LESLIE: Mary in Illinois needs some help cleaning the kitchen counter. What’s going on? Tell us about it?
MARY: What I found is floor tile, ceramic floor tile, but I would like to use it for my kitchen countertop.
MARY: It’s just a really lovely tile.
LESLIE: Is it sealed?
MARY: And a friend told me that you could disinfect the tile but you couldn’t disinfect the grout. And for use in a kitchen, I just wondered is this practical; to use floor tile for a countertop.
TOM: Sure, why not?
LESLIE: I mean yeah. Tile is used all the time in a countertop situation. I think it’s important to seal that grout. Number one – you’re going to prevent dirt and bacteria from getting in there and it’s also going to make your cleaning process a lot easier. So I say go for it. It’ll make a really nice project and something that you can easily do yourself.
MARY: And the seams would be the same as it would be on a floor or can you make them more narrow?
TOM: Well, if you’re going to use a floor tile you’re going to have a wider joint …
TOM: … and, in that case – I think, Leslie, what she might be talking about is the difference between sand grout and nonsanded grout.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. How large are these tiles? Are they 12-inch squares, 16?
MARY: They’re 12-inch.
LESLIE: They’re 12-inch square. Usually, on a floor situation you’re going to have a wider grout line, which means you’re going to use a sanded grout to accommodate more space. I say go ahead and make them much more close together and go ahead and use a nonsanded because then it will fill in more nicely in those narrow spaces. And then do seal that grout.
TOM: Yeah, absolutely seal it. You want to use a silicone-based sealer, Mary, and do it right away because this way it won’t have a chance to get dirty.