Kitchen Design/Remodeling/tile countertop

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Question
Hello Diane,
I have a ceramic tile countertop. I am ready for a change. I would like a smooth surface. I want to avoid having to demo and remove the tiles. I have seen videos of using a concrete overlay (after sanding the tile surface), leaving a smooth, flat surface that fills in all the depressions of grout lines. The surface is then ready for a custom design and sealer to follow, or epoxy.
My problem is, that none of the videos specify the correct product to use for leveling over tile. There seem to be so many cementitious preparations, but none specifically mention that they are for use over ceramic tile. I also want to be sure to use a product that will be thin enough, as to not be too bulky. My question is, do you know which product should be used? I also would like to ask about faux finishing the new surface. What paints can be used on the concrete surface that will stick (or what primer), and also be compatible with the final epoxy finish?
I would appreciate any information you may have, related to this procedure or any of it's steps.
Thanks,
Margo

Answer
Hello, Margo.

I do understand your dilemma, wanting to have a smooth-surface countertop. Unfortunately, I have not seen any videos of a concrete product like you describe. If the video you saw doesn't have detailed information about the product and step-by-step instructions how to use it, don't waste your time and money.I'm concerned about several things with the concrete countertop that you describe. First, concrete cracks. It's only as good as the support structure. Second, how would the lip of your countertop be covered? Third, concrete is porous and needs to be sealed so it's safe to use with all kinds of food.

Concrete countertops have been around for several years. I'm not a fan of them. I've heard stories about people who had problems, companies going out of business, etc. And, concrete countertops are NOT a D-I-Y project.

My recommendation is to check out a company called Granite Transformations. If your existing tile countertops are suitable, they can apply a thin layer of engineered stone over them. Here's a link to their site where you can learn more: http://www.granitetransformations.com/

Recently, I've seen ads for Miracle Method refinishing being used on kitchen countertops. Miracle Method has been around for 30 years (or more), and I've recommended it to several of my clients. It looks like they've figured out how to use a durable finish. Here's a link to their website for more information: http://www.miraclemethod.com/countertop-refinishing.htm

Wishing you the best of luck with your kitchen countertops!

Warm regards,

Diane Plesset, CMKBD, C.A.P.S., NCIDQ
D. P. Design
"See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference."  

Kitchen Design/Remodeling

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Diane Plesset

Expertise

I will answer questions about kitchen design, remodeling: appliances, cabinets, countertops, lighting/switching, accessible kitchens, kitchens for multiple cooks, kitchen trends, flooring, windows and doors, ventilation, safety, function, and style.

Experience

25+ years as a kitchen designer; over 10 years as a Certified Master Kitchen-Bath Designer. Hundreds of projects completed, in all styles, all ranges of investment. Multiple design awards and published articles (see below). Public speaker and lecturer about home remodeling. Co-host of a local radio program for over three years, currently the host of "Today's Home" on Lifetime WebRadio every Sunday afternoon (website: http://www.todays-home.com)

Organizations
NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association); NAHB (National Association of Home Builders); PRO (Portland Remodelers' Organization); IDPC (Interior Design Protection Council)

Publications
"THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling" (book published in 2003), Gentry Magazine, Designers' Illustrated Magazine, Interior Coordinator Magazine (Japan); San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Oregonian, Statesman Journal Newspapers.

Education/Credentials
Multiple degrees, including bathroom design, kitchen design, lighting design, and residential interior design. Classes and seminars attended frequently, to maintain current knowledge about products, trends, codes, and technology.

Awards and Honors
Multiple certifications: Certified Master Kitchen-Bath Designer (NKBA), Certified Interior Designer (NCIDQ, National Council of Interior Design Qualification), and Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (NAHB). Awards include: Henry Adams Designer of the Year, CoTY, Master Design, Chrysalis, Best of the Best, Excellence (Best home in its category), and NABE (Best how-to book, 2003).

Past/Present Clients
To see photos of completed projects, please visit my website: http://www.dp-design.com/portfolio

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