F I N K B U I L T

Scale model cockpit FPV

fpv
cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.

Liberty

liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

null
Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box

Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

drano
Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste




Granite Countertops

granite countertops

Poor man’s granite that is.

A few people have expressed an interest in the countertop treatment that appeared in my Make your own ketchup post. Well as luck would have it, I had the opportunity this weekend to replicate the countertop installation and snap a few photos, as I installed the last of our kitchen cabinets.

Now, as we all know there is just one phrase, this side of “Rich Corinthian Leather” that screams opulent, organic permanance, and that is “Granite Countertops”. But last time I checked, you could expect to spend about $10,000 to have a modest-sized kitchen outfitted with granite slab countertops.

Using granite floor tiles

A common way to get granite onto your coutertops without paying for a custom slab job, is to use 3/8″ thick, 12″ square granite flooring tiles, which you can install just like you would install any other tile:

  1. Install a layer of cement tile substrate such as Wonderboard, or Hardi-backer.
  2. Use a thinset mortar to set the tiles in place
  3. Apply grout to fill the gaps between tiles.
  4. Seal the stone/grout

But there are a few common mistakes to watch out for when using granite floor tiles on your countertop, Iv’e seen plenty of installations that looked a little, er, less than harmonious.

Some people might like the patchwork look, but if what you are looking for is a more seamless effect, there are a couple of things that you can do to help out:

  • Butt up the tiles to minimize the grout lines, and use a grout that is the same color as the tiles
  • Orient the grain. Even granite tiles that don’t seem to have an apparent grain actually do, and if you line them all up in the same direction, it looks much better.
  • Choose a stone without strong veins or lines.

granite countertops

Note: in these photographs, you don’t see the cement underlayment because, well, I didn’t use any for this little cabinet because I didnt feel like going to the store. But you MUST use it.

Edging

For the counter top edge, I found this 1/4 round extruded aluminum, (or aluminium for you Brits) edging material that I believe is intended for transitioning tile floors to carpet floors. This edging has a lip on one side that extends below the tile. Install this stuff with nails or screws all around the edges of the counter for a durable and handsome edge.

granite countertops

You can cover the exposed countertop sides with any standard bullnose molding. 1-1/2 inch wide hardwood with a chamfored top edge is nice, but I chose this extruded aluminum trim of the type used in commercial dining tables. When we had our dining booth made, the manufacturer was happy to sell me some of the material to use on my countertops.

granite countertops

This edging has a T profile, and installed by first cutting a slot around the edge of the countertop with a slot-cutting router bit, then pressing the molding into place.

granite countertops

Finally, install the tile with any thinset mortar, then grout. Apply an aqueous sealer to keep the stone from absorbing stains and such, and BAM! you have a nice granite kitchen, and you just saved $9,500.

 

38 Responses to “Granite Countertops”


  1. Danny Mavromatis Says:

    Looks great Lodi! I know this is a countertop post, but geez Lodi, you need to put a finished on the inside of the cabinet too. I thought we talked about this… remember, I brought up the hypothetical situation, one of your kids opens the door and throws up in it… you then will have throw-up stained wood interior!

  2. Penny Says:

    I priced granite for my kitchen, about 60 sq. ft. with installation and the price was about $3,500. Check around, you can buy the slab and get finishers and installers all yourself.

  3. JoAnn Says:

    I am just installing a granite tile countertop with matching edges found on the website bedrockcreations.net. They sell the granite tiles and edges, bullnose or ogee. Great company got all my materials in 2 days.

  4. Diamond Mike Says:

    very nice work with the tile….I do the slab work and actually the price is about half of what it was 8 years ago. If you know anyone in tampa florida area wanting the real deal send them my way…Diamond Mike

  5. Heather Says:

    I am interested in doing the project of putting floor tiles made out of granite for countertops. These are my two questions. Where do you get the floor tiles and how do you cut them to fit the counterspace? Thank you for your time.

  6. Steve Says:

    Heather, At least here in the US, these tiles are available at home supply stores. Usually, the best colors need to be special ordered.

    To cut the tiles, you will need a special diamond abrasive, tile-cutting wet saw. These saws can be rented, or cheap but effective versions can be purchased for around $80 US.

  7. Diane Says:

    would like to know the prices for granite edges for countertops that match granite tiles and where to buy these.
    Thanks

  8. Jane Says:

    Thank you Joann, Bedrock creations is just what i have been looking for. I wanted to save alot of money and use granite tiles for our counter top, but needed something for the edges etc. Thank you so much for sharing the info.

  9. alexmay Says:

    I love this project – you are a genius

  10. David Says:

    I have a bunch of 12X12 “absolute black” 3/8 thick marble tile.
    My wonderful wife (no sarcasm intended) decieded it looks great as a kitchen counter top.

    I do too!

    Question I have: I don’t want grout lines. I was thinking about finding a black epoxy grout and butting the tiles together as close as possible and then razor blade off the excess grout.
    Any ideas if this is a workable solution?
    TIA
    David

  11. Kris Murray Says:

    I just watched a home improvement show. They layed black granite on countertops and used a black onyx grout to make it all blend together. They centered the tile, cut pieces with a diamond saw. They also placed 2 quarters between each piece of tile when laying it. It looked great. The show was DIY.

  12. Kris Murray Says:

    Sorry, 1 quarte in two places.

  13. mominwa Says:

    I LOVE this idea and am trying to talk my husband into it. Did you miter the corners? Is there a type of molding that will bend around corners?
    Thanks

    I used some aluminum tile edge molding, which I was able to bend around a radius.

    steve

  14. patty Says:

    Really want to try this idea but am having a heckuva time finding the 1/4 round aluminum edging you mention. Anyone have a source?

