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Thread: Countertops, flush edges

  1. #1

    Default Countertops, flush edges

    Hi everyone.

    I've begun a tile countertop project.

    For the prep work, I've already cut the plywood and backer board. I haven't yet attached the backer board on top of the plywood.

    Problem is, when I rest the backer on top of the plywood, there are a few places that the two are not quite flush. (The backer doesn't overhang quite as far as the plywood it's sitting on)

    I see in some books that people put a backer board strip around the perimiter to make a flush edge. However, The plywood already overhangs about 1 inch from the cabinets. With a backer strip, it will be 1 1/2 inches. With the tile, it's going to be around 2" overhang.

    Is there a "thinner" way to get the edges flush before I tile? Or is 2" overhang not really a bad thing?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    If you are going to tile the edges, then you need backer, but it doesn't have to be 1/2" thick. Make sure to use thinset under the cbu and use the appropriate screws to hold it down. Tape the edges, too, with the special mesh tape designed for contact with tile (not the same, but looks like, that used on drywall). 2" should be okay, but it depends on the handles and cabinets you have. Consider the size of tile and the grout line, too. Tweaking it so you minimize cut tiles is a good idea when possible. You don't want any small slivers of tile.

    What are you using on the edge?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    write diagnostic firmware for embedded industrial digital cameras (aka machine vision) gdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pac NW


    Be wary of that 2" overhang if you have any drawers directly under the counter edge; you may not be able to (easily) reach the back of the drawer... unless you get those extended drawer guides (which i would recommend anyway).

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default backer

    Maybe I am reading this wrong, but why isn't the backer board cut the same size as the plywood. But if it is cut wrong, line the front edge with the plywood. The rear edge will be under the backsplash and would not have any stress even if it were not.

  5. #5
    DIY Hillbilly Southern Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    North Carolina


    There should be enough play in the bull nose edge to take care of any minor variations on the width of the substrate. You can test this by dry fitting the pieces and taping them in place. If you have some wide spots then you can chip away at the substrate at that location. Use a straight edge to check that you've got a nice line, then mark the line and glue them down. You only need to glue them to the top surface- not the side. The field tiles should all go in after the edge is in place.


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