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Old 01-22-2013, 02:57 PM   #16
rufus
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I been a tile setter for over 35 years. And I have grouted acres of epoxy.

There are different grades of porcelain. The better grades are denser/harder and more stain resistant. Grout WILL stain porcelain, but it stains is consistently so you will probably never notice it. That is why grout that matches the tile is recommended. Good epoxy WILL ruin lower grade porcelain tile. Epoxy mfgrs tell you to test an inconspicuous area.

There are different grades of epoxy. High temp/ restaurant grade epoxy is the best. Waterproof and doesn't absorb stains. It is extremely difficult to use. Requires hot water to wipe off and most mfgrs will not guarantee the color. It is an industrial material. I have seen warnings on some lower grade epoxies that say "DO NOT USE IN A FOOD PREPARATION AREA". Make sure that you know what you are getting.

On my countertops i used granite tile with a dark colored, ordinary sanded grout. Grease and oils will darken grout. Mine looks fine after 10 years.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:43 PM   #17
One Less Harley
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Originally Posted by OD_Cleaver View Post
One Less Harley,

Educate me.

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

Why?

Thanks,
"a lot of this advice is just general advice .........I say this in case someone wants to say...bla bla bla, that ain't true. "

In a nutshell thinset bonds more readily to duroc....



Really don't want to get on my pedestal and talk about various gripes about tile installations- use what you like if you like hardi then use it. I have used hardi and prefer not to. I like duroc and one of the few that do.... but you know what they say about opinions.....I'm set in my ways never got onto the hardi backer band wagon, especial for floors- the 1/4" hardi. on 3/4" plywood. Check tile specs on that.

There was a brief time when it was "acceptable" to install tile over plywood...remember that??? Tried that for a bit and 2 out of 10 jobs had issues,completely unacceptable.

I'm all about doing a good job and not having something bite me in the ass years down the road, for me duroc assures that.

It's all about the sub using what he likes what ever those reasons are. Many may call BS on my preferences but each can do as he likes as it comes down to the installer standing behind his/her work.

Like rufus said, don't want it to stain use black grout. BTW- my hats off to you on you use of epoxies. 95% of my work has been residential.
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One Less Harley screwed with this post 01-22-2013 at 04:53 PM
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by OD_Cleaver View Post

Educate me.

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

Why


I have torn out hardibacker 20 or so times. 3/4 of the time it was delaminating. Hardibacker is too stiff, it wont follow the contour of the floor and therefore leaves hollow spots underneath it. Over time these hollow spots will /can start to give way and the tile will crack. Ive seen it many times.
We use 1/4" perma base or duroc on floors, glued underneath and nailed down with roofing nails every 4" over the whole surface. So far over 30 years with ZERO problems.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:36 PM   #19
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Someone mentioned urethane grout. I have used it 3 times, every time the color was so far off from the grout chart that the customer complained .
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:41 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by One Less Harley View Post

In a nutshell thinset bonds more readily to duroc....

---------------------------------------------------------------------

There was a brief time when it was "acceptable" to install tile over plywood...remember that??? Tried that for a bit and 2 out of 10 jobs had issues,completely unacceptable.


If you are doing a patch, getting thinset off duroc can be a nightmare, getting thinset off hardibacker is usually no problem.


I remember sticking tile directly to plywood. That was a huge industry mistake. Caused lots of problems and turned lots of people away from tile.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:45 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by yukonjon View Post
So basically we are trying to find some cheaper ways to install new countertops in our kitchen.
I have seen several "glazed" countertops that were peeling off within 2 or 3 years. It looks to me like nothing but epoxy paint.


If you want good and economical look for formica.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:48 PM   #22
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use granite

use granite, its not too $$ if you find a good installer
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:55 PM   #23
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use granite, its not too $$ if you find a good installer

I agree. If you are going to stay in the house then granite is the way to go. Prices have come way down on granite slabs. The shop where I work had 4 or 5 formica installers 25 years ago. We have none now. Granite has nearly completely taken over.

