How to Overlay Countertops

Written by larry simmons
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Installing an overlay to your existing countertops can be a quick way to provide a new look without having to install replacement countertop. You can overlay your countertop in a wide variety of styles, colours and materials, from granite tiles to concrete covers. Regardless of the material used, overlaying your countertops requires that you follow the same general installation process. First you prepare the existing countertop, and then attach the new material to the surface. This gives you not only the look and feel of the overlay material, but the functionality of the material as well.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Kitchen cleanser
  • Water
  • Repair kit
  • Measuring tape
  • Overlay materials
  • Tile cutter
  • Adhesive
  • Thin-set mortar
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Lint-free cloth

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  1. 1

    Prepare the existing countertop for the new overlay. Clean the countertop thoroughly. Repair any deep gouges or missing countertop material using a repair kit specifically made for the material of your countertop. Follow the repair kit manufacturer's instructions to complete the repairs necessary.

  2. 2

    Measure the countertop and purchase your countertop cover to the exact measurements. Make certain the cover will fully fit the sides of the countertop as well as the top surface.

  3. 3

    Cover the surface of the countertop with an adhesive compatible with the overlay. Place the overlay over the countertop, snugly fitting it flush against the existing countertop. If using tiles instead of a cover, apply a thin-set mortar to the rear of each tile and place the tiles onto the countertop beginning at the edge and working your way to the rear of the countertop. Cut tiles to fit for sections requiring partial tiles.

  4. 4

    Use the same application process to overlay the edges of the countertop with tile if necessary.

  5. 5

    Allow the adhesive or mortar to dry overnight.

  6. 6

    Grout tiled overlays to prevent water or dirt from working through tile joints to the countertop below. Apply the grout using a grout float to work the grout into all tile joints. Allow the grout to begin to set for 15 minutes, and then go over the surface of the tiles with a damp sponge to remove any grout residue.

  7. 7

    Allow the grout to set overnight and then go over the tiles with a clean lint-free cloth to remove the cloudy haze left on the tiles by drying grout. Give the grout two weeks to set completely before using the new surface.

  8. 8

    Seal the surface of the overlay to protect it from spills and staining. Allow the sealant to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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