Tiling over laminate - ktichen countertop [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Danny & Teri
03-09-2007, 11:56 AM
we just purchased a beautiful home and its obvious where the money was and was not spent in the original construction. Our kitchen cabinets are solid cherry, but the countertops are a hideous cheap laminate - can I tile directly over the laminate? I did this in our home in Florida, but I've been told that I should have used a barrier over the laminate - I only sanded the shiny finish and installed the tile directly on top. I did seal the grout to prevent moisture from leaking through. I want to make sure I do this right because we're going to be in this house for a long time :yeah: We now live in Southern Maryland, if that has any effect on methods. Thanks!


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Rd Tile
03-09-2007, 12:53 PM
Granite top. :yummy: ;) :D

But yes, if in good shape and no exposed seams, use a good modified thinset and go for it, might be a problem if it has a bullnosed edge or one with that lip on it.:)

03-09-2007, 12:57 PM
"might be a problem if it has a bullnosed edge or one with that lip on it."

It wasn't a problem for the previous owner of my house, they tiled right over the laminate and the lip. It makes a nice dam for when things spill on the counter top. :tup2:

03-09-2007, 01:28 PM
How would you tile over a bullnosed lip? :scratch: My wife just gave me orders to granite tile over our laminate countertops in the kitchen. The bull nose roundedly rises up about 3/8" on the edges.
From what I've read on this site, it seems I have two choices.....rip off the countertops and install at least 3/4" plywood for the base, or saw off the rounded bullnose edge and replace it with a wood strip flush to keep the proper extension over the lower cabinets.

Either way, I'm thinking that I should use a roll of ditra or another crack membrane over the plywood or laminate and then tile over that. I'm starting to think that backerboard might be superfluous these days since anti-crack membranes are available.

For my vertical edge, I'm thinking of using a wood trim instead of trying to learn how to polish granite edges and bullnoses. That would be way out of my league anyway.

Dave Taylor
03-09-2007, 01:30 PM
I want to make sure I do this right because we're going to be in this house for a long time We now live in Southern Maryland, if that has any effect on methods.
Where you two located in SMD?

An ace counter top job is usually one that is not done over an existing laminate top.... no matter where you hail from. :suspect:

It usually entails removal and replacement of the laminate top with layers of sanded and plugged exterior 3/4' plywood reinforced from underneath as necessary..... depending on the -design in mind-.

You have nice cherry wood cabinets now, a nice kitchen floor, ceiling, walls, lighting and kitchen appliances..... think about making that counter very nice and keep up the decor by replacing that laminate top.... before ceramic or stone surfacing.

Check out our Alumni Albums for kitchens at

Get other ideas by surfing this forum using the key words "counter" and "top" or "countertop" or "granite" or some other search combinations.

Look at what folks have accomplished, get some more ideas, take some of your own pictures, post em' here and ask us what we think about your plans.

Hope this helps and good luck to ya' both :---)

Danny & Teri
03-09-2007, 07:45 PM

We are in St Mary's county, what a small world :) We're off Rt 5 in Hilton Ridge Estates - where are you? Thanks for the suggestions.

BTW, how hard is it to remove laminate? I wouldn't mind building up the counter slightly, otherwise I'm going to have to cut the edge pieces because the dishwasher top is directly against the bottom of the counter, currently.

03-10-2007, 02:36 AM
I tiled our counters directly on the existing 15 year old formica (backsplash too), but the formica was good quality (but ugly), flat and in good shape, and was custom installed with fused seams - not the cheap preformed type from the box stores.


This worked fine and the rationale was that it would double the amount of work to remove and replace with proper underlayment, but in retrospect it would have only been about 10% more effort. This was my first tiling project and I vastly underestimated the time required for the tiling part. I don't regret doing it this way and after 18 months everything is still solid with no problems whatsoever, but if I were doing it again I would pull the tops and start from scratch just to be safe given all the work I put into the project. If you can bear some height increase a compromise would be to simply install some hardibacker on top of your existing formica which I actually did do on the rounded end penisula in the above photos.

- DL

Dave Taylor
03-10-2007, 10:51 AM
I live on the other side of Leonadtown MD from you folks.... in Mechanicsville on the North edge of ""Loveville"" (stud that I ain't). I'm east of hyw 235 on Cat Creek and the Paxtutant River.

I'm going to do the same thing you folks are in my own kitchen soon (I also have cherry wood cabinets).... and I'm going remove and toss my laminate counter top(s).... then work up from there. Takin' this top off is easy.

I would not consider starting any other way.... but mebee' that's jest' me.

Here (from an old post from Mike2) is what I'm currently considering:

Quote from Mike2.... """"You can buy bullnosed tiles. Matter of fact Bedrock Creations, one of the sponsors here, has it. http://www.bedrockcreations.net/ """

Then ol' Mikey posted this URL of other counter top pics: http://www.creativeceramicandmarble.com/backsplashesandcountertops.htm

I am not a fan of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) wich is under and supports your Laminate counter top.... lots of disaster posts here-a-bout from folks who have left it in a tiled substrate.

Here is a recent interesting thread in the "Professional Hangout".

Do a search in this forum on 'Medium Density Fiberboard" or MDF..... Lot’s of comments... both pro and con..... but I think the con's have it.

PM me yer’ phone and I will PM you mine and we kin' meet fer' dinner at the "Willows" restaurant down by you…. It’s owned by my good friend John Nucci…. first rate spot.

Good luck with whatever you folks decide to do with that counter top :---)

Ivy G
03-12-2007, 02:50 PM
Hi Danny and Teri,

I recently installed a tile countertop in my house, over an existing laminate top. We got lucky and were able to peel the laminate off. Maybe that's a possibility for you, too. If you want to read all the details about how we did it, go to my website www.ivyglasgow.com, and at the bottom there's a link to "How We Installed A Handmade Tile Countertop"

If you can't peel off the laminate, it seems to me that you could apply 1/2" cement board over the laminate. I don't know if tile adhesive would stick to the laminate, so the board could be screwed down with those special cement board screws. That would be a good substrate for the tile.

Good luck
Ivy G.