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How to Apply Granite Backsplash Over Laminate

Backsplashes offer an easy-to-clean and decorative backdrop for kitchen or bathroom sinks. Installing a granite tile backsplash over a laminated wall can be tricky to do at home, but even novices can be successful with some careful planning and the correct equipment. Cutting granite can be cumbersome and takes practice. It may help to buy extra tiles and practice your cutting technique before trimming tiles for the actual backsplash.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Butcher or Kraft paper
  • Scissors
  • Granite tiles
  • Grease pencil
  • Safety goggles
  • Diamond wet saw
  • C-clamps
  • Scrap board as cutting surface
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Rags (damp and dry)
  • Cement-based thinset
  • Putty knife
  • Stone grout
  • Ruler and T-square (optional)
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    • 1

      Measure the area of the desired backsplash. Mark the placement and size of any outlets or other built-in features.

    • 2

      Cut a piece of butcher or Kraft paper to the same size as your desired backsplash.

    • 3

      Mark the placement of outlets and features using the ruler and T-square if necessary.

    • 4

      Arrange the tiles on the paper until you find the overage and pattern desired for your backsplash. Leave an 1/8- to 1/10-inch gap between tiles for grout. Use the grease pencil to mark over any tiles that need to be trimmed to fit the pattern or accommodate plugs.

    • 5

      Clamp a cutting board to a work surface using C-clamps. Place the marked tiles on the board.

    • 6

      Fill the wet saw’s water reservoir with water according to the manufacturer’s directions. Put on safety goggles.

    • 7

      Plug in the wet saw, allow water to flow over the cutting blade, and push the saw gently onto the tile. Cut along the grease-marked line. Wipe away the grease marks and set the tiles aside.

    • 8

      Buff the laminate in the area of the backsplash with the 80-grit sandpaper. This roughens up the laminate surface, making the resin coating porous enough to allow adhesion between the cement thin-set, the wall and the tiles.

    • 9

      Clean away any resin dust from the wall with a damp rag. Use a putty knife to apply a generous layer of cement thin-set to the backsplash surface.

    • 10

      Push the tiles, as mapped on the paper, into the thinset. Press firmly to fully adhere the tiles into the thinset. Allow the tiles to set overnight.

    • 11

      Lay a line of grout between the tiles. Use the putty knife to push the grout into the gaps, then use a dry rag to eliminate excess grout. Allow the grout to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.