With old stained, burnt laminate countertops staring at me for the last year of being in the house, I decided it was time to upgrade. I looked at the great instructable of doing concrete countertops. I milled it over in my head for months. But I didnt feel that I was up for the challenge- Also, I wasn't sure I was ready to not have a kitchen for more than a week...
I found the Quick and Easy Granite Countertops at Floor and Decor Outlets.
The Quick and Easy Countertops are 18"X31" and polished on all sides. This eliminates figuring to buy bullnose pieces, build a wood frame or hand polishing with the standard 12X12" tiles. Also the Quick and Easy tiles are 1/2" thick tiles.
The granite was about $12/sq. ft. and it ended up being around $25/Sq. Ft. for the finished product- including waste (I have a good few pieces of granite that I would like to try inlaying into wood projects) And one full 18"x31" piece that I will hold onto- just in case I break a piece in a fit of anger....
This Instructable can be applied to any tile, granite, marble, ceramic, glass. I just found what I thought was the best option for me.
You will need enough tile for your tops. Standard countertops are 25" deep so for every linear foot of countertops, you will need 2 square feet of tile. I would suggest buying 20% extra for waste, bad cuts, non-matching tile, cracks or other imperfections. The last thing you want is to find out you need one extra piece to finish when you have your mastic (tile adhesive) ready to go.
I have my own tile saw that I have used for other tile jobs, but it is one of the cheapest ones you can get from the big box home improvement stores and I was unsure how it would handle the thick granite. I rented a 10" tile saw. Ill talk about the problems I ran into that when I get to that step...
So, material list?
- Tile - 20% extra
- Mastic - tile adhesive
- 1/4" square notched trowel
- 1/2" Marine grade or pressure treated ply (I was told they are pretty much the same thing...)
- 1/2" Hardie board
- Hardie board screws
- Deckmate or outdoor screws- for the ply
- Tile saw
- Masking tape
- Safety glasses
- Plastic rolls -tarp for covering the countertops
- Grout- I used a three part expoxy grout
- Grout trowl
By all means, this list is not exhaustive. Im sure you will need other parts, tools, supplies as you get into doing this. Hopefully you will have enough forethought to catch it before its too late!!
Step 1: Remove the Old Tops
OK, for the people that are doing this with at new kitchen, go ahead and skip this one.
For everyone else....
You want to make sure that everything is out of your way...
Take all the stuff off the counter, remove the first few drawers and all their contents. This ends up getting messy, so if you are clumsy or a stickler for really clean everything- cover your floor with rosin paper or anything that you have laying around.
Remove the sink- Im not going into how to remove the sink- there are tons of instructions of how to do so everywhere- This is how I figured it out...
Get the stove/range out of there.
Usually laminate is glued or screwed or both...
I was lucky, mine was only screwed in. It had three or four screws at the end of each length of tops. Get those drawers, out of your way so you can get in there.
There is a bead of caulk on the wall part- take a stanley blade and cut that. Lift up and reuse those countertops in your shop/garage/shed!!