Marble Tile Countertop Edging

QUESTION:

I will be using brown marble 12 x 12 tiles on a counter top. I am presently looking into the different ways of edging this product. Would "edge" tiles be out of place? The color of the floor will be a medium beige shade.


Would a 90 degree strip of tile for the edge be out of place, and should the top overlap the edge or vise versa? Also, best way to polish the edges if the overlap is used.

ANSWER:

You could use "edge" tiles that have a pre-polished, pre-formed rounded side.

These can be a bit difficult to find and match, but here's a link:

http://www.qflooring.com/granite.asp

If you don't use a pre-made edge tile, then I'd have the top 12x12 tile overlap the edge. This will eliminate the grout line/seam right at the edge making for a cleaner and stronger edge.

Also, by having the top overlap the side, you may be able to just glue the edge tile right up underneath the top tile without any grout to minimize any seam or you may find that grouting it makes for a better transition.

It's a bit difficult to get a good polish on the exposed cut side of the top tile, but there's a couple things you can do.

1. Sand the cut edge with 240 grit metal sand paper progressing to 400 grit to 600 and then to 000 steel wool. Do this before installing the actual edge tiles.

2. If that still doesn't get adequate "shine" then you can apply a Color-Enhancing Sealer.

An enhancer will give the edge a permanent "wet look," which will look similar to a polished surface.

Actually, I'd recommend you try the enhancer first on a sample, un-installed tile to see if you like the effect. If it's satisfactory, this will be far easier than sanding all the edges.

Of course, you can sand down a sample and compare and then sand and apply the enhancer to one sample to see how that looks.

One important thing to consider though... is this a kitchen countertop? If so, you will likely have a problem with etching.

Marble is sensitive to acids like coffee, wine, juice, etc. and will leave dull and/or discolored spots when these contact the surface.

Sealing will not prevent this. Honestly, it's impossible to avoid in a kitchen. You can remove these etch marks with an ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing Paste, but it'll be an ongoing maintenance issue.

I'd install granite tiles instead. If you do, you'll have to go with the enhancer route on the edge because you won't be able to sand granite to a polish unless you invest in some diamond abrasive pads for the job.

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