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tdomenz
tile over laminate counter tops?

Is there an easy way to put ceramic tile over existing laminate counter tops? Do I need to roughen or scor the laminate? Or is there a strong enough adhesive that I could use?:confused:

JerseyPiner
Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

You did not specify, so I will assume you are talking about installing ceramic tiles over a plastic laminate.

I don't know of any adhesives that are good for that application. A tried and true method would be to attach a substrate for the tiles to the existing laminate before installing the tiles.
Attach a hardi-backer board (cement composite)or thin layer of plywood.
Apply a generous layer of construction adhesive between the substrate and laminate. There are many different types of construction adhesives, so make sure your using one that is compatible with your choice of substrate and the laminate. Roughing up the laminate with some sandpaer of steel wool, before applying the adhesive, is probably a good idea. Screw the substrate in place. Allow the adhesive to dry overnight. The screws are only to hold the substrate in place while the adhesive dries, do not rely on the screws alone. Screws can back out due to expansion and contraction of the materials. Countertops tend to be wet or damp. The moisture will cause the materials to expand and contract and the screws may loosen.
The next day you can install your tiles.
The substrate will make the appearance of the countertops a little more bulky then just the tiles alone, but it will work well.
Like I said in the beginning of my post. I don't know of any adhesive you could use for that application, but that doesn't mean they don't exist, but even if you find one, I would still consider using this tried and true method.

Sandiepiper
Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

We tiled a bathroom countertop about a year ago. We bought a new sink which was just slightly smaller than the existing hole so after cutting out the sink hole in both a piece of plywood and cement backer board we mounted both on top of the existing laminate top using an adhesive and then screwed it all together. It was ready to tile the next day. The plywood and backer board make the countertop a bit higher than 'normal' which is a bit easier on the back. It was a pretty easy job and we will probably do the same thing in our other two bathrooms.
I will try to add pics. Hope this helps.

Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

Yes..you can go directly over the laminate counter but use a good quality thinset. I'd put some 80grit sandpaper in my sander and go over the counter to get up any gook n grease n wax and to rough it up a bit.
The thinset will stick fine to it......but if it were me:D I'd go
with 1/4" Hardiebacker thinset and screwed on top of the old counter or you could use Ditra. I go overkill so don't go by what I'd do:rolleyes:

Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

I use 1/4 HardieBacker all the time for counters...over plywood and plastic laminate.
Sure, you can get some high-end mastics and thinsets ,but I do not think its worth the risk of tiles popping.

Buster

rayrod
Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

I've been wanting to re-tile our kitchen counter tops for the last 2 years. I bought the tiles and have been in my garage ever since.

I've heard and read many things about tiling over the laminate, therefore I would like to ask some questions as well:

1. Can I just install a hardy back over the laminate and then the tiles?

2. Should I remove the laminate tops, replace with plywood, add the hardy back and then tile?

3. I've seen a paper you can also apply over the laminate and then tile over it.

Thanks

Re: tile over laminate counter tops?
rayrod wrote:

I've been wanting to re-tile our kitchen counter tops for the last 2 years. I bought the tiles and have been in my garage ever since.

I've heard and read many things about tiling over the laminate, therefore I would like to ask some questions as well:

1. Can I just install a hardy back over the laminate and then the tiles?

2. Should I remove the laminate tops, replace with plywood, add the hardy back and then tile?

3. I've seen a paper you can also apply over the laminate and then tile over it.

Thanks

Yes you can thinset and screw down Hardie over the formica. Use 1/4" hardie.
Paper? You mean Kerdi? Kerdi's a fabric but if it were me I'd use 1/4" Hardie board thinset and screwed down. If the formica is shiney I'd scuff it up with some 60 grit sandpaper. Clean it real well and set your Hardie in the thinset'n rock'n roll.
Edit: You actually could thinset and tile right over the formica after you scuff it up but if it were me I'd go the extra mile and use the 1/4" Hardie.

rayrod
Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

Thanks for the reply. One more question, how should I deal with the lip on the edge?

Re: tile over laminate counter tops?
rayrod wrote:

Thanks for the reply. One more question, how should I deal with the lip on the edge?

Same way...thinset and screw 1/4" Hardie to the edge then use fiberglass tape thinsetting the two together. Make sure you fold over the tape evenly and when you put the thinset on be sure to trowel it nice and square. Let it dry befor you start tiling.
Look on my web site below and in my blog/"notebook" check out "An Outdoor Cooking Island for BBQs"...That should give you an idea how it's done.

rayrod
Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

I'm going to try this job this week that I'm on vacation. One more question, some of our walls are brick and I'm not sure what to do about a backsplash. Any suggestions?

rayrod
Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

Well I did it and it turned out okay. It took longer than anticipated and after 4 days I was beat.

Here are some pictures before, during and after.

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