Setting tile on laminate
A laminate countertop is an acceptable base for ceramic tile, but think carefully before
you attempt it. If your counter
has curved edges, as most do, you'll have
to grind off the raised bead at the lip
with a belt sander and you won't be able
to tile the backsplash without cutting off
the curved top edge. Some tile stores
carry special tiles that will wrap around
the front edge, but the selection will be
limited. If you choose to go ahead, first
rough up the laminate with 100-grit sandpaper
and adhere the tile with an adhesive
that's formulated to bond to plastic laminate
(look for the adhesive at tile stores).
Frankly, this is a dicey proposition and we
don't recommend it. Some tiles can still
come loose, and the grout may crack,
especially at the front edge. The best
course is to tear off the old top and install
a solid 3/4-in. plywood underlayment and
a layer of tile backer board before tiling.
It's less work than it sounds and will
ensure a long-lasting tile countertop.