How to Install a Granite Countertop Over Existing Laminate

Traditionally, granite countertops are made of a solid slab of granite, which is cut to fit your countertop frame.

Realistically, a solid slab of granite is not something that an average homeowner can install. However, you can install granite tiles. By getting some of the tiles beveled on the front, so that they can fit along the front edge, you can create the same solid, classic look with less trouble and expense.

De-gloss the existing laminate surface with your belt sander, running it over the entire counter. Wipe up the dust.

Measure the length of the countertop and mark the middle of the front edge. Draw a line from front to back using your pencil and square, so the countertop is divided into two halves.

Spread thinset mortar along the section of the surface, from end to end and going back from the front by a little more than a tile width.

Press a beveled granite tile into the mortar, at the front of the surface, on one side of the middle line. The beveled edge of the tile should face forward off the counter.

Set more beveled tiles along the whole front edge, working from the middle to the sides. Put spacers between them as you lay them. Use a wetsaw to cut the last tiles on either end as needed.

Set a row of regular tiles behind the first row beveled tiles, again starting at the center line and working to the sides. Set spacers between all of them. Cut the end tiles as needed.

Press the subsequent courses into place one by one, starting each course at the middle and working to the sides. Cut the end tiles as needed. Cover the entire surface.

Let the mortar dry for 12 hours. Remove the spacers.

Grout the countertop with unsanded grout, spreading it on with a grout float. Scrape the grout across the surface and force it into the spaces between the tiles. Wipe up the excess grout with a dampened sponge. Let it set for 48 hours.

Things You Will Need

  • Power sander
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Square
  • Thinset mortar
  • Notched trowel
  • Granite tiles (beveled and regular)
  • Tile spacers
  • Wetsaw
  • Grout (unsanded)
  • Grout float
  • Sponge