Countertops are the focal point of a kitchen because they are not only used daily but are the primary surface in a kitchen. Installing granite countertops can add a great deal of flair and beauty to your home. This article provides a few granite countertop installation tips to make the job easier for you.
Selecting Granite Countertop Edges
There are several types of granite countertop edges available to compliment and accent the current room theme. Prior to installation, it is important to look at the different edge options and select the one that will be used for your project. For example, a very popular edge is the bullnose edge which is custom made by the manufacturer or by the tile installer.
Also available are the polished square edge, matching cabinet wood trim and accenting ceramic rail or ceramic cap. You can even select the manufactured metal profile that is specifically designed for granite tile installations instead of slab installations.
Diagonal Layout Pattern
You can layout the granite tile in any pattern that you choose. The diagonal layout pattern is the most common for kitchen granite countertops that will be utilizing a wood trim or the ceramic tile trim. This type of layout will decrease the need to create small cuts in the back of the project.
Square Set Layout Pattern
Another option to layout granite tile is in the square set layout pattern. This pattern is especially functional with a bullnose trim that is seven or eight inches. There will be a significant remainder cut for the back of the project.
Grouting the Granite Tile Seams
Once the tiles are laid out they are traditionally set butted to each other. You will notice that each of the tile pieces has one-thirty-second inch polished bevel edging. Placing two tiles next to one another and butting them will create a natural one-sixteenth inch seam to grout. With granite tiles you only want to use un-sanded grout materials.
Level Setting Surface
The setting surface is the key to your granite countertop project. It is imperative that you create a setting surface that is as level and flat as possible in order to have a better finished project.
The ideal setting surface for the granite countertops is a quarter inch cement board for the underlayment. The board will be level and sturdy enough to support the granite countertop.
You will apply the underlayment with screws. Make sure that the screws are drilled very flush with the underlayment to create a shallow dimple. You can even secure the cement board underlayment on top of flat laminate that is already on the current countertop.
The final tip for the underlayment is to make sure you use a fiberglass mesh tape and some setting mortar to fill up the gaps between the seams. You do not want any gaps at the seams.
You have the option of covering the entire underlayment with a thin layer of setting mortar. Make sure that it is over the entire surface by using a sponge and the flat side of a mortar trowel. Clean any excess with a damp sponge.
Bedding the Granite Tiles
Be certain that the thinset used for the tiling is reasonably thick and tends to stand up instead of slumping. Use a notched trowel to comb through it for a very even mortar bed for setting the granite tiles.
Apply even pressure when setting the tiles into the mortar bed. This will ensure that they are all even and smooth instead of having ridges in our final project.