Question

Is it possible to make a countertop using remnant pieces of granite cut into 12x12 tiles, then put onto plywood? Would we grout with epoxy?

Asked by Deana
Duncan, SC

We have 70 sq. ft. of countertop space, and plenty of remnant pieces as long as we cut them into tiles. What kind of saw would we use to make sure we don't chip the granite?

Answer

Ryan Flegal

Answered by Ryan Flegal

Los Angeles, CA

Ryan Flegal, Broker - PropertyMix, Inc.

May 28, 2011

Repurposing old remnants is a great solution for green countertops and for the environment. Yes!

You can install granite tiles in much the same way you would install any kitchen tiles. 

  • The difference is that your granite tiles will be quite a bit thicker.
  • I recommend a powered tile saw with a sliding table to cut small remnant pieces.

Much less expensive to rent than buy a saw

The best way to get the right tool for the job is to go to a local tool rental center (many Home Depot stores have these) and ask what they suggest for this particular job.

  • Since you can cut all of your tile pieces in one day, it is much less expensive to rent rather than buy a machine.
  • Renting is also better for the environment.
  • Renting is a way to share tools rather than each of us buying another "made in China" tool for the one small job we each have.

Try odd-shaped cuts

I encourage you to be creative. You may want to try patterns or odd-shaped cuts. Perhaps a combination of square-cut and rectangular-cut pieces would look good.

Try going to a tile store to view patterns of their tiles to get ideas, or look online at tile patterns.

Installation

When you are ready to adhere the tiles, I suggest you use a concrete backing board over your plywood base and then mortar and grout, just as you would if you were applying ceramic tiles. 

  • You can place the granite tiles against each other if you don't want grout lines. 
  • Epoxy is likely to have a higher VOC (volatile organic compounds) level than the mortar.
  • Again, just follow the same directions you would if you were installing ceramic tiles.

Thanks for reusing old remnants. This is a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Every time we can avoid buying new products, we limit our environmental footprint.

Tagged In: stone countertops

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