Granite Counter Overlay

The natural beauty of granite in the kitchen cannot be undermined and installing a counter overlay yourself can save you a great deal of money with the result that you have a high quality, expensive counter at an affordable price.

Granite overlay is a product that lays over your existing countertop and the slab is available in a variety of natural stone colors and can be purchased in a three quarter inch thickness.

Countertop Layout

You first need to figure out how the granite tiles will layout on the countertop and a good option is to layout the tiles on a diagonal or diamond pattern. All granite tiles are exactly 12 inches by 12 inches and are set together with a very fine grout seam and each tile has a 1/32nd inch polished bevel on each edge. When the tiles are butted together, the two bevels combine to a 1/16th inch grout seam which is then grouted with unsanded grout.

Furthermore, if you use the right wood molding on the front edge the granite tiles can be extended to cover a slightly bigger area.

Underlayment

A quarter inch cement board underlay is the best surface for granite tiles. Attach the cement board with adhesive and screws to fabricated wood base countertops or over existing tops. When installing screws, ue a 5/16th or 3/8th inch masonry drill bit to make a shallow dimple in the cement board in a 6 to 8-inch pattern as this will then help each screw to be very flat.

Use a fiberglass mesh type tape to tape the seams in the cement board and fill with setting mortar. You can then screed the thin set over the taped seams using the flat side of a trowel and remove the excess by wiping with a grouting sponge. Alternatively, you can screed the entire surface with a thin coat of setting mortar and then smooth it.

Bedding the Tiles

Apply modified thin set made for granite tiles ensuring that it is fairly thick so that it stands up and does not slump. Use a notched trowel to comb the thin set thoroughly in order to give an even mortar bed, by holding it consistently at about a 30-45 degree angle to maintain the same even level.

After you have an even mortar bed, apply a very thin and even coat of thin set to the back of a tile with the flat side of the trowel and lay it on the mortar bed. Ensure that the tile edges are clean so that they will butt tightly to the next tile and as you proceed, try to apply the same pressure to each tile.

Since granite tile has natural fissures or cracks that can break, be careful when aligning each seam and corner as tiles are placed. To ensure that each seam is flat, lay a quarter flat on the surface and run it across the seams with your finger. If there are irregular seams, the quarter with snag and that will tell you where you need to make the adjustments to get the job completely properly.