How to Cover Your Formica Countertops With Granite Tile


Granite countertops are the envy of many homeowners. They are beautiful and add value to any home. However, many homeowners cannot afford the high cost of a granite countertop. A good solution is granite tile. Granite tile can be installed on top of Formica or laminate countertops as long as they are in good condition.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Rags
  • Hand sander
  • Sandpaper
  • 1/16-inch tile spacers
  • Stone polisher and pads
  • Thinset mortar
  • Notched trowel
  • Tile saw
  • Masking tape
  • Grout
  • Grout sealer
  • Rubber tile float
  • Grout sponge
  • Clean the Formica or laminate countertop with dish soap and warm water. Use a clean rag to scrub the Formica so that it is clean and free of grease and dust. Dry the countertop completely and remove the sink from the countertop.

  • Sand or degloss the Formica countertop, using a hand sander and rough-grit sandpaper. The purpose of sanding the countertop is to make sure thinset mortar will adhere to the surface. Once you have sanded the Formica, use a damp rag to remove the extra dust from the countertop.

  • Lay out the tile on the countertop. This will help give you a good idea of what you want the tile to look like once installed. Use 1/16-inch tile spacers for equal joints between the tiles.

  • Polish the edges of the granite tiles that will show on the countertop, using a stone polisher. Start with a 50- to 150-grit pad and work slowly up to a 3,000- to 5,000-grit pad.

  • Mix the thinset mortar according to the manufacturer's directions. Spread the mortar on the prepared Formica or laminate countertop with a notched trowel at a 45-degree angle.

  • Lay the tiles on the countertop with the tile spacers. Remember to hang the tile over the countertop to allow for the edging. Level the tiles as you go, pressing them gently into the thinset mortar. Lay all of the full tiles first, then measure and cut the tiles that need cuts, using a tile saw. Complete the top of the countertop and then apply thinset to the sides of the countertop. Align the joints of the edge tiles with the joints of the top tiles. Install the cut edge tiles in place and use masking tape to hold them in place while the thinset mortar dries. The tile should be dry before grouting.

  • Mix the grout per the manufacturer's directions. Spread the grout into the tile joints, using a rubber tile float. Once the grout has been spread into the joints, use a damp grout sponge to remove the grout haze from the tops of the tiles.

  • Apply a grout sealer to the grout. Follow the manufacturer's directions. The sealer should prevent stains from accumulating on the grout.

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  • Photo Credit granite image by Zbigniew Nowak from
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