Dockside Chat - working with granite tile
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03-07-2005, 07:08 PM
Man, for a boating newsgroup, I sure get some great all-around advice, so I'd like to go back to the well, once more.
Any of y'all ever worked with granite tile?
I've done quite a few ceramic tile flooring and bath projects, but have never worked with granite tiles. I'd like to use it for our bathroom vanity countertop.
Specifically I'm wondering about two things: 1) cutting holes for the sinks, and 2) edge treatments.
A guy at a store told me you can use a regular angle grinder with a diamond blade for the sink cut-outs, but...cut the tile first? Or install it on the thin-set, let dry, and *then* cut it out, with an angle-grinder, and plunge-cut the cement board and plywood with a different saw. I saw this blade, but man, it's $180! :o http://www.alpha-tools.com/products/blades/contour/action001/index.html
Second, there's not a bullnose in this stuff...I saw an example where the installer put in the trim strips first, covered the edge with the top tiles, then ground to a 45-degree angle, and polished. I could probably grind it down, but how do you get that nice polish?
03-07-2005, 07:28 PM
have the top made out of one piece of granite. make a template of it out of1/8 in luann plywood. marking all overhangs and all holes needed for faucets and handles. take it to a local fabricator, pick out a edge and have him cut it for you,put on the edge of your choice. if you are handy enough it should be a piece of cake to install. a little silicone to hold her in place and you should be good to go. use the template that comes w/the sink to mark all holes. its easier than going through all the other steps, unless your looking for the grouted joint look you would have w/ the tiles
also the local shop may have a piece laying around that you may like. just ask him. couldn't hurt and i bet he gives you a good price on it.
that polish is done w/ a series of diamond pads on a grinder. probally something you could rent if you were to tackle this one. its a little time consuming as there about ten different pads to go through but the end result is amazing.
if you go w/ the tiles a good tile saw will do the job
good luck w/ the project :thumbsup:
03-07-2005, 07:36 PM
33pounder - 3/7/2005 8:28 PM
have the top made out of one piece of granite....
good luck w/ the project :thumbsup:
Thx, 33 -- I'd rather have a solid piece, but the area is too large, and it would be too expensive. The countertop is 8' long, with two sinks, and two different heights.
The tile's going to cost me only $250, or so....the slab(s) would be around $1k. But I haven't called around that much -- might well be worth another few phone calls.
03-07-2005, 07:45 PM
i work for a neibhor of mine that owns a granite shop( not full time any more but when he needs help if i'm available )and a couple of more phone call couldn't hurt believe me they will be more than glad to make you some pieces out of left overs.
i know that a slab would way to much material for the job and a waste of money. but be sure there are people out there that do it all the time and never ask about left over material. so i know that there will be quite a few choices. its nothing to find a 1/2 slab of left over ;)
03-08-2005, 06:55 AM
For shaping the edge you want, simply use an orbital sander with 80 grit paper to start. Don't sand it all the way to the shape you want. Leave a little left.*Then go up to 150 grit, then 220, 300, then 400.
After you install you granite tiles, and before grout, you will need to seal the tiles w/ a granite sealer. Follow the directions for the sealer carefully.
For cutting the hole for the sink, I would lay all the tiles dry, EXACTLY how they are going to be installed, then take a template of the sink, and mark on the tiles and cut them before you install them. An excellent blade for this job is a Turbo Diamond Blade. It has little turbo looking sections on it that are great for side grinding.
One last thing, only keep about a 1/16" of an inch, if that, between the tiles. This will make for a nice clean look and if you pick a grout that blends with the granite, it will look AWESOME.
I hate it when people use 3/8" joints with granite and marble!!!! Don't you agree Pounder?
03-08-2005, 07:18 AM
ifyou are just shaping the edges that ssould be fine but if they are exposed you'll need to polish the sides to match the top finish. those diamond pads are some very fine grits, all the way up to 3500 grit and they dont start till 400 grit. very easy to use just a little time consuming
as for the grout joints i to like a narrow joint for the bigger tiles but thats just me. the wider joints look good w/ mexican tile and some smaller tileswhat i always told the clientwhen they would ask my opinion i'm not the one who has to live w/ it you chose the look you want.
sealer is a must and do it 1-2 times a year :thumbsup:
03-08-2005, 07:21 AM
DARN! I knew I forgot something! Pounder is right. The diamond pads are a must.
03-08-2005, 03:00 PM
see that, diamonds can be a mans best friend in the right situation lol ;)
03-08-2005, 03:18 PM
I recently had granite counter tops installed and the Admiral is very happy with them ergo I am happy. I reccomend that you have a pro do the job. Not one of those carpet/tile showroom type outfits but a craftsman that focuses on granite. If you decide to DIY, practice the edgings on some of the extra pieces you have purchased. Do a dry layout prior to any actual installation, get the edges just right then do the install.
We opted for slabs for our counters but I have seen granite tile that looks great too.
03-08-2005, 03:30 PM
check your p.m.