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Granite Tile Kitchen Countertops

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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!!

 
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msthimble2 years ago
Do you live near NYC? I'd love to hire you to make a granite counter for my kitchen. Beautiful work!
I would have put a bead of clear silicone caulk between the tiles. Since they're butted together and all
surfreak3 years ago
Nice instructable and beautiful work. Can you show a picture of the unpolished edge mentioned in step 4 after the stone sealer is applied? I'm really curious as to how it turned out.
rory_woj (author)  surfreak3 years ago
Check out step 4
babykidlet3 years ago
What a wonderful job! I would love to have granite but didn't know how to make those grout lines less obvious--you solved the problem for me by finding the right kind of grout for a nearly seamless look. And can I ask where you got that beautiful, unique sink?
rory_woj (author)  babykidlet3 years ago
I got the sink at Home Depot or Lowes. Its a composite granite sink. You can mount over or under the countertops.
do you think it was necessary to remove the laminate? why not just tile over it?
rory_woj (author)  skipthompson813 years ago
You would still have to attach the backboard to the laminate and this would add an extra 1/2" to the front 2" overhang. This was more than I wanted. It would make it look too thick for my liking. My sink size was different and I wanted the countertop to go all the way to the wall and that would have caused me to have to take off the built it laminate "backsplash".
przemek3 years ago
Check out my instructable on cutting large tile on tiny table saws:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Cutting-large-stone-and-porcellain-tiles/
I was cutting 24" tiles on a tiny hobby 7: saw.

Other people suggested rotary saw with diamond blade---your method, but using a fence clamped to the piece. I think it would have worked too.
ohalpaul3 years ago
great job might have to do something like this myself
Gothbunny4 years ago
BEAUTIFUL!!! Very Well Done!!! If you want an easy backsplash to go with that great counter you can either coordinating tile or texture with drywall mud and paint!!! Thanks for posting and enjoy!!!!
rory_woj (author)  Gothbunny4 years ago
Thanks! The original plan was to put in glass tile- a greenish color. But I think it might make it too glossy- the cabinets already have a sheen to them. I dont know if Im the biggest fan of textured drywall, but thanks for the input.
Kimby. rory_woj4 years ago
Nice job & great Instructable ... DH and I are thinking along the same lines for kitchen countertops because we have WAY too much counter and not enough moola for a full granite slab. FYI ... textured drywall as a backsplash is a BEEYOCH to clean. I'm speaking from ongoing experience. Don't do it! We're thinking either subway tiles (easy to clean) or stainless steel (very easy to clean).
rory_woj (author)  Kimby.4 years ago
Your stainless idea. How would you connect two pieces together seamlessly? A good polished weld would still show up, wouldn't it? I do like the look of hammered copper. But I would still run into the seam issue.
bustedit4 years ago
cool. nice job. do you need to use backer board when putting up the backsplash? ...and how much did that faucet set you back? i see those "incorporated" sprayers in most of the kitchen hardware these days, and was wondering how you like it compared to the older 2 piece style faucet?
rory_woj (author)  bustedit4 years ago
I'm not going to bother putting up backer for the backsplash. I paid just under $200 for the faucet. The sink the I have was a gift and there was a one hole cutout for a sink. I've really liked having a large one bowl sink and the faucet works very well with it.
HeidiJJJJ4 years ago
Beautiful job! I think it would be amazing to do the backsplash with the same granite tile as the countertop. But, the green glass tile would be beautiful as well...I don't think they would be too glossy...the wood cabinets are a warm counterpoint to the granite and/or glass. Whatever you decide to put on the backsplash, it looks and performs best when you go all the way up to the stove hood and keep that height/line for the other areas. This offers great protection for the wall behind the stove top, and looks high-end.
CrystalDyes4 years ago
Personally, if I had tiles that size, I would do a countertop that extended 31" from the wall with the cabinets, etc pulled out as well and use 2x4 on the wall to support it. I think a countertop that deep would be wonderful! Plenty of space for appliances AND working space too! Of course I'd never get DH to agree so I guess I'd use the 6" I cut off to make a short backsplash 'cause no way would I get to spend the money for a backsplash like I'd want! Great job on your project.
ajah4 years ago
Lumpybat; There is no arsnic in the solution used to treat wood any longer. But I still don't think it should be used in the kitchen where the preparation of food takes place. But I would agree that ordinary ply would have been okay just seal it to be sure. How ever, the job turned out Greatttt. Way to go!!!! Ajah
Lumpybat4 years ago
Great job, looks nice. I'd be concerned with using pressure treated plywood indoors though. I'm not sure if pressure treated still means that arsenic is used, though new pressure treated may have had the toxics removed. I would think that regular plywood under the hardie board would've been fine, work well for floors.
Beautiful! I am inspired to do the the same at home. Thank You!
luke_woj4 years ago
Brotha that is some fine work you have done there...good job!
finnkc4 years ago
I did the same thing a few months ago. I used two layers of 1/2" ply and a layer of 1/2 concrete board. 24x24 Ceramic tiles with 1/16" Quartz-Lock grout. I would say if you are going to do a new top on a budget this is the way to do it.
hulaboy8084 years ago
Well done!
10pound4 years ago
"My reward for the day" Just one?!?! Ought throw back 6-8 of em! Great job and great instructable. I am gearing up to do this same work myself at my wife's pre-marriage condo.
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