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sunnyhouse 02-05-2007 08:36 AM

Kitchen countertops
Our house has old formica countertops in the kitchen. We'd like to have tiled countertops, and to save costs were wondering if we can reuse the old formica countertops. Would it be possible to either treat the old formica and adhere the tile to the existing top, or to remove the surface plastic and reuse the wood. If we can do either one of these, what are the steps we need to take? Thank you for advice!

CraigFL 02-05-2007 09:56 AM

If they are in good shape, I would just screw Durock down to tops and edges and lay ceramic tile on that.

glennjanie 02-05-2007 12:36 PM

Hello, Sunnyhouse and Welcome to the Forum:
If you were to take the laminate off the countertops the wood would be damaged so bad you wouldn't want to use it. I would use an orbital sander with 100 grit sand paper to rough it up and glue the tile directly to the countertop; unless it is the roll formed laminate on particle board. The roll formed tops are not conducive to the rigid shapes of ceramic tile. Please post back, maybe with pictures, and let us know your progress.

elementx440 02-05-2007 04:45 PM

just make sure to take into account the wood expansion from the moisture, it will crack your tiles unless you use an appropriate base. i learned the hardway on my home-brew double wide bathroom vanity :)

kimkl 03-22-2007 11:16 AM

Hi All, I'm new to the site & have enjoyed it very much. I'm not sure how many females post on here, but have a few questions. I'm a handy "person" who isn't afraid to tackle any project w/the right knowledge & tools.
Glenn, I noticed your response to Sunnyhouse in regards to their countertops. I also am looking to re-do my formica countertops. I would like to know if it is possible to lay granite tiles over formica & have no adhesive problems? I would rough it like you mentioned. Have you heard of this being done before? Solid Granite countertops are so expensive to have installed & it would save me over 50% if I could do it myself on existing formica.

glennjanie 03-22-2007 11:49 AM

Hello Kimkl and Welcome to the Forum:
If you rough up the plastic laminate, getting rid of the gloss you should not have any problem with bonding. You will notice there are several people posting on here, insisting on using Durok to back the tiles. That is a relatively new product on the market; we sure didn't use it before they made it. I say, Go for it! Even if it doesn't last 50 years there will probably be another new product you may want to try.

Bobby_M 03-28-2007 11:04 AM

Formica is bonded to partical board which is horribly weak in the lateral direction not to mention swells like a sponge when it gets wet. Most tile guys would at least replace it with some 3/4" plywood. If you're just doing a quick job to sell the house, do whatever you want. If you're going to stay there and not worry about cracked grout, put in a more suitable base. If someone ever kneels or sits on the countertop you're looking at cracked tiles too.

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