Granite tile countertops

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by justagirl28, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. justagirl28

    justagirl28 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    TX
    Hi everyone - I'm sure it's been discussed somewhere before, but just wanted to get some ideas on using granite tile for a countertop. Anyone with experiences, pros/cons, what to watch out for, etc?? Thanks!
    :)
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    I have granite tile on my kitchen counter. The bigger hassle is the total depth of a typical counter - two tiles may not be enough! If you like the look, you might consider running them on point, they often work out a little better that way. The front edge can be tricky since a sharp stone edge is more easily cracked and polishing the edge is something that can be done with the right tools, but does require some expense and effort. You can take tile to a granite counter fabricator and have them profiled. You can choose to use a wood, Corian, or tile for the front. www.schluter.com has some interesting profiles designed specifically to handle the edges if they meet your design criteria. It is critical to get the tile with no lippage on a counter, so you might want to use one of the leveling systems. A Tavey puck works, but takes more time. The counter must be strong enough, and if you're planning an undermount sink, the details get very precise so you don't get water damage long-term. A drop-in sink is much easier in my opinion, but I prefer an undermount. In my case, my sink is in a corner, and I opted to find a slab remnant that matched my tile quite well for not all that much. It cost a lot more to have the holes cut and polished for the sink mounting than the stone itself. You need to build your base carefully to support the tile. Depending on the thickness desired, a 3/4" and 1/2" layer of ply followed by a membrane (maybe Ditra also from Schluter) with the tile would give you about the most common thickness and enough strength.
  3. justagirl28

    justagirl28 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    TX
    Thanks!! So I think we'll have to remove everything that's on the cabinet and start from scratch. I was thinking at first you had to use the cement board/hardibacker, but you're saying you can just put 3/4" plywood and then the Schluter membrane? THanks! I know I'm a total novice!
  4. nukeman

    nukeman Nuclear Engineer

    Messages:
    711
    Location:
    VA
    You might want to check out granite minislabs. They overcome most of the issues that Jim brings up with using regular tiles. The minislabs are a fraction of the cost of a regular slab and are DIY friendly. You also have fewer grout joints (compared to 12x12 tiles) as these pieces are usually 18"x26".

    Here's a place that sells them, but there are many others to check out too.

    http://www.katelotile.com/gallery/catalog.php?categ_id=13

    Good luck.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    No, you need two layers of ply with the seams offset (may not need to offset if you can do it in one sheet for each layer). One sheet is unlikely to handle someone standing on the counter (a child, or maybe you!). If you have a counter on the cabinets now, it's likely it is made of particle board, and you definately don't want that underneath tile. The membrane is easier to install, lighter, thinner than cbu, so it is my preference. You can use cbu, but I'd want to use something like RedGard on it to help with keeping everything dry under there, especially around a sink.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    In terms of resale value, or the perception of any future potential buyer, granite tile will be looked on with emphasis on TILE much more than GRANITE.

    Doesn't mean there is anything wrong or that it won't look great, but just take the economics into your planning.
  7. justagirl28

    justagirl28 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    TX
    Good point Jimbo, although I hope I don't move for a long time!
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