if I am working on a design as I go, this would give me more time, rather than trying to set tiles before the thin set dried. Will this work? I've done a lot of reading, but everything I've read says to spread the thin set. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 05:47 PM
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You can "butter" the back of each tile. You should dry lay your design first. Lay out all the tile pieces on the countertop first with no thinset. You could trace each piece on the substrate, or remove each piece and place the entire layout on another flat area where you can place them back in order when you set them. Keep in mind that thinset by design is only to be used for 1/4" thick or less applications. I dont imagine that your tile thickness varies that much. Take your time and pay close attention to each tile making sure it sits perfectly flat to the surrounding tiles. You can remove a tile and add or remove some thinset as needed. How big are these tiles? Small fragments may be hard to set on plane as compared to larger pieces.

I dont know if I should open up this can of worms? What is the countertop constructed of - plywood, cement board ???
 
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Old 01-23-07, 06:10 PM
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Thanks for your reply. No, the thicknesses do not vary more than about 1/16th. The counter is exterior plywood covered with tile backerboard. This is new because we have just replaced the base cabinets. Seems to be very sturdy and stable.
 
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