QUESTIONInstalling Ceramic Tile on a Counter Top - I'm planning to install glazed floor tile (12x12) over cement board for a counter top. Any issues with this? And I plan to have 1/8" joints. What grout type would you recommend? Thanks for the help.
ANSWERANSWER - No, there should be no issues with a counter top type of installation if installed correctly and per industry standards, such as:
a. This design or assembly can be found in the Tile Council of North Americas (TCNA) as the C513-07 detail, Wood Base – Backer Board
b. Make sure the cabinet and base is properly secured. the wood substrate should be a 23/32 inch exterior glue plywood base and the base surface should be flat and level prior to installing the backer board
c. Follow the backer board manufactures installation instructions for kitchen countertops.
d. We would recommend applying an ANSI A118.10 liquid applied thin load bearing waterproofing membrane to the entire surface of the backer board, flashed or coved 3 inches up the back splash and all exposed edges of the plywood substrate and backer board. This will help protect from water damage and will help minimize minor stress cracking.
e. Use an ANSI A118.4 latex modified thinset to install the tile. Most manufactures of backer board and waterproofing member require this type of adhesive.
f. Let installed cure as per adhesive manufacture recommendation.
g. Properly apply and wash grout. Remove any grout in your movement or expansion joints and let grout cure.
h. Design perimeter or surface change of plane movement joints with the appropriate ASTM C920 sealant.
Typically 1/8th inch wide grout is the changing point for switching from a non-sanded cement grout (rule of thumb: 1/8th inch or less wide joint) to a sanded cement grout (rule of thumb 1/8th inch or wider grout joint. I would recommend a sanded cement grout, as long as it does not scratch your tile or stone. The sanded cement grout is more durable and would be less prone to having shrinkage cracks. If you want a grout that you do not have to seal and are less prone to staining and easy to clean, try a ANSI A 118.3 Chemical Resistant, Water Cleanable Epoxy Grout. It cost a little more and is more difficult to install, but can be well worth the investment.