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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Chi-town
    Posts
    3

    Question tile over laminate counter tops?

    Is there an easy way to put ceramic tile over existing laminate counter tops? Do I need to roughen or scor the laminate? Or is there a strong enough adhesive that I could use?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

    You did not specify, so I will assume you are talking about installing ceramic tiles over a plastic laminate.

    I don't know of any adhesives that are good for that application. A tried and true method would be to attach a substrate for the tiles to the existing laminate before installing the tiles.
    Attach a hardi-backer board (cement composite)or thin layer of plywood.
    Apply a generous layer of construction adhesive between the substrate and laminate. There are many different types of construction adhesives, so make sure your using one that is compatible with your choice of substrate and the laminate. Roughing up the laminate with some sandpaer of steel wool, before applying the adhesive, is probably a good idea. Screw the substrate in place. Allow the adhesive to dry overnight. The screws are only to hold the substrate in place while the adhesive dries, do not rely on the screws alone. Screws can back out due to expansion and contraction of the materials. Countertops tend to be wet or damp. The moisture will cause the materials to expand and contract and the screws may loosen.
    The next day you can install your tiles.
    The substrate will make the appearance of the countertops a little more bulky then just the tiles alone, but it will work well.
    Like I said in the beginning of my post. I don't know of any adhesive you could use for that application, but that doesn't mean they don't exist, but even if you find one, I would still consider using this tried and true method.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cape Cod
    Posts
    5

    Smile Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

    We tiled a bathroom countertop about a year ago. We bought a new sink which was just slightly smaller than the existing hole so after cutting out the sink hole in both a piece of plywood and cement backer board we mounted both on top of the existing laminate top using an adhesive and then screwed it all together. It was ready to tile the next day. The plywood and backer board make the countertop a bit higher than 'normal' which is a bit easier on the back. It was a pretty easy job and we will probably do the same thing in our other two bathrooms.
    I will try to add pics. Hope this helps.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

    Yes..you can go directly over the laminate counter but use a good quality thinset. I'd put some 80grit sandpaper in my sander and go over the counter to get up any gook n grease n wax and to rough it up a bit.
    The thinset will stick fine to it......but if it were me I'd go
    with 1/4" Hardiebacker thinset and screwed on top of the old counter or you could use Ditra. I go overkill so don't go by what I'd do
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

    I use 1/4 HardieBacker all the time for counters...over plywood and plastic laminate.
    Sure, you can get some high-end mastics and thinsets ,but I do not think its worth the risk of tiles popping.

    Buster

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

    I've been wanting to re-tile our kitchen counter tops for the last 2 years. I bought the tiles and have been in my garage ever since.

    I've heard and read many things about tiling over the laminate, therefore I would like to ask some questions as well:

    1. Can I just install a hardy back over the laminate and then the tiles?

    2. Should I remove the laminate tops, replace with plywood, add the hardy back and then tile?

    3. I've seen a paper you can also apply over the laminate and then tile over it.

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandiepiper View Post
    We tiled a bathroom countertop about a year ago. We bought a new sink which was just slightly smaller than the existing hole so after cutting out the sink hole in both a piece of plywood and cement backer board we mounted both on top of the existing laminate top using an adhesive and then screwed it all together. It was ready to tile the next day. The plywood and backer board make the countertop a bit higher than 'normal' which is a bit easier on the back. It was a pretty easy job and we will probably do the same thing in our other two bathrooms.
    I will try to add pics. Hope this helps.
    Is there a danger from moisture and water from putting screw holes in the backer board?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldman View Post
    Is there a danger from moisture and water from putting screw holes in the backer board?
    You "have to" fasten the boards together with CBU screws (or roofing nails but CBU screws are better imo). The adhesive should be a thinset rather than a mastic under the CBU as thinset is more waterproof and will level the boards better.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: tile over laminate counter tops?

    Painting the surface of the CBU with a waterproofing membrane such as hydroban or redguard will waterproof the counter including the screw heads/holes

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