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Old 09-26-2004, 02:33 AM   #1
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Grouting and Caulking Granite Countertop

Hi again! I am back after making some good progress on my Granite tile countertop. Man, it takes so long working with only 2 hands on weekends

I have plywood with Backerboard. I bought premixed thinset from home depot and applied it to the plywood. Then I set the backerboard to the plywood with 1-1/4 screws. I cut a hole for the sink in the plywood and backerboard. Now I am ready to set the granite tiles. I want to make sure I did not forget anything big before I continue.

1. What should I use for sealing the sink to the granite tile? Should I use regular "Kitchen and Bath Silicone Caulking" for this? Do I simply put a line of silicone under the sink lip that sits on the tile and press it down using the sink mounting hardware? Any recomendations on how much silicone to apply here? Should I try to force some silicone into the crack between the sink lip and the tile after the sink is in place?
2. As I understand from other threads in this forum, I should use caulk, not grout, between the tile and the maple trim that I made (by the way, it came out beautiful thanks to excellent advice I got from y'all). Should I do this caulking after I finish grouting all the tiles? Sould I grout this joint first before I apply the caulking?
3. I used Tung Oil (3 layers) to seal the maple trim, and the plywood. Is this bad thing to do? I have made some tables before and finished them with Tung Oil, so I thought I should keep the good thing going. I am not sure if this is a good sealant for a kitchen environment.

Thanks again for your help.

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Old 09-26-2004, 10:38 AM   #2
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Hi Micha. Glad to have you back

I sure wish you would re-consider your choice of thinset and use instead a dry form of modified thinset, e.g., white Custom Versabond.

As far as the sink is concerned, I'm assuming this is a self-rimming sink wherein the 'lip' sits on top of the tile. Silicone could be used but myself I'd prefer to use color-matching (to grout) acrylic-laytex caulk (like sold by ColorFast) for three reasons: Available in matching grout colors, easier to apply and clean-up, and easier to remove the sink in the future if need be.

A Tung oil finish is in my opinion perhaps the best oil finish to use on your wood CT trim. And it is my personal choice. Three coats may not be enough however. I would install the trim as is/as finished, then add another coat or two afterwards, carefully masking off the tiled area. Last but not least I would use the color matching caulk again for the tile to wood trim joint. Others will say to grout it, thus this becomes another one of those areas of personal choice.
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Old 09-26-2004, 10:51 AM   #3
justin savage
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i would recomend caulking the trim joint maple moves more than most other woods with humidity changes! justin
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Old 09-26-2004, 11:16 AM   #4
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I would suggest you take up the cement board, scrape off the Pre-mixed stuff--it specificly states not for setting cement board on the bucket, though it should state "this stuff is garbage" on the bucket. It's also not good for areas that see high temps (such as putting a hot pan from the stove on the counter) and can take 3 days or longer to dry if it ever does under a 12x12. Set your backerboard with real thinset and your tiles too. All you've really accomplished is to lubricate between the cement board and the plywood to allow them to incur additional deflection.

"Saving the world from premixed thinset, one customer at a time."
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Old 09-26-2004, 12:14 PM   #5
John Bridge
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Hi Micha,

I agree the premixed glue is garbage, but I would not remove the backer board in this instance. If it were on a floor, certainly, but I think on a countertop you can use some extra screws and make sure the backer is pulled down tight to the plywood. I would throw the premixed "thin set" away. Get the Versa Bond that Mike recommends.
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Old 09-26-2004, 11:17 PM   #6
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OK, I have two countertops I am tiling. One with a sink the other without. Luckily I used the premixed thinset only on the countertop with no sink. I bought the Vesrabond thinset that Mike suggested and it works great although I built up quite a sweat mixing that stuff. I think I got it under control for now.

I hope

Thanks so much for your help.
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