We used to do a few tile countertops per month. I have done 1 in the last five years. Tiles countertops are so labor intensive that you can usually get granite for about the same cost.


The 1 tile countertop i mentioned was for a half crazy old man who tore off 6 month old granite slabs to put in some tile that he saw on a home improvement show on TV. Our salesman tried and tried to talk him out of it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:18 PM   #24
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Well I appreciate all this advice guys. Leaves me a lot to consider and a much better starting point on pricing everything out. After reading everything though, my only question is "who wants to come do this?" Maybe I'm starting to reconsider this being a DIY project and just need to stop being a cheap-ass and pay someone more than I want to. Either way I'm looking into it and maybe ill practice a small table before considering doing my countertops.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:45 PM   #25
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If you are doing a patch, getting thinset off duroc can be a nightmare, getting thinset off hardibacker is usually no problem.
When I redid my tub enclosure, I had two tiles (of about 600) pop off. One didn't have much surface area for grip and I disturbed it before it set, and the other I think I let the mix get old before I got to that tile. I ended up using my dremel and a diamond tile cutting bit to grind off the thinset and get back to clean duroc. Tedious, but it worked.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:06 AM   #26
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As the result of my wife owning a tile store, I have installed too much for my own good. I agree with most of what has been said. If going the porcelain route, use a through-body tile, that way chips will not be noticeable (well not TOO noticeable). Use whatever backing you are comfortable with, or whatever cost allows for. Seal the tile. It will add extra protection and make it easier to clean. Bull nose tile is expensive, buy a cheap tile saw, or rent, and cut your own. Hand “bull nose” the edges with an angle grinder. This is easier than you would think.

Use 1/8” spacers or, my favorite, credit card spacing. Smaller grout lines means less headache over the life of the counter top and lessens the money spent on grout. On counter tops, I prefer non sanded epoxy grout – but would not recommend for lines over 1/8”.


You may also visit your local stone supplier and see what they have available in granite tile. Natural stone is easier to work with, especially cutting and grinding. This is usually fairly inexpensive as well. The problem with cheap porcelain and ceramic is that there are only so many patterns in a box. Many times, the pattern is the same on all tiles. I never paid any attention to this until my wife explained it. Now, it drives me crazy. There are so many tile shops out there; good tile can be purchased cheaper than the big box store crap. This just takes time. Specialty shops often have small lots that they will let go at a song and a dance. Although my wife sells only to contractors, she will often put small lots of tile on Craigslist, especially if it is a discontinued item or a specialty item brought in for a project. Tile has a huge mark-up, deal and shop around.


Seal the counter top once a year. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste. Do not rush. Prep the work surface, tape the seams, and screw heads (consider roofing nails, less work to cover and smooth out). Let the tile set before grouting.

Good luck!

And if all else fails, go to the stone yard and look through the remnant pile for a slab that may suite your space. Just remember that it is the cost of prepping and installation that costs the most!
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:00 PM   #27
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My advice: formica with tile backsplash. You can look at the tile backsplash and enjoy the low cost and low maintenance of Formica on the work surface. Consider hiring it done unless you really like to spend a lot of time messing around, and don't need perfect results. The pros are so fast it is scary.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:05 PM   #28
JimVonBaden
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My advice: formica with tile backsplash. You can look at the tile backsplash and enjoy the low cost and low maintenance of Formica on the work surface. Consider hiring it done unless you really like to spend a lot of time messing around, and don't need perfect results. The pros are so fast it is scary.
Formica is great stuff, and cheap. It can look good too.



I used a granit look formica on my old house. It looked great!

Ignore the red paint. I changed that as soon as I dumped my then girlfriend!

Jim
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:06 PM   #29
yukonjon OP
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When you guys say Formica which product are you using. I see they have 5 different things from laminate to solid.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:12 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by yukonjon View Post
When you guys say Formica which product are you using. I see they have 5 different things from laminate to solid.
In my case, it was the laminate that came preapplied to a wood/partical board surface.

Jim
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