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Unread 02-16-2020, 05:33 PM   #1
edwardsgs
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Granite Tile Demo Question

Hi guys, It's been a while since I visited this board. But the knowledge and help I've gained here in the past has helped me to do 1 bathroom in a previous home and 2 bathrooms and a countertop at my current home. With his project I'm going to redo a countertop I made about 10 years ago. It is granite tile over 1/4 backerboard, over 3/4 ply. Now my wife would like a solid surface (probably Quartz) countertop and my job is to demo my old work. So far I have removed a raised bar (going with a flat surface this time). That was easy, I just popped some backsplash tiles and hit it with the sawzawll. But I'm trying to think of the least mess way to get this countertop off. Our floors were refinished in recent past so I have to be careful. I tried to pop the granite tiles on my raised bar but they just shattered. I'll admit something bad here, I used liquid nails to bind the plywood to the cabinets; I know now that was stupid so don't beat me up too bad. But you could park a car on this countertop without much worry. Any ideas for doing this without creating a royal mess and potentially wrecking my floors?

I have tested running up along the edge of the end cabinet with my multi-tool and that did work to break that section of liquid nails. But I'm not positive I can get to it all, plus I have to section the counter up so I can handle it myself.

Why are we changing? Neither of us like the grout lines. If I were to do another countertop, I would use the smallest grout lines I could manage and bring the tile all the way to the edge.

Hopefully I've shared this photo's so you can see them.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/qrF3HQJVszkQXwnT6

Thanks in advance,
Scott
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Unread 02-16-2020, 05:44 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Scott.

Have you considered leaving the plywood in place under the new top?
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Unread 02-16-2020, 05:47 PM   #3
edwardsgs
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Yes, I could. Especially if that is normal and wouldn't show or seem odd.

If I went that route, what are some ideas to demo the tile and backerboard? I know brute force will git'r'done, but I want to focus on finese and not wreck the rest of my kitchen; especially the floors. I've thought of building little cardboard walls to catch pieces and hitting it with a demo hammer drill and spade bit attachment. or possibly sectioning it up with an angle grinder and popping off each section. All the demo I've done before was done where I was going to redo a whole room, so this is new trying to be careful.
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Unread 02-17-2020, 07:28 AM   #4
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The edge of the 3/4" ply will show if you leave it, and I don't think there's tidy way to hide it.

Since you want to protect the floors AND not destroy the cabinet boxes I'd first start with vacuuming the floor, then lay a sheet or two of sacrificial Masonite on the floor in front of the area you'll be working on. Pop off the back splash tiles. Remove drawers and doors and stuff inside. Will probably want to slide the range and DW out, and obviously remove the sink. Use your multi-tool to cut through the Liquid Nails everywhere you can get to it from outside the cabinets where feasible, and from inside the cabinets where not.

I think if you get most of the LN then the rest will offer little resistance to a few good tugs without compromising the cabinet boxes. If you're lucky twisting the top might pop some of the tiles, or the top might snap at the plywood seams. If not, then at least you can pull it away from the walls enough to figure out your next step.
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Unread 02-17-2020, 10:30 AM   #5
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The stone top fabricator can cover that plywood edge with his stone if you want. Very common with the 2CM tops here and I suspect in other locations. Only 3CM tops are installed without a plywood base and even those frequently have augmented front edges.

Talk with your fabricator to see what he plans or will offer.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-18-2020, 07:01 AM   #6
edwardsgs
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Dan, thanks for the ideas. I think that is the route I'm going to try to go. If I can get it loose, I can recruit some buddies to get the slab out the back door and break it up out there. If that fails, I plan to pop a row of tiles every 3-4 feet and cut a joint with an angle grinder. I'm hoping I can build some plastic walls to contain that mess.

CX, I talked to a guy in town ref stone top fabrication and I was shocked at his prices. I thought that would be a discount to quality granite but it was actually a good bit more. I guess their angle is you pay a bit more for the countertop and don't have to worry about breaking anything else? The funny thing is though, I'll probably wish I had gone that route by the time this is over, but I never take the easy route .
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Unread 02-18-2020, 08:11 AM   #7
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Granite slabs can vary in price by quite a lot. I've seen it vary from less than $40/sqft to over $200 depending on the variety chosen.

Finishing and profiling edges can be quite expensive, too, where a pencil edge will typically be your least expensive, and something like an ogee edge probably the most expensive. THe cost ratio on the edge chosen can vary by a factor of about 5x for the more complex edge versus the simplest. FWIW, the pencil edge (slight rounding with flat vertical section) is also the strongest.a
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