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Old 11-23-2010
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Galley counter-ceramic tiles

Well, its a holiday and i have time and access to a diamond wheel wetsaw etc. so im thinking of redoing my galley counter. i have a few questions and would really appreciate any feedback. speaking of feedback, its that time of year to attach the feedbag--so happy thanksgiving.

ok, lets talk turkey. har t har har couldnt resist.

the current setup has a thin layer of what appears to be pre-corian synthetic that is seriously bonded to the plyunderlayer (which appears to be teak). there seems to have been a leak (which ive arrested) that caused the synthetic to 'peel' up from the ply--but only in one spot by the companionway. what im thinking of doing is resecuring the slight delam area with a counter sunk screw and just tileing over the whole kit and kaboodle. ive got the sink/faucets so they can lift out, and set them back in on the new counter, and am able to fashion spaces for the screws to go into the preexisting counter.

another thing im very unsure of is that the current setup has three flush access panels (two to pantry stowage, one to chiller) that have the flush ring type pull tab. while im not too worried about making a cut out for the pull tab, all hinges and edges (it would seem)--well maybe not all but the hinge/latch side-- would need cutouts as well to ensure proper open/close operations--or could i cover them and bevel at 45 deg each to maintain opening ops?

i would hate to have to yank everything that is there and sound, but want to have proper functioning....


thanks again
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Last edited by QuickMick; 11-23-2010 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 11-23-2010
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I'm personally not a big fan of tile'n'grout countertops - on a boat or at home. Tile makes a nice backsplash for a cabin heater, but for me the uneven surface, grout requiring a real good seal, difficulty keeping clean and mold issues would rule it out. - but that's just me.

I think you're probably right about the interference the tile thickness might have for opening and closing.. could you make them 'lift outs' and pass on the hinges?

'twere it me I'd flatten down the delam and recover with a good formica type material. Chances are the hinge issues would go away too....
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Old 11-23-2010
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Grouted ceramic tiles on a galley workspace .... should be nominated for ***incubation / growth site of wild and strange bacteria/dirt of the year in boats*** award of the year 2010.

Tile ?????? There is no way to 'seal' the grout, .... not latex caulk, not silicone, not 'urethane coatings over the grout, etc. from contamination on 'tiled' food preparation surfaces. Plus, grout is going to be an eternal 'bitsch' to keep keep remotely clean.

Just like 'tiled' drainboards and workcounters, etc. installed in the 1970s in houses ..... Dont use grouted tile as a galley workspace. Corian, formica, cultured/manufactured stone (not 'tile'), thin granite or marble, etc. .... but not 'tile' with grease, stain, and dirt imbedded 'grout'. Yucckkkkkk.
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Old 11-23-2010
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good call on the 'lift out.' as for the food prep, i never really use the actual counter surface anyway, but bamboo choppin' block. would your thinking differ if i use 'glazed ceramic' cut to fit, the only grout application being edgework? but heck, some bit of chow always gets away from you (or at least me...lol) and id hate to try to fish it out of a tightly fitted seam...

thanks, guess me thinks ill be rethinkin the corian/formica. but heck, maybe i should just sawzall off the whole counter and reset. ill snap some pics and come back to ya for more info.


always appreciated,
yours,
Q
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Old 11-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post
good call on the 'lift out.' as for the food prep, i never really use the actual counter surface anyway, but bamboo choppin' block. would your thinking differ if i use 'glazed ceramic' cut to fit, the only grout application being edgework? but heck, some bit of chow always gets away from you (or at least me...lol) and id hate to try to fish it out of a tightly fitted seam...
Nope. Ceramic surfaces are, by nature, porous - so even when glazed, a scratch or nick in the countertyop from something dropping on it will look awful after a month or so.

If you're wanting something cut to fit, have you thought of granite? The people who sell stone benchtops will often have 'small offcuts' that they'd be happy to cut and sell. All you need is a thin veneer ('tile') like they use on the outside of buildings and IMHO that would make for a nicer, more durable, finish than ceramic..
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Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
....If you're wanting something cut to fit, have you thought of granite? The people who sell stone benchtops will often have 'small offcuts' that they'd be happy to cut and sell. All you need is a thin veneer ('tile') like they use on the outside of buildings and IMHO that would make for a nicer, more durable, finish than ceramic..
Good idea... not only that, anytime a granite countertop gets damaged in transit they're likely to have undersized irregular pieces they'd love to get rid of.
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Old 11-23-2010
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having done a couple of tile countertops in my time, i have decided that the next time i do a countertop, I am going to do a concrete top. easier to seal, no nooks and crannies to collect mold and mildew and easier to shape. no wetsaw needed, just form, web, pour, set, and seal.
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Old 11-23-2010
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I agree with the others that tiles make a lousy counter top surface. But they can make a nice backsplash. The pic below is a boat I owned years ago. I put the series of 4 tiles in the surface above and behind the sink. The countertops were ash and teak with about 3 coats of clear epoxy followed by 4 coats of Epifanes varnish. It looked good but I wouldn't want to do it again - you have to be careful with everything so you don't mar the surface. On the other hand the counters are more than 15 years old in this picture. Laminate (Formica or Arborite) in a mat finish is probably the best solution and the easiest to care for.
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Old 11-23-2010
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Mick-
Consider, if the material you have is like Formica (a thin flexible sheet, like 1/16" actually made of layers of paper embedded in resin) and not Corian (a thick and totally inflexible synthetic stone) then you may be able to just repair the damage--without any screws.

Formica and similar materials are just glued down with a contact adhesive. Traditionally the mustard yellow kind although there are good water-based white ones available now as well. If you can clean out that delaminated area and then apply a contact adhesive to both surfaces, once you set it back down (and clamp or weight it) it should set up perfectly, good as new.

Epoxy or urethane adhesives would also do, but contact cement is way cheaper and designed for this job.

"Tile ?????? There is no way to 'seal' the grout, " Yeah, actually there is. Tiled kitchens have to pass health department and USDA standards all the time. You start by using an "epoxy grout" which is epoxy-fortified similar to the way that resin impregnates fiberglass. And an "unsanded wall grout" rather than a floor grout, which contains sand to provide strength when it is walked on--but won't set as tight.
Then there are surface sealers which also help. Regular countertop cleaning is all it needs after that. But for tile on a boat...Geez, Mick, this isn't gonna wind up on HGTV as a frilly boat show, is it? :-)

$2 for the contact cement, some scraping, a weight overnight, good as new.
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Old 11-23-2010
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Hello has a good point. Just reface the surface. If you want to get fancy, use stainless. if you want butch, use diamond plate. make a pattern, cut, glue it down with some construction adhesive (or screws and finish washers) and you're good to go.
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