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Old 01-18-2013, 06:11 PM   #1
yukonjon OP
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Can I glaze over tile countertops????

So basically we are trying to find some cheaper ways to install new countertops in our kitchen. We both really like the tile look similar to below. Also seems easy enough that I could do it. What we really dislike it the ability for the grout to get dirty and being hard to clean over time.

Sooo...my question is, am I able to build my countertops like the picture, and then apply a clear sealant or glaze over everything so that I don't have the rough grout edges. Something like a clear epoxy that I can smooth out, be completely clear, and not be able to damage too easily.

Also, would it be better to just glaze over the grout areas, or would I go over the tiles as well. I've done simple tile installs before, but I'm just not familiar with how this might work. Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions guys.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:13 PM   #2
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You can seal the grout.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
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Or go with epoxy grout. Harder to apply, but apparently harder to damage later. No personal experience, but read some stuff from Pecos Bill and other inmates.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by troidus View Post
Or go with epoxy grout. Harder to apply, but apparently harder to damage later. No personal experience, but read some stuff from Pecos Bill and other inmates.
Epoxy Grout. More expensive, but permanent. I had this in my last house and it never stained. If you use sandless grout it will also be smooth. No need to seal the tile as the surface is already sealed. I would also use porcelain. It is much stronger than ceramic, and won't chip nearly as easily. Make sure you install it over a solid surface like 3/4" ply covered with cement board.

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Old 01-18-2013, 07:56 PM   #5
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Go to a tile store & act real ignorant about the whole thing, sort of like the "1st timer DIY housewife/husband type" senario and they'll walk you through it as to what to buy. I remember being offered a class to install tile when I was shopping the tile at a tile store.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:07 PM   #6
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Use black grout.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
yukonjon OP
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Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
Epoxy Grout. More expensive, but permanent. I had this in my last house and it never stained. If you use sandless grout it will also be smooth. No need to seal the tile as the surface is already sealed. I would also use porcelain. It is much stronger than ceramic, and won't chip nearly as easily. Make sure you install it over a solid surface like 3/4" ply covered with cement board.

Jim
What's the price difference in ceramic vs porcelain? Ill check out the epoxy grout.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:08 PM   #8
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What's the price difference in ceramic vs porcelain? Ill check out the epoxy grout.
There is pretty much no difference. Porcelain has fewer color/texture options, that is all. Still lots to choose from.

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:53 PM   #9
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Some tiles have sharp/straight/square edges and can be set tighter together = smaller grout lines. Changes the look a little.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by yukonjon View Post
What's the price difference in ceramic vs porcelain? Ill check out the epoxy grout.
Since you're in Tacoma...

...Home Despot on 72nd (as well as the one in Fircrest) has porcelain tile. Like Jim said, fewer options on color. Make sure you can buy proper bullnose tiles in the same color to help with corners and splash.

I did this for my condo I used to live in (Ikea kitchen and tile counter top). It turned out to be a great idea for the first month. The grout did stain, even though I sealed it. I used a non-sanded, colored grout.

I have no experience with epoxy grout. Perhaps next time.

Also, on center street, there's a place that sells granite remnants. It will cost more, but much less than buying full granite.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:33 PM   #11
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I did this for my condo I used to live in (Ikea kitchen and tile counter top). It turned out to be a great idea for the first month. The grout did stain, even though I sealed it. I used a non-sanded, colored grout.
Ill check out the Home Depot about the porcelain

That staining is exactly what I want to prevent before doing this. I have heard too many issues of counters looking stained in the grout areas. I wonder if the sealant is porous or does the liquids just seep between tiles and grout.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:00 PM   #12
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Just because it's porcelain doesn't mean it's better than ceramic. Some porcelain is pretty cheap and breaks easily, you get what you pay for with porcelain or ceramic. As a general rule on price for tile, spend over 1.50/sq ft. This is a general rule for someone that doesn't know anything about tile. Not to say you can spend less and get good stuff, but you have to know what your looking at. Cheap tiles are thin, odd sizes and cheap thing glazing.

If choosing porcelain make sure it is a solid color all the way through, that way if it chips on top it's the same color below. Some are some aren't.

Also make sure there is bull nose available for the field tile you choose.Bull nose tiles are costly especially for 12x12 or larger tiles (some are 3.00 each) For your counter top, you want 1.25 inches of underlayment. This can be 3/4 plywood with 1/2 durock on top. Duroc is better than hardi backer which in my professional opinion (20plus years) is crap.Especially for floors.Make sure to nail or screw durock every 6 inches and closer on the edges. Not absolutely necessary to thinset durock down to plywood.

Beware harsh cleaners on grout, especially bleach or clorox cleaners!!! It will stain the grout. Epoxy is a real PITA to use will resist stains better than latex grouts. Epoxy grout will work your ass over, plus if you don't know what your doing.........(very hard to apply, put on too much, or wait to long to take off then your fucked) Sanded grout is for 3/16-1/4" grout joints, usually 8x8 and larger. Unsanded 1/8" grout, 4x4 and up to 8x10 tiles with lugs. 1/8 grout easier to clean. Black would be the best to not show stains. Even epoxy grout can stain if abused

Use wood brace or sticks to hold tile up on edges till it sets up.

BTW- sanded grout is more porous absorbs stains more readily than unsanded, Unsanded is easier to scratch out and regrout.
I try my best to advise against sanded grout in showers due to staining...but people like the "look" of big tiles which use sanded grout.

Beware the cheap tile saws which only gnaw away at tile and don't cut it, especially with porcelain.

a lot of this advice is just general advice like tile sizes to grout sizes...I say this in case someone wants to say...bla bla bla, that ain't true.
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One Less Harley screwed with this post 01-20-2013 at 08:20 PM
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:33 PM   #13
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a lot of this advice is just general advice like tile sizes to grout sizes...I say this in case someone wants to say...bla bla bla, that ain't true.
Well either way I appreciate the advice. I will keep it in mind when I go to price tile based off my countertop. You say the epoxy grout it more difficult to lay. Too difficult for a decent DIY'er??? I have laid very basic tile jobs and I know this will be more detailed but am willing to try. I will be sure to use the unsanded grout if that resist staining more. I really just want it to look good long term.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:04 PM   #14
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Urethane grout or epoxy grout is the way to go on countertops. Urethane is easier to work with than epoxy, but epoxy isn't hard- keep most of the mixed grout in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it, it will keep it from setting up. It just takes lots of cleaning, but that's key to any grout job.
Like OLH says, there's more to picking a tile than just porcelain vs. ceramic (and to pick nits, porcelain is ceramic), check for availability of all the sizes/edges you want, check how flat the tiles are (really, it varies a lot), and think about how you're going to cut it- porcelain is harder to cut, and it needs a better saw and blade to keep chips from happening.

I did a kitchen counter with 18 x 18 honed slate and dark gray epoxy grout about 8 years ago, it's a rental house now, but it looks like new still.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:16 AM   #15
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Duroc vs. Hardi Backer

One Less Harley,

Educate me.

You said, "Duroc is better than hardi backer which in my professional opinion (20plus years) is crap."

Why?

Thanks,
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