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Old 03-21-2012, 01:19 PM   #1
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New Countertops

Hi all.

Not sure what the appropriate forum to post projects is, so I just decided to put this here. Mods, feel free to move as necessary.

*

A few weeks ago, we decided to replace the countertops on our 32' CHB. The original off-white laminate countertops had seen their better days -- they were stained and chipped with rough patches, epoxy drips, etc...

Originally, we had intended to replace the countertops with a Corian type product, or granite/marble, or concrete, or laminate again. But every product we looked at had problems -- too expensive, too heavy, too heavy and expensive, ugly, or not DIY friendly. So we looked into refinishing the existing ones.

There was a post on TF (http://www.trawlerforum.com/t44481175/formica-repair/) *that @dvd replied to, mentioning a new RustOleum product for refinishing laminate countertops. The local Home Depot had a "Charcoal" kit in stock for ~$150, which we picked up, along with the necessary brushes, rollers, tape, plastic, and other necessary accessories.

That night, we removed all the hardware from the countertops and sanded the existing laminate down, per the instructions. About an hour later they were ready for the next step. We taped every seam and edge, and layed plastic dropcloths around the stove, fridge, drawers, and surrounding areas. Then we layed a think layer of the supplied base coat epoxy down, and covered it with the supplied chips. And then we went home. Total work on day 1: ~2 hours.

The next day, we returned to the boat, and vacuumed up all the loose chips, and began sanding the remaining ones smooth. In a couple places we hadn't put down enough base-coat epoxy, and the light countertop showed through on close inspection. In another couple places, we sanded too much, and again showed white. We used a sponge to add a bit more base coat, and chips, and let it sit to set up (not the full 6 hours suggested by the manual... but we took our chances). Then we rolled-and-tipped the surface coat over the entire countertop. We left the boat for 5 hours or so to let the top coat set up. When we returned that evening it looked fantastic -- and we cut and removed the tape, trim, and dropcloths, and went home. Total work on day 2: ~4 hours, spread out over ~9.

The following friday, we wen't down to the boat again to finish up. The top coat was entirely cured, but when it dried it shrank. Some of the flaws in our sanding and top-coat rolling showed through. Personally, I wish the top coat remained the same as it was when it was tacky, but not cured -- but the product clearly passes the 2-foot quality check, and excels at the 5-foot-away check. We caulked every seam with black silicone, installed a new faucet, and put in some temporary LED lighting. Total work on day 3: ~2 hours.

Finished product: For less than 2 small boat-bucks, and a weekend's work, we have "new" countertops. They look as good as any laminate we saw, and it was much much easier to install.

All in all, a good buy, and a good product.





*


-- Edited by mattkab on Wednesday 21st of March 2012 01:19:30 PM
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:27 PM   #2
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RE: New Countertops

Thanks for this Matt as new countertops are on our to do (someday) list.* The PO put butcher block on top of the original laminate and it has seen it's better days.* I have never heard of this product and it looks like a great solution.* I am curious to hear from you how it holds up.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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RE: New Countertops

Well now. This is VERY interesting to me. We have formica tops in our "new" 4550 that have a nice teak edge to them. I like the teak edging ok but we don't like the color of the formica. On our Monk we had replaced our galley tops with granite and were contemplating replacing the tops on the pilothouse with corian. I am going to have to investigate this product- please keep us posted as to how well it holds up. What is the top coat made of? I assume it is food safe?
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:38 PM   #4
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RE: New Countertops

That looks really good. Did most of tiawan boats come with laminate counters? A PO has put the little one inch white tile with ugly grout and ive been thinking of what to do. Id love granite, but the wieght seems prohibitive.BB
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:50 PM   #5
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RE: New Countertops

@Woodsong:
The top coat is essentially a two-part epoxy, which is why I was surprised it shrank so much. The bottom coat is cosmetic plastic chips embedded in what appears to be an acrylic resin of some sort. It should be completely food safe, but not heat safe or knife-safe.

@belizebill:
Most of the 80's era boats we were looking for had laminate countertops. We loved the idea of granite too, but at an estimated 500 lbs on the far outboard edge of the cabin, I don't know that I'd be able to compensate a list to port.

And the table project the following weekend was even easier. Using the same sanding pad that came with the RustOleum resin product, we roughed up the laminate on the dinette table, and painted it with a black spray-paint for plastics. Then we printed out a nautical chart of Puget Sound in grayscale at 22"x34", and covered it with a 1/8" acryllic sheet from Home Depot. Total cost: under $100, and less than an hour of labor. Picture of the final product attached.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:34 PM   #6
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RE: New Countertops

NICE,very nice.BB
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:49 PM   #7
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RE: New Countertops

that looks really good, well done...

i cant help thinking why would anyone put granite or even tile counter tops in their trawler / boats.
but then again, I have wood butcher block in my house kitchen, so i am biased.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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RE: New Countertops

Verry nice Job! Looks great!

It is also possible to cover old Formica with new. I have done this as an employee of a boatyard, and it came out very nice.

Please note though, that when I rebuilt the interior of my DeFever I did not choose this option.

Remove the edge trim and rough the existing laminate with a 60 grit disk in a sander, after cleaning it.. Be careful not to cause low spots.

Make as many patterns as you need to cut out the new laminate - a battery powered 4 inch skill saw is just right for this.

Spread a thickened epoxy mix on the existing laminate with a notched trowel, put the new laminate down, cover it with a piece of plywood and load it up with weights.

If you pay attention to detail, it will come out fine.

I have seen re-coverings done with contact cement but it is very hard to get everything lined up right. Not impossible, just hard.

I elected to take a chain saw to my interior and start from scratch. Most of you will not be so aggressive so I'm posting this Formica over Formica idea just to let you know its possible.

