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  • OT Granite countertops

    I know that this is a HSM forum, but the people here seem to be problem solvers and willing to try new applications of materials techniques. The fiance (2 plus weeks bride) has her little heart set on solid material countertops in the kitchen. We've looked at granite, silestone and several other solid materials. Last night I ran the idea past her about using granite tiles in 12 x 12 or 18 x 18 for the countertop material. I have to do more research but has anybody here done this or knows somebody who has. I get conflicting answers from the local tile stores and big box home improvement stores. The local Lowe's says I can put it down with construction adhesive. Home Depot says no you have to use thinset. The local highend tile/flooring store recomends against the usage because of possible staining problems at the joint lines. ?????????????????????
    Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

  • #2
    I have a good friend who always wanted granite counters and a slate floor in her kitchen. Months after she achieved her dream, she declared it a nightmare. Every glass that tips over smashes immediately without a second bounce. She says the broken china just isn't worth the "elegance." On her recommendation I did my kitchen with the granite colored Corian, and couldn't be happier with it. . .
    Cheers,

    Frank Ford
    HomeShopTech

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    • #3
      Counters

      I have ceramic tile ("Florida" tile; white, about 4 inches square) on my counters. Plus side:

      You can set hot things down anywhere. There may be others but I can't think of them.

      Minus:

      Things break often when dropped on them.
      Grout lines get dirty and if you don't like that then you get to scrub/bleach them.
      We used wood to trim the edges. Probably should have used bull nose tiles. Grout won't hold because wood changes size. Caulk might work, haven't tried it. But caulk won't like the heat if you leave a hot pan too near or hanging slightly onto the edge.


      Our tiles are held down with tile adhesive rather than thinset or construction adhesive. That has not been a problem.

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      • #4
        Forget anything with grout seams on the horizontal surfaces in a kitchen. You will regret it.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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        • #5
          Concrete

          Have you looked at concrete?
          Very stylish, very DIY.

          You have to buy the book thought, and it's $35.

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          • #6
            seams in granite = stains=bactira growth=mess.
            As stated before granite counter tops are also very rough on plates and glasses.
            Take a serious look at Corian, it isn't as glamorous as granite, but its a whole lot more practical.
            Ignorance is curable through education.

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            • #7
              The breakage rate on china and glass ware is one thing I didn't think about (and something the sellers don't mention either!). I did find a company Bennissimo Systems that sells through retailers both field and edge pieces with bullnoses (edges and corners). The grout lines as in a bath setting should be kept to an absolute minimum. They call for unsanded grout with sealer.

              http://www.benissimosystems.com/Home.htm
              Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

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              • #8
                Friend just did this. Used 12x12 floor tiles on a counter top. Very nice, but requires careful planning and layout.

                Also you really have to watch the material used for underlayment. Thinset works real well but unless the underlayment is water proof or very well sealed it will soak into it and cause a swelling that will lift the tiles.

                With the thinset you only need to use just a few spots to hold the tiles in place, about three dime sized spots will hold them down. If for some reason you damage a tile it makes it much easier to replace with an extra tile that of course you have on hand, right?

                The quality of the tiles themselves is important also. Cheap tiles are not made to the uniform thickness you would want for a countertop. Fine for a floor, but can be a problem on a countertop.

                And the warnings about granite are true. I would use a marble or one of the polishable stones.

                The floor tiles my friend used did not have any special edge on them so grout lines were not a problem. He did apply some kind of sealer over the lines however. Don't know what it might have been.

                If I were to do this, I too would be looking at the Corian option. There are a million colors/patterns and granite happens to be one of them.
                Gene

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Spin Doctor
                  The local highend tile/flooring store recomends against the usage because of possible staining problems at the joint lines. ?????????????????????
                  That has been my experience when using tiles on a horizontal surface, particularly ones in the kitchen. The joints will trap debri, moisture etc and are difficult to clean. I don't use tiles anymore for kitchen or bath counters. This is especially true considering all the nice solid granite top options available these days.

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                  • #10
                    I just had Silestone put in about a 3 months ago, I have a 6 and 8 year old boy and so far no broken glasses or plates(knock on wood). I really like the stuff, it is easy to clean and more durable than granite from what I researched when I was looking into it.


                    Disregard the funky looking plumbing joint down below, that was just temporary till I found the correct joint.

                    Here is the rest of the kitchen I dont have a recent pic uploaded here at work, but I finished making the doors and got the knobs installed about a month ago. Also the white appliances have been replaced with black.



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                    • #11
                      Use epoxy grout, which is stain resistant. It's expensive and has short working time, but for your application, it's probably worth it.

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                      • #12
                        check out the tile stuff at Home depot just put floor in with 12x12 tiles wife had to have it will hate it in three months. Have had to clean it 3 times in the last week. they have a high end sealer 99.00 a gallon good for 20 years. put four coats of it on so far the coke cola can that exploded when it fell didn't leave any staining on grout or tile. you put this stuff down and spread it around and it will dry then do it again for high traffic. Take a look at the homer version of the tile book at home depot it covers all asspects and will answer you questions. On walls counters floors ect. the book I got at lowes sucked. I can vouch that never having done it the floor came out good. even with leveling the floor 1 3/4" to level at other end. Lots of deck type screws in to under layment.

                        floor looking in from doorwall

                        most of the kitchen floor

                        The light color shows everthing light or dark, lady at the big box store
                        (decorator) said always go with a darker shade for the grout and no bigger than 1/4" wide and use the best sealer to stop the headaches before they start. They also have matched caulk for the edges.
                        Glen
                        Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                        I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                        All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

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                        • #13
                          Also that the harbor fright tile saw with tray/pump 10" blade worke very well was cheaper thatn rent it as I could do it when I felt like it and it rained three days that I was working on the tile and had to go and take care of my older paernts problem on another day. So Now i can cut some of the rock slabs and smaller rocks for lapidary work.
                          Glen
                          Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                          I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                          All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            PT, I don't know what it is, but the smell of cooking in that style of kitchen is just so much more homey than the sterile, stainless, modern looking wizbang stuff.

                            I'm a bacheler, whats for dinner?

                            It looks like the kind of kitchen I grew up in. I could smell what we were having to eat even before I opened the front door of the house.

                            I like pot roast by the way. And I don't mind the smell of bacon wafting through the house. And an old fashioned perculater making coffee. Very comfortable.
                            Gene

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                            • #15
                              waffles buttermilk, chicken, peas,carrots,mushrooms and gravy chicken ala king on waffles. idea was in newspaper and wife drives 50 miles one way to work,she left at 4:15Pm tonight and hit home at 6:30pm. She said it was good and she taking the rest for lunch tomorrow. And yes I can sew too thats what happens when you retire before the wife can. House is 100 years old. Not much I want to do to it other than a new layer of laminate on the counters, the wood grain is starting to wear off LOL. Thanks Topct I painted 5 shades of gren, 3 shades of pink, yellow and white in there. All the flowers and leaves on the walls are stamped from home made custom foam stamps.
                              Glen
                              Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                              I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                              All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

                              Comment

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