I have purchased a summer cottage with a dated counter top. The
cupboards are home made and impressive however the counter top is made
of a brick color porous(sp) tile whose grout has seen it's day. My
wife is totally grossed out by what may have seeped into the tile
during food prep and wants to replace the counter top with 12x12
granite tiles left over from another job. I see no way of removing the
current counter top without tearing the cupboard framing up. 3/4
plywood with hundreds of screws topside into the framing.
Is it possible to screw down 3/4 plywood onto the current counter top
(through the current tile / plywood and into the cabint structure) and
tile over? The current structure is solid and level OR am I better off
chiping the current tile off, hacking away at the morter bed to get a
level surface OR getting at the screws to remove the plywood and start
anew? I appreciate any and all advice.
A BFH should make short work of the existing tile. Usually, once you get
a corner started, it comes right up. Smoothing will be a problem- a
5-inch masons chisel and 3 lb. hammer are what I used as a kid to clean
forms with. That should get it smooth enough for backer board (not
plywood)or a new mudbed. Drilling through the existing tile will likely
shatter it anyway, not to mention making for a bizarrely thick counter
Or you could just try tiling right over the existing tile, using it as
the substrate, assuming you can think up a way to trim the edges to get
it acceptable looking. (Maybe whack off the edge tiles and use a wide
hardwood strip?) If it is as solid as you say, it should work as well as
backer board. Dry-lay a few rows of the granite, and put a level across
them. If the fluctuations are minor, thinset should allow a level final
surface. You WILL need to heavily degrease the old tile to get a good
bond, maybe even do a wash with brick acid.
I suppose telling the wife to get over her germ phobia is out of the
question, SWMBO and all that? Personally, I would just do a regrout,
heavy scrub with bleach, and a good sealer. Cutting boards and plates
would keep the food sanitary enough for me.
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