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Unread 05-21-2010, 06:57 PM   #1
steventhomas42
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"Design on a Dime"-type ideas needed

My wife and I are looking at options for our kitchen countertops as part of a remodel, but we are on a tight budget. If I can't find another option, we're going to wind up going with sheet laminate and a 6X6 tile backsplash.

Our home is a 1960's era brick veneer ranch, and I want the kitchen to look nice, but not lavish, as the home just doesn't support grandeur very well.

I am a bargain hunter. I've posted in the past about the clearance tile purchases I have made, and those are about to become the basis for our front bath remodel and the kitchen backsplash. I'm patient and I find great deals as a result.

I asked my wife if she would consider a minimal grout line installation of granite tiles on the kitchen counters if I found a bargain. She agreed that would be a good option. As I am looking, I find that the expense of granite tiles seems to be in the add-ons. I would prefer to use 2X12 granite rail molding or perhaps 2X12 bullnose on the countertop edges, but the cost of one 12" edge piece can be 3 or 4 times higher than a 12X12 square, and that will blow our budget for sure, driving us back to laminate!

I have seen granite installations with wood trim edging, but our cabinets are painted white, and I would think a white trim piece would look odd and be susceptible to all sorts of obvious nicks and scrapes. We are considering redoing the cabinets with a glaze over the white, and that could change our options a bit, I suppose.

I have wondered about having the front edges of the 12X12 tiles bullnosed and then bringing them out far enough that they cover the top edge of a 1-3/4 X 12 piece that completes the front edge. Our grout will be the closest match in color to the granite we can find.

What I'm asking the experts for here are some suggestions (along with some pictures if you have them) for how to pull this off without breaking the bank.

Thanks for any advice you can offer!
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Unread 05-21-2010, 07:28 PM   #2
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You could ease the edge a little and polish it or buy a bullnose blade for your saw. I used a regular $15 angle grinder with velcro stone polishing paper. I spent about $20 for enough to polish all the edges for my shower. If you really want bullnosed, you can get blades on ebay for about $60... But be warned, they do not last too long. I went through 2 to finish my bath... That was about 40' bullnosing of a very hard porcelain tile. The other option is look for some trim that accents the tile.
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Unread 05-21-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
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I should also add, that we are bargain shoppers also. If you keep your eyes open you can gets some really good deals... Tile we used for our master bath retailed for $15 sf, on closeout for $5... Doing our other bath now, regular price $4.79, paid $2.39... We were gonna buy trim for our shower, but as you found out trim is more then the tile...
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Unread 05-21-2010, 07:39 PM   #4
steventhomas42
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Quote:
You could ease the edge a little and polish it
I don't think I understand what you are saying by "ease the edge".

And yes, there are deals to be had. I bought enough 6x6 to do our backsplashes for 7 cents per tile. I bought 14 cases of 12x12 ceramic "sandstone" tile for under $30 total. I just keep checking the clearance stuff and I stack it up until I'm ready to do the job!
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Unread 05-22-2010, 01:00 AM   #5
InJuxHurYlem
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Ease the edge means rounding it off a little so you don't have an exposed cut edge of granite on the edge like a razor blade ready to slice your arm off if you ever fall against it.

I was going to recommend the same thing except with a router, but I don't know if you have a router and a proper carbide tipped bit.

So here's my advice. Why are you remodelling? If it's to sell the house, then put the ogee edge pieces on a card and pay it off after you sell because you'll get the most return with granite tiles. If it's for you, then go with the laminate. Laminate is actually a very comfortable surface to live with. You don't ever need to seal it because it's nearly impervious. It is very difficult to scratch or dent or crack. And as long as you don't go with any of the faux finished versions, it's fairly contemporary looking.

Some day you'll happen upon a super discounted slab or will feel like splurging for granite and you won't lose sleep over tearing out the laminate countertop and replacing it.
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Unread 05-23-2010, 01:27 PM   #6
steventhomas42
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Quote:
Why are you remodelling? If it's to sell the house, then put the ogee edge pieces on a card and pay it off after you sell because you'll get the most return with granite tiles. If it's for you, then go with the laminate.
We are remodeling for selling with an eye toward staying. We may be putting the house on the market, but we are fully prepared to stay in the house if anything changes or the buyers don't beat down our door.

Either way, the counters need to be redone. I've just never done laminate and I have done tile, and I though the granite would look nicer.

Thanks!

Steve
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Unread 05-24-2010, 05:09 AM   #7
bbcamp
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Steve, we just did our kitchen countertops with a very good granite-looking post-formed laminate from Lowes. The pattern has a 4 foot repeat, so it doesn't look "cheesy." It's probably more than you were thinking of spending, but in terms of looks and ease to live with, I don't think you could find a better choice.
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Unread 05-24-2010, 12:44 PM   #8
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Granite will certainly be a selling feature and it usually appraises the same as slab (go figure). Just be sure that you DO have a grout line to keep the dirt out. In AZ you can have granite tile edges polished for about $5 linear foot.

Here are some pics:
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