How to Install Granite Tile Countertops
By learning how to install granite tile countertops, you can greatly improve the value of your kitchen. Doing the work yourself can save you more than $10,000, and it can also be fun. You can easily upgrade you kitchen by installing new granite countertops. Granite is nice because it has a three-dimensional feet. It will also help to modernize your kitchen.
Stage I – Demolition of Kitchen Countertops
Most of the time, your kitchen will have old porcelain tiles. If this is the case, you will want to start out by removing all the existing tiles. The best way to remove these is with a sledgehammer, and a chisel. If you want to do it even faster, you should buy or rent a pneumatic chisel. Especially if you have a lot of tile to remove. Hopefully, you’ll find that the cement base that is underneath the tile is still good enough that you can reuse it. If you can reuse it, then you’ll just want to apply new mortar to the top of it, and then install your tiles. If it is in bad condition, or is extremely uneven, you’ll want to tear out the cement, and possibly even replace the plywood that is underneath it. Make sure that you have a flat surface to work on before you start applying the mortar.
Stage II – New Tile Installation
When you’re learning how to install granite tile countertops, you want to start making a dry placement of your tiles. This is kind of exciting, as you can see what it will look like when done. Plus, once you are ready to begin your new installation, you are halfway done with your project.
When you are placing your granite tiles, make sure that you keep in mind that you are going to want them to overlap the edge of the countertop by slightly more than the width of a tile. I think it is a good idea to go ahead and mark all of your lines. It is a good idea to use a chalk line, or a straight edge and a pencil to help you draw these lines. Make sure that when using wet saw it will not overheat or break while you’re using to cut it with. Hiring someone to cut your tile for you might be a good idea, but it will also be expensive. People who cut and polish tile for a living generally charge at least $10 per foot.
Then, find out how much you’re going to need to cut off all of your tiles to get them to fit properly. Please keep in mind that granite is very hard. It may take you a bit of time to cut through it. Plus, you’re going to need to use a very sharp diamond blade saw to do it.
The next step is to make sure to mix your mortar up properly. If you wet your plywood down, before you apply the mortar, it won’t dry as quickly. This is a pretty good suggestion even if you are doing floor tiles. After you have the top of the countertop placed, you want to take the time to polish up the narrow pieces you’re going to use for the bottom edge of your countertop so that they will look finished. In order to do this, you’re going to need to buff the tiles with a powerful floor sander. You want to start out with a course grade for sanding and then work your way down to a fine grade. Eventually you will use a buffer to buffer the surfaces and make them shine.
After mixing your mortar together properly, use a float with quarter-inch ridges to spread it evenly on your tiled area. When you are installing your tile, you need to include spacers and make sure that the surface of the tile is even. Make sure to follow your lines as accurately as possible.
Stage III – Grout the Tiles, Seal Them
The next stage is to seal your tile grout. You need to seal your granite right away. You can seal your grout lines at the same time, using the same sealer. Make sure to follow the directions as indicated on the label of the grout sealer that you buy.
I recommend using DuPont’s Stone Tech Sealer to get the job done right. You can use either a spray-on grout sealer or you can use a brush-on grout sealer. The advantage of using a brush on grout sealer is that it is less expensive and you can put it on a bit thicker. You may need to do two or three coats before you have it properly sealed. You can test this out by spraying the surface with water and when it is properly sealed, it should bead on the surface. Sealing your grout is a good way to prevent it from getting stained. It will also help to keep the grout lines clean and help your grout to last for a long longer.
We hope these simple tips will help you out on your next granite tile countertop installation project.