Home Clinic; Picking Tiles and Planning Carefully to Replace Counter Tops

By EDWARD R. LIPINSKIMAY 28, 2000ONE way to refinish a kitchen countertop where the plastic laminate is worn is to resurface it with ceramic tile.First, check the condition of the laminate carefully. The surface must be flat, relatively smooth and firmly bonded to the counter. Once you have determined that the laminate bond is secure, you can pick out the tiles you want for the counter. Avoid choosing unglazed, porous tiles or tiles with a high-gloss glaze. Unglazed tiles stain easily and will be hard to maintain. High-gloss tiles will scratch.Ceramic tiles are available in a wide range of sizes and colors. Most do-it-yourselfers will find that the standard four-and-a-quarter-inch square ceramic tiles are easiest to work with because they are a convenient size and they have spacing tabs to ensure uniform grout joints. To determine how many tiles you need, calculate the area of the counter top, including the backsplash, and add 15 percent to cover cutting mistakes, breakage and spares for future repairs.You will also need a latex or acrylic thin-set adhesive to bond the tiles to the counter, and an unsanded grout to fill the gaps between the tiles. Consult the specifications on the packages to determine the required amounts for each, or check with the dealer at the tile store.AdvertisementIt is likely that you will have to cut some tiles and shape others to fit around the sink opening. You will need a tile cutter and a nibbler for these tasks. These can be rented from the tile dealer or from a tool rental store. You will also need a notched trowel and a grout float.AdvertisementStart by removing the sink and fixtures. First, shut off the water supply to the faucets. Then disconnect the supply lines and remove the fixtures. Loosen the sink tailpiece and the retaining clips under the sink, then lift the sink from the counter.Wash the counter top with a mild detergent to remove all dirt and grease, then sand the surface with 120-grit sandpaper. The sanding will roughen the laminate surface and create a ''tooth'' for the tile adhesive to bond with. Use a damp cloth to clean all dust from the surface.Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.Invalid email address. Please re-enter.You must select a newsletter to subscribe to.View all New York Times newsletters.The hardest part of any tile installation is planning the layout so the tiles will look symmetrical. Since the sink is the focal point of the counter top, the layout should be centered on it. Lay a row of tiles along the front edge of the sinkhole, making sure the row is centered on the sinkhole.Use a pencil to place a mark on the counter at one end of the row. This will be the starting point for the layout. Use a framing square to extend the mark to the backsplash. Lay a row of tiles along this new line, then repeat this operation on the other side of the sinkhole.Next lay a row of tiles around the perimeter of the sink. If they extend over the sinkhole, mark the overlapping material on the underside of each tile, then cut them to fit the opening. Use the tile cutter to cut straight pieces and the nibbler to break away small portions to fit the corners. You may also have to cut the tiles that fit against the backsplash.When all the tiles are cut to size, you can begin the installation. First, nail a temporary wooden straightedge, called a batten, to the edge of the counter. This will serve as a guide for aligning the first row of tiles. Mix the adhesive according to the package directions, then let the mixture stand for about 15 minutes to develop stronger bonding power.Spread the adhesive with the flat side of the trowel, then flip the trowel over and use the notched side to comb the adhesive in a uniformly rigid pattern. Begin setting the tiles at the front edge, starting at your pencil mark; then continue to tile the entire counter. When you place the tiles along the backsplash, be sure to align them with the rest of the counter tiles. After all the tiles are in, place a piece of plywood (about 12 inches by 12 inches) on top of the tiles and tap the board with a rubber mallet. This will seat the tiles firmly in the adhesive.Allow at least 24 hours for the adhesive to set before applying the grout. Mix the grout according to the package directions and spread it across the face of the tiles with the grout float. Hold the float at a shallow angle to force the grout into the gaps between the tiles. Let the grout set for about 15 minutes, then wipe away any residue with a damp cloth. When the grout has had time to dry completely, apply a grout sealer with a small artist's brush.We are continually improving the quality of our text archives. Please send feedback, error reports, and suggestions to archive_feedback@nytimes.com.A version of this article appears in print on May 28, 2000, on Page CN14 of the National edition with the headline: . Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe

