New tile countertop installation [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-05-2004, 08:44 AM
Hello, I've been reading these forums and finding out how much I don't know! You guys are very helpful. I hope you can answer some of my questions.

Next week we will have a new kitchen countertop and backsplash installed. Our current countertop is formica and includes a peninsula with a stove. The countertop on the peninsula (is that the correct word? It's not an island since it is attached to the wall at one end) projects out about 18" so one can sit and eat like at a table. The tile guy is planning to install 4 corbels beneath that part to support it -- none of the other contractors who gave us estimates suggested this. Is that standard? I think it sounds like a good idea.

What type of foundation should the tile sit on? I read somewhere that it should be a certain type of board, strong enough to support the tile.

Is there a certain brand of grout that you would recommend? The tile we've selected is American Olean's Vallano series... the countertop will be Macadamia, the backsplash will be Dark Chocolate with the decorative liner that is part of the series. We're considering a grout color that is a little darker than the Macadamia (which is a light nut color but has flecks of brown in it) and also matches the lighter flecks of color in the Dark Chocolate. Or should we use a color that matches the countertop and a different color that matches the backsplash? I don't want a light colored grout on the countertop -- I will be very nervous every time anything splashes on it.

He will also install a new tile-in sink. Anything we should know about that technique that we should check on?

Any other considerations we should know about? I'd like to be prepared to ask some questions when he comes by next Monday. He'll start the job the following Thursday.


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08-05-2004, 09:16 AM
The tile guy sounds like he knows his stuff, if he suggested corbels. Tile needs a very rigid foundation, and cantilevered countertops are not rigid.

Depending on how far apart the corbels are, and how the edge is supported between the corbels, you will need at least 3/4" plywood (more is better), and a 1/4" layer of backerboard. Also, the plywood needs to be supported every 16 inches or so. The cabinet sides will do this, but where your cabinets are wider, you will need a brace running from the face frame to the wall.

I dunno about the grout and the sink.

08-05-2004, 12:50 PM
Thank you Bob. We will ask him about these things. Glad to know he's on the ball. He's also the only one who suggested placing the tile on the diagonal just as an alternative design idea.

Hope someone can answer about grout and the sink...

Thanks again... boy these forums are great.


08-05-2004, 01:40 PM
Jen, re. your grout question:

Some of the installers here on the Forum seem to prefer Hydroment, some like Mapei, some Laticrete, some use Custom's, etc. I personally tend to go with Custom's because it is readily available and has as many if not more color choices as any brand available. I donít particularly like it for unsanded grays however. Assuming for the moment that your installer is like many around here and really knows his/her business, ask the grout preference question and see what kind of response you get. After all, you will be holding your installer accountable for the installation, not us Ė might cause a problem to that end by imposing someone elseís grout of choice onto him/her.

Color, your choice. Best thing to do when in doubt is to have a sample/test board made up of scrap tile pieces then grout small areas of same using different colors to finalize choice. Jen, I highly recommend testing colors for preference using sample boards.

As far as the sink, ask the installer if he/she intends to apply any type of waterproof coating to the plywood around the cutout.

08-05-2004, 02:43 PM
Thanks Mike for your great suggestions. Hadn't thought of a sample board! Would he have to mix some different colors for us to try, or can we buy samples?

Thank you for all the tips.


08-05-2004, 06:22 PM
You'll have to post pictures when it's finished!! I'm dying to see how it turns out. Good luck.

Plus I got some tips for when I get around to having my countertop done :).

08-05-2004, 11:59 PM
Just a comment about the overhang. I install a lot of custom cabinets and on overhangs we support them with a brace/corbel at least every 3 feet for formica. On overhangs that exceed 8" we also double the countertop for a total thickness of 1-1/2". An 18" overhang is a lot and if the braces come out far enough to support the outer edge you tend to hit your knee on them. You really should consider doubling the plywood.

Just my opinion

08-06-2004, 09:09 AM
LadyGodiva -- How do you post pictures here? I'm trying to figure that out. I'll post them after the job is done.

Chas -- thanks for the great tips. I will print this and have lots of questions when the tile guy comes on Monday (to re-measure so we can order the tile).


John Bridge
08-06-2004, 07:29 PM
Hi Jen, :)

Right below the text field that you type into is a a thing that says "manage attachements." You'll find a "browse" button in there. It will take you to your hard drive. Find the pic you want and double click it. Then post the reply. You might have to reduce the files size of your picture. :)

08-06-2004, 09:52 PM
Thanks John. You have a great site here. :)