How do you inlay tile into countertop?

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How do you inlay tile into countertop?

Postby Ira » Thu May 25, 2006 2:54 pm

Okay--so I'm being more gabby than ever today. But I'm on a roll and I don't have a lot to do at work.

This past weekend, I cut my countertop and the sink fits in there like a glove. It's been stained and varnished since this photo was taken, but anyway, note my sincere kudos to the magnificent Chinese lumber industry:

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I'm considering something which may not at all be possible due to my skills and the tools I own, and I have a friend who IS skilled and may be able to help me, but you guys first:

That's 3/4" red oak ply. What would it take to route out a section say 12" by 20", 1/4" deep, and laying ceramic tile in there?

Have I TOTALLY lost my mind here?
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Postby Loader » Thu May 25, 2006 3:22 pm

Ira,

Why not use some small moulding around the upper edges, then you will have your desired depth, without the need to router. Glue your tiles in, grout, done.

Of course, that could lead to the how to miter corners question again. :D
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Postby Chris C » Thu May 25, 2006 3:23 pm

Two point's I'd consider if I were you, Ira.

1) Tremendous additional weight. :thumbdown:
2) Vibrations from traveling will more than likely break the grout right out of it..................even if you can get the tile to hold onto the plywood. :thumbdown:

:thinking: :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:
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Postby Ira » Thu May 25, 2006 3:30 pm

It's not a large area, Chris. It's really more for aesthetics, kind of like having a built-in cutting board. But you might be right on about securing it properly and without road damage.

And Earl, that ain't a bad idea. With really thin, narrow trim, I could handle the mitering. Since thinner means cheaper, I could afford to really screw up a bunch of pieces.

Guess I'll take a look at HD to see what's out there as to weight, styles, etc. Maybe I will and maybe I won't.
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Postby Miriam C. » Thu May 25, 2006 3:36 pm

I saw a DIY type show that was replacing the old counter with a new and they scored the top lightly every couple of inches before grouting. That would make routing out a small space easier.

You could use narrow quarter round if you are doing just a small space.
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Postby rainjer » Thu May 25, 2006 4:49 pm

Ira,
I have do someting similar to inlay a plastic cutting board into a bread board. I will sent you a pm later to explain how i did it.
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Postby Steve_Cox » Thu May 25, 2006 5:07 pm

Chris C wrote:Two point's I'd consider if I were you, Ira.

1) Tremendous additional weight. :thumbdown:
2) Vibrations from traveling will more than likely break the grout right out of it..................even if you can get the tile to hold onto the plywood. :thumbdown:

:thinking: :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:


Chris,

You were probably thinking the whole counter top like mine. I used about 6 sq feet of tile about 4 or 5 pounds of tile all together. They make a modern grout/adhesive that never completely cures to the crumbly stage like the old fashioned stuff you used to mix with water. Pretty tenacious stuff, don't think the tile is going to come off, even with the blender sitting there bouncing up and down on it.

LINK TO TILE PICTURE

Ira,

As for the router job, the above mentioned wood worker could probably have told you the best way to do that.
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Postby Chris C » Thu May 25, 2006 6:37 pm

Steve, I used to set a lot of tile, but it's been many years ago. Guess they've improved the materials a lot. :lol:

Ira, you best take Steve's advice. Mine is way too old, I guess! :roll:
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Postby dwgriff1 » Thu May 25, 2006 9:58 pm

People pay me what they consider huge amounts of money to set tile. That makes me a pert, but since I still do it I am not an Ex pert.

If you want to put a single tile into the counter top, make a jig for your router (there are several ways) and route out the top 1/4" deep. There might be some advantage of having the tile loose, so it could come out to be replaced, for instance.

If you want it permanent, there are mastics that will work. Mastics are usually not a great way to fasten tile, but it will work here.

The idea of a single tile set into the deck is not a bad one at all.

That one tile would add a pound or so to the deck.

If I was going to put on a deck in a tear all from tile, I'd use backer and thinset, and cross my fingers. Having said that, look at the million dollar motorhomes. They use all sorts of marble, granite and ceramic tile.

The good thing about setting tile in houses is that those houses pretty well stay put.

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Postby Ira » Fri May 26, 2006 7:38 am

Thanks, guys--and Rain, I'll keep my eyes out for your PM.

Something tells me though that the router route is going to be tough for me--especially since I don't have a router. But I think I can just mark out the area and give it to a friend of mine to route. (I think the "standard" thickness of 4 by tile is a little over 1/4" right? Like 5/16"?)

I don't know yet. I'm doing this just for looks, because looks can hide my shoddy craftsmanship. Maybe I'll go with really small squares around the outer perimeter instead, sandwiched in between narrow quarter-round trim.
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Postby Micro469 » Fri May 26, 2006 9:54 am

You know, you can also use silcone to set the tiles in instead of grout. That way vibration wont be a problem....
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Postby Ira » Fri May 26, 2006 10:16 am

Micro469 wrote:You know, you can also use silcone to set the tiles in instead of grout. That way vibration wont be a problem....


I was thinking the same thing, John. It's not like I'll be walking on it. Just gotta be careful on what I use as far as it holding the dirt goes.
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Postby Miriam C. » Mon May 29, 2006 6:21 pm

Micro469 wrote:You know, you can also use silcone to set the tiles in instead of grout. That way vibration wont be a problem....


If you use silicone you will need to be careful what you clean with. Some kitchen cleaners can cause silicone to dry and crack sooner than it would.

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Postby Steve_Cox » Mon May 29, 2006 8:49 pm

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Ira,

This stuff is an Acrylic-Styrene Co-polymer. It has it's good and bad points. I'd never use it in the house for any tile work.

:thumbsup: , no sealer needed and as an adhesive it stays flexible and more tenacious than silicone or some construction adhesives. Vibration won't be an issue.

:thumbdown:, it is a lousy grout, takes days to harden and you never get a really nice clean, smooth grout line with it. For the TD application It was just OK.

The truth about why I used tile: The only place in town that had Formica wanted over $100 a sheet, and would only sell full sheets. I bought the tile and grout for less than $20. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
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Postby GPW » Tue May 30, 2006 6:40 am

Sounds about as simple as a brick patio in the galley ... :roll:
alternative material even simulating tile (vinyl ) would be a better choice, and less weight ... :thinking: as an artist, we have made mosiacs out of discarded floor tile pieces , easy to work , and we got big money for it ... no grout , just cut the pieces to fit ... :D
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