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Unread 03-21-2007, 10:09 AM   #1
Scottt M
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Akron, OH
Posts: 2
Granite Tile, Bathroom CounterTop

Hi all-- first time to the forum. I am working with a friend on a remodel, specifically, installation of 12x12" granite tile on a bathroom countertop. She's not experienced at this, and I'm not much better, but we're giving it a go. It's probably 40 years old, formica is in excellent shape, covering particle board. No bull nose for the tile was available. Total area less than 10 ft2.
I was going to leave the formica on the countertop, since a) it's in great shape, and b) it's particle board underneath, which will swell if moisture hits it.

Now I've read a lot of entries in this forum over the past 24 hours and it appears that generally, you should remove the formica and further, the counter itself, if it's particle board, and replace with plywood. However, I don't think my friend will go for this, for a variety of reasons.

What I plan to do (after removing sink):
1) cut cement board to fit over countertop
2) Mount cement board with screws (having mapped where the tile is going, I can make sure the screws are not near grout lines.)
3) Seal screw holes (added precaution or not necessary?)
4) Apply thinset and granite tile
5) 24 hrs later, apply grout (non-sanded, 1/16" lines)
6) Seal grout and granite tile.

a) in laying out the tile on the horizontal surface, do I want to flush the surface to the edge, or do I want to bring the horizontal tile slightly over the edge, and mount the nose pieces underneath (with cement board behind it)? They're not bullnose per se, it'd just be cut pieces of the granite tile. Given that, it seems to look better if the edge of the granite tile were on the side, rather than on top.
b) How soon after I grout can I drop the sink back in? Another 24 hours?
c) I assume I'll need a reciprocating saw for the cement board, correct?
d) You'd recommend renting a saw instead of making the trip to Lowe's 14 times for recuts?
Thanks for any info you can provide!
Scottt M
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Unread 03-21-2007, 09:03 PM   #2
Tile Setter
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 4,840
Hi Scott,

Your plan sounds doable but i still don't like any tile over particle board. I'm curious why you wouldn't use plywood. You mentioned it's only 10 sq ft. That's a pretty small area..

Good..Fast..Cheap. Pick any 2...can't have all three
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Unread 03-21-2007, 09:37 PM   #3
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Location: Astoria Or.
Posts: 5,874
Agreeed..It's such a small expense and area why not just tear out the particle board and replace with plywood. I wouldn't put tile over particle board under any "what if "scenario..It's just crumby stuff.

The rest of what you propose sounds very good
Trask Bergerson
Bergerson Tile and Stone
Astoria, Oregon

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Unread 03-23-2007, 07:16 AM   #4
Scottt M
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Akron, OH
Posts: 2
Granite Tile, Bathroom CounterTop

Jason, Trask--

Ok, I'm a bit embarrassed here... when I actually looked more closely, it's plywood. The formica came off so easily that it would have been idiotic to go over it instead of removing. So, that problem is solved.

Thanks for the advice, full speed ahead on Saturday.

I'm still mulling over the front pieces, we may not go with granite tile but with a metal piece, or something else, as polishing granite tile for bullnose pieces is pretty expensive in the checking we've done so far.

Anyway, thanks again.

Scottt M
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Unread 03-23-2007, 10:58 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: maine
Posts: 97
Scott, welcome. Check out Schluter Systems to the right. They have products for finished edges that are nice. Rondec-CT allows you to insert strips of your tile to match and the aluminum comes in various finishes to match your faucets. Check it out. Good Luck.
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