granite counter tops

I'm planning to remodel my kitchen. I plan to cover the counters, and I'll do the walls between cabinet bottoms and counter tops in granite tiles set on the diagonal. While reading up on granite installation, the book indicates that granite and marble pros install with silicone rather than mortar. It would seem to me that the flexibility of silicone would put the granite at greater risk for breakage if something heaver ever fell on it (I could envision a heavy pot from a pot rack falling on a tile). Aside from that, I have a hard time imagining a silicone holding tiles on a wall during installation.
I have installed marble on the floors and walls of my bathrooms with no trouble and plan to use mortar for my granite over a bed of 3/4" plywood covered by a 1/2" layer of backer board. Should I investigate this silicone thing further or just go with my original plan?
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-linux_lad wrote:

I'd stick with the mortar base and the proper thinset. Solid surface granite or marble (not individual tile pieces) are installed for the most part with silicone. it appears you're installing tiles.
As to your base, a mortar bed of 1" or so over kraft paper should be sufficient over the 3/4" plywood. I believe the 1/2" backer added in there would be overkill. either way you choose, ensure that there's proper crossbracing front to back built into the cabinet under that plywood, so the plywood's not only supported at the perimeter, but down the center as well.
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