Can I glaze over tile countertops????

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by yukonjon, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. yukonjon

    yukonjon Been here awhile

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    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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  2. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    You can seal the grout.
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  3. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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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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  4. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    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 :brow
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  5. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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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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  6. doxiedog

    doxiedog Been here awhile

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    Use black grout. :D
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  7. yukonjon

    yukonjon Been here awhile

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    What's the price difference in ceramic vs porcelain? Ill check out the epoxy grout.
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  8. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    There is pretty much no difference. Porcelain has fewer color/texture options, that is all. Still lots to choose from.

    Jim :brow
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  9. SRG

    SRG SRG

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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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  10. everycredit

    everycredit Been here awhile

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    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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  11. yukonjon

    yukonjon Been here awhile

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    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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  12. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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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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  13. yukonjon

    yukonjon Been here awhile

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    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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  14. slackmeyer

    slackmeyer Don't mean sheeit. .

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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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  15. OD_Cleaver

    OD_Cleaver Adventurer

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    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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  16. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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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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  17. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    "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.
    #17
  18. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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    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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  19. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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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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  20. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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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.


    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.
    #20