Replacing Tile or Laminate Countertops
LESLIE: Ina (sp) in California’s up next, listening to The Money Pit on KSRO. And you’ve got a countertop question. What can we do for you?
INA (sp): Yes, I was in a shopping center and I saw a display which was granite …
INA (sp): … that was covering Formica or they were covering tile. And I was wondering how practical is something like this rather than just kind of replacing the entire countertop with regular granite.
TOM: So they were resurfacing a laminate countertop with granite? Hmm.
INA (sp): (overlapping voices) It was a veneer. It was actually a veneer that was placed on top of tile or Formica.
TOM: I’ve never seen that.
INA (sp): Oh.
LESLIE: I’ve never heard of such a thing.
LESLIE: I imagine such a thin layer of granite would be incredibly fragile.
TOM: Yeah. And if … and if that countertop wasn’t perfectly flat …
INA (sp): Yes.
TOM: … that would crack in a heartbeat.
INA (sp): It could crack, I suppose. Mmm.
TOM: Granite is very fragile.
INA (sp): I didn’t realize that.
TOM: Yeah, it’s very fragile. And if it’s not, you know, perfectly flat and supported during the installation, it cracks like crazy.
INA (sp): It looked like about three-eights of an inch; like a (inaudible) …
TOM: Yeah. You know, it usually doesn’t make sense to resurface a countertop.
INA (sp): Mm-hmm.
TOM: It’s almost always less expensive just to replace the whole thing.
INA (sp): Replace the whole thing.
TOM: Because it’s a boat load of work.
LESLIE: Well plus, then there could be plumbing problems by the extra height that you’re adding to the countertop. Your sink would have to be readjusted.
TOM: Right, everything has to be readjusted. You know, it could be one of the solid surfacing products that maybe look like granite. Are you sure it actually was granite?
INA (sp): There was nobody there. It was just (inaudible).
TOM: Yeah. You know, it might have been a solid surfacing product that sometimes they use to resurface tops. But generally, I think, if you want it to come out best, you’re always better off replacing it.
INA (sp): OK. Well, I certainly appreciate it and I thought I’d get your advice before I did anything.
TOM: Well, we’re glad we helped you out, Ina. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.