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Old 01-18-2005, 10:41 AM   #1
Mr Fixit eh
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Big Gap Countertop/ Backsplash

Finally got the tile on the countertop and backsplash -- looks very nice I did epoxy grout on the counter, and it was alot easier than I had expected. Sanded grout on the backsplash. All grout lines are 1/8 inch.

A little problem though? Because of crooked walls, the gap between the countertop and backsplash got a little big in a few spots. Mostly the gap is about 1/4 inch. There are a few spots where the gap increases to 1/2 inch, and to 5/8 inch in one corner. I'm a bit concerned that this large of a caulk line will be overly conspicuous. I had the caulk tinted the same colour as the grout, and I'll use a foam backer rod in the cracks before applying the caulk.

Will this gap be ugly? Is there any other way to fix the problem.

It sure would be nice if they made houses perfectly square, eh!
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:14 PM   #2
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Why wasn't the tile cut to be even with the wall, not sure how it will look, I don't like the look of what you are explaining.
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Old 01-19-2005, 01:28 AM   #3
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A picture would be nice!

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Old 01-21-2005, 12:55 PM   #4
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I'll try and post a photo over the weekend. The walls have a nice little bow in them, so the countertop and backsplash tile meet with a nice little 1/8" gap at the bowed part of the wall, and where the wall bows inward the gap increases to 1/2" to 5/8".

I would have cut thin strips of tile to slip under the backsplash tile against the wall, but the plywood and cement substrata also stand away from the wall.

Will a 5/8" gap be objectionable/ ugly once it is caulked with tinted caulk (matches the grout)?

A friend mentioned that you can get ceramic cove moldings. Would that work if I can find some?
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Old 01-22-2005, 07:18 AM   #5
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Here are a couple pics so you can see what I'm up against....
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Old 01-22-2005, 07:50 AM   #6
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My usual suggestion of a new canister set and a few kitchen accessories probably won't work here. I hope someone else has a better idea!
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:48 AM   #7
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Maybe ceramic 1/4 round?
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Old 01-22-2005, 12:21 PM   #8
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So what I'm hearing is that the 5/8" wide caulking will look unbearably ugly?

If I can find an appropriate ceramic quarter-round, how does it apply? Just set it in thinset and grout the joints? Would you apply quarter-round all the way around to be consistent, or just on the length of wall with the big gap?
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Old 01-22-2005, 12:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
So what I'm hearing is that the 5/8" wide caulking will look unbearably ugly?
Well, it's a subjective thing, and I'm not the one who would have to live with it, so I could bear it, but not if it were in my house.

As for installing the 1/4 round, yes, it would be installed with thinset, and although normally it would get grouted, I would grout the joints between the pieces, but caulk top and bottom, and yes-- run the entire length to give it continuity. (there ARE end caps made for it, as well)
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:20 PM   #10
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I guess this is the price you pay for Learning-by-doing

In retrospect, I guess I should have scribed the plywood and cementboard to the largest gap, just like you would a laminate countertop, then cut the tiles as needed.
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:45 PM   #11
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The backsplash tile could have been installed lower by 3/8-1/2 and cut the deck tile to it in the tight areas. That would have helped some but it's too late now. A quater round might be your best bet, needs to be close to the same color if possible. I still wouldn't like it though, sorry.
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:08 PM   #12
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Hi Steve

Woulda, Coulda, Shouda!

I noticed the edge of the countertop isn't finished. How are you going to finish it?

What finish are your faucets and appliances?

Besides the 1/4 round idea, I'd think you might find a complimentary color tile edge profile strip, cut the lip off, and attach. Not a good situation to be in, especially when it wasn't planned for.

Don't give up, there is a solution (you just might not like it)! We'll do our best though!
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Old 01-23-2005, 07:50 AM   #13
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I would suggest you caulk it first and see if you can live with it. If not, you can go to the cove mould, but that might not look so spiffy, either.

How about removing the splash tile, building that area out with some fat backer board or mud, and tiling again? You might have a top edge consideration some places where it doesn't go up to cabinets, but that might be better than what you've got.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:38 AM   #14
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Hi Steve

I think grout would be the ideal fill, if you went that route. Wide caulk can get very sloppy, and might not get a good match. It is doable by taping the tiles off and using something like a small throwaway plastic putty knife to srape off the excess, and level with.

If you decide to redo, laying the tiles on a diagonal will solve all your problems with the distance issue. Unfortunetely, this method may be very difficult (layout, cuts, etc.).
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Old 01-23-2005, 01:18 PM   #15
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Hi, Steve -

As one who spends a lot of time looking at a backsplash, I would want to try the matching grout route first! The stone tiles have a bit of rustic character and I think the matching grout would make it kind-of disappear. (Especially with the canister set, coffeepot, etc. in front like bbcamp suggested )

I don't like the quarter round or cove (have that in a bathroom in the house we bought. It looks like it is trying to hide a mistake -- and it is going SOON!)

(Any way that you could get underneath and shim the plywood? --- but I would be afraid that this might pop some of the grout lines in the countertop.)


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