Ceramic/Porcelain tiles for a countertop?

As we prepare to redo our kitchen, we are thinking about replacing the counter tops. As of right now, they are bright yellow Formica! We have looked into a number of alternatives and came across a photo of a counter top made from 12x12 stone tiles and we liked the look. I don't necessarily think stone would be what we would choose, but a ceramic or porcelain tile could definitely be an option. I'm not sure the best way to go about doing this, however. If the existing counter tops are in good shape can we simply put tile over the Formica or should we try to peel/rip/chip it off and then use the existing particle board as a base. Or should we scrap the old tops completely and start from scratch? If this is the case what would we use as a base?? Keep in mind, one aspect to the tile idea is to save $$. Another consideration might be that the outside skirt to the counter tops would be some sort of wood strip that would have to be attached, somehow, to the counter top side.
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snipped-for-privacy@beeline-online.net | 2009-07-13 | 5:55:04 AM wrote:

You'll need to use backer board on top of the laminate. Check with the guy at the tile store--they might have a mastic that sticks to laminate.
The standard method is to put concrete backer board down first.

You can certainly add a wood edge.
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Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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On Jul 13, 6:55 am, snipped-for-privacy@beeline-online.net wrote:

Some thoughts.
Do not use colored grout as you may want to be able to bleach the grout at some point in the future. The grout is what gets dirty with tile counter tops.
Use the good tile thinset with latex in it. It comes premixed at lowes and home depot.
A wood strip is one way to finish the edge. Hard woods like oak will resist dings a lot better than pine does. You can also get special tiles for doing edges.
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Is putting tile over the existing counter top a bad idea because of the issue of getting the thinset to stick? or are there other reasons that would not be a good idea? Good advice on the colored grout!! Is there something that can be used to seal the grout/tile that would prevent staining or discoloration?
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Presumably the same stuff used to seal stone floor tiles. It works to a point.
Consider black grout?
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On Jul 13, 4:03 pm, "Cwatters"

Lets assume I've decided that going over the existing counter tops is not the best solution. How do I go about doing this. 3/4" cdx plywood with 1/4" backer board over that? How about the back splash?? Nailed/ screwed direct to the wall or attached to the countertop somehow?
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snipped-for-privacy@beeline-online.net | 2009-07-14 | 8:13:14 AM wrote:

I would use 3/4" CDX plywood with 1/4" backer board for the horizontal surfaces.
For the vertical surfaces, it depends on how you want the finished job to look: * Use mortar or mastic to apply the tile directly to the wallboard. That's the way my house was done. It's three years old now and doing fine. * Install backer board over the wallboard, then put the tiles on that. This will make a ledge at the top of the backsplash where there are no upper cabinets--a finishing problem. * Rip out the wallboard and replace it with backer board. Too much work.
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