  15. Geoff Says:

    Bizarre question – we just had emerald pearle countertops put in. The iredescence coming from the flecks is a lot more intense when we turn on the overhead light (not bad in natural light). Right now the wattage on our overhead light is probably too high but even when we turn it down it is pretty intense. We saw the original sample in the showroom and it didn’t look like this so we’re kind of confused as to why it’s so sparkly. Any answer to this? Some kind of treatment that will lower the iridescence?

  16. renee lunger Says:

    thanks so much for the tips… ESPECIALLY the edging which is exactly what I was looking for!

  17. alley zheng Says:

    River Yellow is a beautiful color for kitchen granite countetop,island .It is very imageful in our thinking.

  18. Jane Murphy Says:

    We just did our kitchen using Bedrock Creations granite and now we are planning on doing the bathrooms next. If they go well we might splurge for an outdoor kitchen next using granite again…. thank you so much for all the info. This has really helped our budget and looks great too.

  19. Ursala Samannon Says:

    Hi,
    Have you ever used http://www.granitestock.com for sourcing granite? I would like to get your opinion. Thank you.

  20. Peg Wigwand Says:

    Edges for several different granite tiles can be found at FLoor-Decor, Atlanta area has 2 or 3 stores, one located in Kennesaw. The pieces come bull nosed in 28″ lengths ranging in price from $10.99 to $19.99. They are the best!!

  21. michael Downing Says:

    How do 28″ edges line up with 12″ tiles? Just curious?

  22. rob Says:

    I know this is WAY after the posting, but I just discoverd your site, and am browsing the archives. You had mentioned to applay an aquaeous solution to prevent the granite from staining. This is actually unnecessary since granite is just one small step away from diamonds and there isn’t enough porosity to accept a stain.

    Many people assume it will stain because marble stains very badly, but marble is a very, very soft and porous stone. Unlike granite, marble is very easy to break, dent, stain, and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to use it as a surface. I did several tests for a project based on these quality’s. Marble will even start becoming etched if you cut a simple lime or lemon on it.

  23. alley zheng Says:

    I would like to introduce friend, I have my own webiste, please browse it.”algranites.com” thank you

  24. alley zheng Says:

    I would like to introduce friend, I have my own webiste, please browse it.”algranites.com” thank you

  25. alley zheng Says:

    today one client told me there is small sratch on the countertop when he fabricated it.
    I suggest : using same color or transparent glue on it and then polishing the countertop , wax on it at the end. I don’t know that’s good solution for him.
    I hope you can told me and help him to solve this problem, thank you.
    “algranites.com”

  26. Al Hannan Says:

    I am about ready to do an island bar countertop in my basement with granite tiles. I was thinking of starting with 3/4 inch plywood & 1/4 inch backerboard. I am planning on a 10″ overhang on one side built over 24 inch base cabinets. My fear is that the overhang may droop over time from the weight. It looks like from your pics that you may have a thicker underlayment. Another site I found also suggested adding additional blocker supports to the cabinets interior sides too. What are your thoughts?

  27. aluminium countertop Says:

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  28. Granite and Marble countertops Says:

    cool. i like it. very good idea.

  29. sally garonne Says:

    Is a kitchen countertop over old wood counter okay with no backerboard? Just granite tile right on top?
    If backerboard used, if unlevel areas between two countertop areas, what should be used to even them underneath backerboard?
    Can granite tiles ever be set wisely in a kitchen countertop usage without sealer or grout between them—just pushed up close?
    I’ve had these installed, contractor did not use backerboard, just set on countertops, two countertops are uneven and now they are buckling here there everywhere, no grout used at all, what a mess, help!

  30. Ashlyn Says:

    Hi, I’m trying to decide what I want in my kitchen. I’d love granite counter tops but thought I could never afford it. So, I’m very curious. I have a question–Where did you get the quarter round extruded aluminum edging?? I really like the look. I did a search online but did not find any that matched yours and I like yours most from all I’ve seen. So, Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance, Ashlyn

  31. Bill Says:

    To Rob,

    Granite is still just a stone and can indeed stain, although no where near as easily as marble. You need to seal the surface after a project like this with one of the stone sealer solutions which you can also pick up at the local big box hardware stores or just about any granite store.

    Bill
    http://www.granitecountertopscalgary.com

  32. Mr. Granite Says:

    well tile granite tops its not nice! lots of seams! you should get custom granite countertops 1 1/4 thick. http://www.innovatestones or http://www.tsstone.com

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  35. Sorin F Says:

    Granite counter tops are looked for in kitchen remodeling and they look great for a long time, if not exaggerating with the heat on the same area.

  36. Sherry Says:

    I am thinking of putting granite tile on my kitchen counter top and have discovered the “Bedrock Creations” site with a Kitchen in a box. Has anyone bought from this company or tried there products? The price seems almost to good to be true.

  37. David Says:

    @Sherry if you are looking for kitchen worktops or counter tops i would suggest visiting http://www.granite4less.co.uk. These guys are really the best in UK getting you real cost effective deals and you will have your installation in no time. They had mine done in just 2 days and it was perfect.

  38. Dan ditomaso Says:

    Granite will stain. Some granites are very porous while others are very dense. Some are resin treated and will resist staining more so because of the resin than the granite. A good fabricator will be able to advise you and show you the resin on the side of the granite. Better yet take home a sample and test it yourself. One Granite company actually rates the granite in their yard with stain resistance ratings to help consumers know what the stain resistance is before sealer is even applied. They are http://www.stonemastersic.net, check them out. They are outside of Wilmington de.