Half wall into bar....continued...

Hi all, thanks for all your help.
I'm in the process of converting my half wall that separates my kitchen from living room into a makeshift bar. I've decided that I'm going to use 6" square ceramic tiles (they match my countertops nicely) as the actual bar top. In my mind, I have pictured building some sort of wood 'trough' for the bar to be made out of that the tiles will 'sit' in where the sides of the trough are essentially the outside trim of the tiles and the wood sides and the tiles are on the same level on their top edges. Picture it?
I'm going to go three tiles wide giving me 18" of tile, approximately 1" total of gap between tiles and between the outside tiles and wood border (1/4" each gap), and approximately 3/4" on either side for the wood border. That gives me a total depth of my bar as 20 1/2". Sound acceptable?
I foresee staining the wood border the same color that I'm in the process of restaining my kitchen cabinets. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Type of wood to use? Size/Thickness of wood for the border and the 'floor' of the trough?
I'm just getting started into woodworking and have the basic tools. I was thinking of using my router once it's all done to give the wood edges a nice trim.
Sorry for the rambling message, just typing as I think.
Thanks in advance for any help or advice that anyone can provide!
Andy
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you're going to need to support the overhanging part of the bar. look up corbels. you can buy premade ones. if you don't, the tiles/grout will crack as the top flexes when someone leans on it. tile needs to be on a very stable surface.
regards, charlie cave creek, az

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Andy wrote:

Andy, Your are saying you'll have 1/4" grout lines which is quite large for 6" tiles, but that is up to you. Make sure your tiles are really 6" though! Often tile makers reduce the actual tile size by one grout line thickness (1/8" is common for 6" tile) to make calculations more standardized.
Use a cement type backer board, 1/2 thick would be best if you have the room otherwise use 1/4". This should be over a piece of 3/4" plywood (exterior grade).
The best way to put it all together is lay the plywood on the cabinet top and screw down securely, use latex modified thinset to "glue" the backer board to the tile and also use cad plated screw every foot to help hold it in place. Use the same thinset to bond the tiles to the backer board. A good thinset is "versabond", from the home despot, about $12/sack. you need the latex modified stuff to allow for a slight amount of flexibility.
The best grout for counters is epoxy based, it'll never stain or crumble but is pricey and messy to work with. If you make your wood border trough before thinsetting and grouting, protect it well from staining!
-Bruce
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Use 3/4" plywood with 1/2" cement tile backer board on top. That should be stiff enough and give a good substrate for a top. Use the same polymer modified adhesive that you use for the tile to adhere the backer board to the ply. Follow with some screws for added holding power. Do not grout between the tile and sides or it will crack. I get my grout from Daltile. For every grout color, they have a corresponding sanded caulk. The local borg has a couple of colors but it is extremely limited. Use the color matched caulk to seal between the tile and the wood edges. Follow all this with a penetrating sealer.
Preston

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