removing a few edge tiles [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


View Full Version : removing a few edge tiles

03-07-2007, 10:30 AM
I am preparing to install a new tile countertop. I have new cabinets installed and they are pretty square and level. In preparing to install the 3/4" plywood underlayment I would like to know just "how" level the finished product should be.

I have seen somewhere that the underlayment should be no more than 1/8" in 8 feet out of level. Is this true? Right now I am right at that amount in a twelve foot run. I will be using a mexican travertine for the counter and backsplash including 16,12, and 6 inch tiles.

If I need to make the underlayment more level I could shim, but I would rather not. If shims are needed should they be glued in place. Also, is it a good practice to screw AND glue the plywood underlayment to the cabinets?

Sponsored Links

03-07-2007, 10:57 AM

Have a first name we can call you?

1/8" over 12' is a non-issue if you ask me. I wouldn't worry about it.

You need more than 3/4" ply as a substrate to tile a countertop. In addition to the 3/4" ply you could add 5/8" ply + Ditra or 1/4" Hardi, but you don't want to lay tile directly on plywood.

I don't think it's necessary to glue the ply to the cabinets, but it can't hurt. One negative would be the PITA if you ever want to remove the countertop. When securing the ply to the cabinets try to screw into the cabinet corner braces, or if you have to screw into the face frames, predrill (and measure twice). :yeah:

I'm a DIY guy. The pros here can check my recommendations and correct if necessary.

Good luck!

03-07-2007, 12:33 PM
Yea, just call me Dave. And thanks for the advice. I am planning on using either 1/4 or 1/2" backer on top of the plywood. Any thoughts on wonderboard vs. hardibacker?

I am pretty nervous about drilling into the cabinet face, but was under the impression that I needed to set screws about every 8 inches or so. Is that not necessary?

03-07-2007, 08:08 PM
Dave, here's another less risky approach to fastening the plywood down onto the cabinet frame. A rather crude drawing but I think you'll get the basic idea from it.

Add some cleats to the inside of the cabinet frame, 3/4" down from the top. Then fasten some 1"x4"'s onto these cleats, one in front and one in back. Then with your plywood in place screw into it from below.


03-08-2007, 07:31 AM
What Mike said, and there are no significant differences between wonderboard and hardi.

03-08-2007, 08:19 AM
Thanks guys. Great pic. I went ahead and anchored it yesterday directly to the cabinets. Measured 4 times, drilled once. :crazy:


03-26-2007, 10:02 AM
I have read quite a bit about the use of Spectralock but there seems to be some disagreement as to whether or not it will stick to itself.

I have applied it with 12x12 granite tiles and during the application it "sank" into the cracks. I have 1/16" cracks with the normal tile bevel so I guess the width of the "V" at the surface is 1/8".

I am wondering if I can add a second Spectralock layer in order to fill the "V" and make the grout line flush with the countertop. Will it stick? The first application was about 24 hours ago.

03-26-2007, 10:12 AM
Dave, here is a direct quote from the SpectraLock Grout Trouble Shooting Guide:LATICRETE SpectraLOCK Grout will adhere to itself. For uneven grout joints reapply new grout over existing hardened LATICRETE SpectraLOCK Grout to fill in voids.

For reference purposes you can find that trouble shooting guide here on Laticrete's website:


03-26-2007, 10:19 AM
That jibes with my experience. I haven't done any large scale regrouting, but I have fixed some places after the SpectraLOCK has cured. No problems so far.

03-26-2007, 11:54 AM
Thanks, I wasn't too sure. I had read were it was ok, but also read were there needed to be at least 1/8" deep crack left to add to. So, I was a bit concerned that the "V" might not be enough space to fill.

I would really like to raise the level of the grout.

03-26-2007, 04:41 PM
I patched some areas after several days and you can't see where I did it. Heck I can't see it! Not only does it stick to itself, but the color consistency is remarkable. :tup2:

03-27-2007, 09:42 AM
I am ready to seal my new granite countertop and am wondering if any of you folks have any knowledge of the Stone Specific Polished Granite Sealer sold by HD.

I purchased it thinking it was the Stone Tech product many have mentioned on this forum, but I was confused. :shrug: Imagine that!