Mike
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:09 AM   #9
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RE: New Countertops

The West Epoxy folks have a special no blush hardener just for clear coating.

Take the table off , level it well, pour on the mix and let it harden, DONE.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:40 AM   #10
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RE: New Countertops

Quote:
belizebill wrote:
That looks really good. Did most of tiawan boats come with laminate counters? A PO has put the little one inch white tile with ugly grout and ive been thinking of what to do. Id love granite, but the wieght seems prohibitive.BB
I've found a few suppliers of thin granite (5-8mm) with a fiberglass backing that is much lighter ~160 lbs for a "slab" size that was more than I'd need for my galley.* Don't know how many boat bucks it would be; thinking of getting a quote just to see.* This product Matt has posted seems like a viable option as well.* Or maybe a new laminate layer.* You can buy a sheet of laminate (just the thin top layer) for $150 ish and there are some nice "stone" patterns.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:56 AM   #11
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RE: New Countertops

The 2mm man-made "granite" I used weighed under 100 lbs all in.

I have seen RV counters of granite that is about 1mm with a backing, to further reduce the weight.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:27 PM   #12
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RE: New Countertops

I can't believe it! I am about 3/4 of the way through replacing my counter top with granite. I bought a 25" X 72" x 3/4" slab from a local building surplus outlet. The granite was $159. Another $271. for a water cooled grinder, edge profiler and polishing pads. Now need an undermount sink. Add $104.98. Oh yeah new faucet $58.79. Ebay helps there.

Total so far $589.27. I have been documenting the project and should be done in a week (part time project) or so.*

All pieces are cut, edges bullnosed and polished. The polishing is an amazing process. It starts with a 50 grit pad and goes up to 3000. The steps are 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 and 3000.

I went with a wet system to keep the dust down. The big drawback is as you go to the finer grits one can not see the progress. That is the wet surface shines even if it is not fully polished. So the dull spots have to be marked with a wax pencil and redone. Fun so far.

Rob

37' Sedan

*
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:12 AM   #13
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RE: New Countertops

Quote:
Datenight wrote:
I can't believe it! I am about 3/4 of the way through replacing my counter top with granite. I bought a 25" X 72" x 3/4" slab from a local building surplus outlet. The granite was $159. Another $271. for a water cooled grinder, edge profiler and polishing pads. Now need an undermount sink. Add $104.98. Oh yeah new faucet $58.79. Ebay helps there.

Total so far $589.27. I have been documenting the project and should be done in a week (part time project) or so.*

All pieces are cut, edges bullnosed and polished. The polishing is an amazing process. It starts with a 50 grit pad and goes up to 3000. The steps are 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 and 3000.

I went with a wet system to keep the dust down. The big drawback is as you go to the finer grits one can not see the progress. That is the wet surface shines even if it is not fully polished. So the dull spots have to be marked with a wax pencil and redone. Fun so far.

Rob

37' Sedan

*
That's going to be beautiful when it's finished. Please post pictures of the results

I'm impressed, from the videos and research I did on our countertops, I wasn't confident in tackling the project myself.

How much does this weigh?* That was the 2nd factor for me.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:11 PM   #14
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RE: New Countertops

The guy comes tomorrow to install corian tops on my counter and master bath $2600 for both installed I had corian in my old boat and loved them, I hope these come out as well
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:32 PM   #15
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RE: New Countertops

Thanks Matt. It has been an interesting project. I weighed the pieces today. Total was 111.5 lbs.

Rob

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Old 03-27-2012, 05:22 PM   #16
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RE: New Countertops

Interesting topic.* I just finished reworking the countertops on Hakuna Matata.* The old surface was ceramic tile on top of the original ceramic tile. We chose to go with granite tile.* It is significantly thinner than*standard granite countertops and therefore significantly lighter.* We*wanted to retain the teak fiddle around the counter*so removing the old*tile (both layers) was*necessary,* We carefully removed the fiddle, busted up the old tile and removed it, exposing the 3/4 inch ply subsurface.**We refinished and reinstalled the fiddle and hired a guy to lay the new tile.* I was concerned about being able to cut the tiles with the radius for the*corners.* I got a good deal on the tile as a supplier was getting out of the granite tile business and had some surplus in stock.* We did the job*for slightly more than a boat buck including the new sink and faucet.* We have a fairly large galley and used about 33 square feet of tile.

We really like the new look*
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:39 PM   #17
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RE: New Countertops

Wannabe,

Looks really good! What was used to seal the joints?
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:27 AM   #18
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RE: New Countertops

Quote:
Wannabe wrote:
Interesting topic.* I just finished reworking the countertops on Hakuna Matata.* The old surface was ceramic tile on top of the original ceramic tile. We chose to go with granite tile.* It is significantly thinner than*standard granite countertops and therefore significantly lighter.* We*wanted to retain the teak fiddle around the counter*so removing the old*tile (both layers) was*necessary,* We carefully removed the fiddle, busted up the old tile and removed it, exposing the 3/4 inch ply subsurface.**We refinished and reinstalled the fiddle and hired a guy to lay the new tile.* I was concerned about being able to cut the tiles with the radius for the*corners.* I got a good deal on the tile as a supplier was getting out of the granite tile business and had some surplus in stock.* We did the job*for slightly more than a boat buck including the new sink and faucet.* We have a fairly large galley and used about 33 square feet of tile.

We really like the new look*
*Looks great!
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:38 PM   #19
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Daddyo,
Sorry for the delayed response. The sealer we used was Sellador Sealer by Stone Care International. It is supposed to seal both the granite and the grout. The grout was a flexible base with no sand. Only time will tell how well it holds up....
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:22 AM   #20
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My boat came with stone countertops, and I neve worried about it.
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