Home Clinic; Picking Tiles and Planning Carefully to Replace Counter Tops 1

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Is It Possible to Lay a Floating Laminate Floor on Top of Ceramic Tiles (on Concrete)if the Tiles Ar
Is it possible to lay a floating laminate floor on top of ceramic tiles (on concrete)if the tiles are smooth?all laminate floors have an underlay .without it it will be very noisy .the underlay can be bought as a very thin layer— — — — — —No of tiles required ...need urgent help?You need 40 tiles plus scrap. Tile is priced per s/f So if your looking at a display tile it might say 8$ but the s/f price to compare to other tiles would be 2$ a s/f Same goes for 18x18" , 16x16 etc. Any questions you can e mail me through my avatar and check my qualifications there. GL— — — — — —Recommendations for making board tilesMy first published game has a map of seven hexagonal tiles, so I have some experience with this.If you must have hex tiles (e.g. a case where the board layout is user-generated as in the 4x game E C L I P S E, not fixed as in Catan or as in my game), then I would buy a bunch of blank tiles from The Game Crafter or Amazon. Our earliest prototypes used something similar (though made of a thicker composite material). With tiles in hand, just print square icons and tape them to the tiles. For that matter, you could just write freehand on the tiles. If you can get away with a using a pre-determined grid layout, then that will be much less expensive. Just print an appropriate hex grid, and use square or circular tokens to randomly distribute the hexes on the board. We used this in later prototypes, and eventually in the published version of my game. In any case, I would strongly advise against cutting out a lot of hexagons. It's unwieldy! Make some icons and send the files to The Game Crafter or to Print and Play Productions. They are much better at cutting :)— — — — — —How would you go about covering a sphere (best possible approximation) using N tiles (assuming that the tiles can be resized as long as they are all of the same size and shape)?Personally, I would not do that to a Sphere atall.I say this in all earnesty:It will be a Hassle Beyond belief and all your estimations of what a hassle can be.Surface area of a Sphere is reported in Square Inches unless you use r and then you are truly dealing with and likely considering: Sending it off to the 4th Dimension. To place tile on the Poles, is not easy as you think: 'need a Circumference for each pole' Ha. Ever tried to Stretch Tile? Poles usually are slightly stretched, just like a Balloon at the Pole is more Stretched than the rest.You will have to mould your own Clamps or put fresh clay on your Clamps to soften the Grip, this clay dries up quick in Summer Heat, and crumbles if you do not spray it with water every 15 minutes. Even if I was discussing this to Engineers and needed a Stage Prop of a Sphere, I Would sell the client on a Fact: 'Often the Mind's Eye of a Seer is more satisfied with say: a 4000 sided Mosaic of Stained Glass as a Centerpiece than a Tiled Sphere' [alike 2 Tiffany Lampshades Glued together], for the eyes are usually scornful critics, Gaze attracts more to imperfection or ingenuity than to perfection.I hope the application is not a Garden on a Hill, because, it will probably rain to ease your suffering, and you will likely need to at some stage: destroy a hose using it like a Doorstop to prevent Roll.Although you can use a Hose as a Measuring tape, it does not inform you the angle of the cut. You will very likely end up buying twine and starch, to make a String-Based Cover that is a Sphere of the exact size to end up cutting that Twine [with Sharp Scissors] into all the Mosaic Shapes so you have a Model to go by and know how to cut each piece.Do not get any bright Ideas of wrapping a Hose around it, you have to take the hose off eventually.Expect to use minimally 7 different colors of tile or the Project will become skewed as: too Bland. You will say no fewer than thrice: 'This is why the Lathe was Invented!'How would you go about covering a sphere (best possible approximation) using N tiles (assuming that the tiles can be resized as long as they are all of the same size and shape)?How would you go about covering a sphere (best possible approximation) using n tiles (assuming that the tiles can be resized as long as they are all the same size and shape)?
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