It is a water based sealer and seems appropriate for what I am doing, but experience tells. Anyone out there ever used the stuff?

03-27-2007, 01:23 PM
Hi Dave :)

I haven't used that particular product as of yet. If it's the Custom's product I'm thinking of, I'd probably give it a go and check it out. One thing for sure is you know it's fresh stock (as it's their new line).

03-27-2007, 05:20 PM
Thanks.....I am also a little unsure how long after grouting with Spectralock I should wait till I apply the sealer.

I am thinking 24 hours is enough. Is it really necessary to wait longer? I need to wipe the sealer off the grout anyway, so I am not sure what good it would do to wait.

03-27-2007, 05:26 PM
Have you grouted with the SpectraLOCK already? I think I would seal the granite before I grouted with an epoxy.

If you have already grouted, I would wait a week before sealing. Laticrete cautions against using an acidic cleaner on SpectraLOCK for the first 7 days, so something must still be going on with the cure.

03-27-2007, 05:53 PM
I have already grouted. Wow a week.... The sealer is a water based sealer.

We have been without a kitchen and sink for two months...... :calm: so, as you can imagine I am a bit antsy to finish up. BUT, I do not want to screw it up.

I was thinking that because I have to wipe it off the grout, I would be ok....I haven't been able to find anything on Custom Bldg website or Latiscrete's regarding the proper time to wait before sealing.

Would it be a bad thing to install the sink before sealing? If I had the sink installed I could probably protect the countertop in another way.

03-27-2007, 06:00 PM
I think the key is not using an acidic cleaner on the tiles, so it won't harm the epoxy, but i wouldn't think sealing would hurt, i mean you're not gonna try sealing the joints, so much anyway, mainly just the body of the stone,sealer doesn't work on epoxy.

03-27-2007, 09:07 PM
Hi Dave,

I'm just a DIY'er with a handful of stone counter installations under my belt, but I always installed the sink before sealing. The one time I sealed before installing the sink, I had a heck of a time with the caulk around the sink. I assumed it had something to do with sealer affecting the caulk. I'd like to get a pros opinion about that before you take my experience to heart.

04-05-2007, 08:25 AM
I have three granite edge tiles on my new countertop that I would like to remove. They are sagging a bit and I would like to replace them.

As I remember their is about 3/8" or more of Custom Building's Granite & Marble mortar mix underneath. Is there any trick to removing the tiles? Does one ever succeed in removing them in one piece? I am mostly concerned with the adjacent tiles. I have not grouted yet so that may help.

The edge tiles are 2-1/2 x 12 with a Ogee Bullnose and waterfall. So pretty substantial.

Any suggestions?

04-05-2007, 07:57 PM
Take a chisel , place it between the tile and substrate, and gently tap it with a hammer. It may break loose


04-05-2007, 08:50 PM

I can't really do that cause the waterfall blocks the "gap". I don't perceive a way to get a chisel or anything else for that matter between the tile and mortar. :shrug:

Brad Denny
04-05-2007, 08:57 PM
Hi Dave,
Can you give us a pic??

04-05-2007, 09:07 PM
A pic would help alot. I cant envision a waterfall in your kitchen. Must
be the backyard kitchen? If you have to, you can take up the tiles
in front of the problem cuts. This will give you better access to them.
Maybe its more trouble than its worth?

04-05-2007, 09:53 PM
Ahhhh. I see. It's like a mud cap for the counter...

Not gonna be easy. You can tap it from the underside but it will likely break that "waterfall". Really hard to demo and save tiles when they are installed properly


04-06-2007, 02:08 PM
I don't have a picture, but the edge rails with Ogee bullnose can be seen at Bedrock Creations Here (

I am thinking like Jason said, that my only hope is to tap the waterfall piece from below. Probably breaking them.

Brad Denny
04-06-2007, 05:30 PM
Try cutting a 2x4 the size of your "waterfall" and beat up on it instead of the piece itself. It may spread out the pressure.

04-06-2007, 07:37 PM
Thanks....that sounds like it might just work. Sometimes my imagination just isn't workin..


Brad Denny
04-06-2007, 07:40 PM
No problem, Dave. I hope it works for you. :tup2: