Tiling over Laminate Countertops – Bondera Tile Mat – Photos

Filed in Gather Home & Garden Essential by on July 15, 2010 0 Comments

Updated Nov 15, 2011 This is a step-by step tutorial including pictures. The minute I discovered Bondera Tile Mat at Lowe’s, I knew it was the answer to my bathroom-update dilemma. Removing the existing formica countertop was not an option, but I was desperate to renew the bathroom vanity countertop and install a new sink and faucet, as inexpensively and as quickly as possible.

You can tile over your old laminate and formica countertops using Bondera. Really, it’s that easy! Just peel, stick, and grout–no mortar required.

I was a bit nervous to use the Bondera Tile Mat over laminate, but the product information claimed it would be a suitable surface. I completed this project by myself and took pictures along the way – we love the results! 

UPDATE – NOV 15, 2011: It’s been almost two years and it is still looking beautiful, no signs of the mat or tiles coming up or shifting in any way – you gotta love products like that.

Bondera is a peel-and-stick mat that comes on a roll. There’s no mess because you don’t use mortar to set the tile. You simply press the tile onto the super sticky surface, a cut-to-fit mat. The best part is that you can immediately grout – no waiting for the tiles to set - like you would have to with mortar! Talk about saving time!

TIP: You will definitely have a lot less mess and practically no mess at all, if you decide to go with a pre-mixed grout. I opted for the regular grout to keep the project cost down, but for a really small project you might only add ten or twenty bucks to the overall cost.

About the product: The manufacturer of Bondera has been around forever and is well known for their commercial tiling product supplies. It shows in the heavy duty, quality tile mat material.

Their Web site provides more detailed information and on their Facebook page, a real person answers your questions about your project. 

Lowe’s is the sole distributor of this product. Reassured by the Lowe’s specialist who also happened to be a tiling contractor, I forged ahead.

 

 

RESULT: My bathroom countertop - tile project, held up well to the rigors of daily use and the humidity of a bathroom environment.

Bondera delivered, and I give this product a ten out of ten for performance. 

 

Here is your step-by-step project guide:

Step One: Remove Sink and Clean Surface

 

The Old Laminate Countertop

 

 

 

Step Two: Gather Supplies

  • Scissors (Don’t laugh at the champagne glass. I used household scissors dipped in oil because the mat is so sticky that you get pieces of glue on your scissors, which makes it hard to cut.)
  • A utility knife to cut the mat to the exact size you need (in case the scissors don’t work).
  • A rubber float to help flatten and position the cut mat.
  • A box containing the Bondera Tile Mat–the countertop variety.
  • A box of Bondera Seam Tape for wet areas.

There is also a vertical tape and wall mat for backsplashes, so read the box before you buy your materials. 

 

 

 

Step Three: The tile mat comes in a roll. Unroll it, and cut it to fit your surface. It has cutting guidelines on the back. Below, you can see where I used an orange marker.

Follow the instructions on the product and press down, starting in one corner while slowly peeling away the bottom liner only. Place your sections as close together as possible. You should have no gaps at all. You will need seam tape to cover over where the two sections meet to create a moisture barrier.

 

I didn’t understand how and why to use the seam tape so I looked online. You need the tape for any application where moisture is a problem. Basically, it’s double-sided tape, and you place it over the area where the two sections meet. 

Steps Four and Five: Apply seam tape where needed then peel off the top layer of your mat. It’s super sticky–be ready to lay down your tile right away. 

The little white stickers help you peel off the layers. They come separate in your box, and you just place them in a corner so you can pull off the layer without using your fingers. You pull on the tag instead. 

 

  • TIP: If you have see-through or translucent glass tiles, I wouldn’t recommend using Bondera because you can see the mat underneath. 
I found pretty iridescent glass mosaic tiles at Lowe’s to use as an accent.

  •  I did a trial layout to see what it looked like and to pre-cut my tile.
  • That’s when I realized that I needed a couple of corner tiles cut. For this, I went to Lowe’s to see my friendly tile specialist again, who masterfully cut the tile for free. 

If you lay down the tile mat lightly, you can still pull it away from the sticky surface and reposition it if you have to. After a few moments, once you’ve pressed on the tile, it’s on there for good. Take your time and do it right the first time because you don’t get a second chance.

Here are the tiles already placed and pressed onto the tile mat. My tiles had self spacers, and except for the single border tiles, they came on a net, ready to cut into the pieces I needed. 

  •  The Bondera tile mat instructions were adamant about grouting no later than eight hours after you pressed on your tile. I grouted three hours after placing the tiles.
  • The beauty of this product is that you can tile immediately. Once your tile is down, you are ready to grout. No waiting!

The picture below shows the same corner but grouted. You grout your project just like you would traditionally–you can’t tell that this isn’t a traditional tile job. 

 

Almost Done!

 

 

 We are happy with the result and love our updated bathroom!

  

 

Miscellaneous Project Info – Time and Cost

I completed the project all by myself, except for cutting the mat. For me, that was the hardest part. I can’t cut straight to save my life. Richard came to the rescue after I wasted a whole roll fighting with a vanity top that was not straight. They had all of these lovely lines for guidance, but our countertop was totally out of whack. So much for custom cabinets!

I had to go out and buy another roll, which left me with enough material to also do a small mosaic table top to match the countertop.

CLICK HERE FOR A PICTORIAL OF THE

 MOSAIC TABLE TOP

The quickest project ever – perfect for any old table!

This table top took only 30 minutes total and looks fabulous!

TIME: The actual time spent working on the bathroom countertop project - six hours. If you are a seasoned do-it-yourselfer, it may only take you about four hours.

TROUBLES: Of course, like projects go, I wasted a day and a roll of Bondera trying to cut it straight and was a freaked-out wreck by the time Richard arrived home, because there was no sink in our only bathroom. Another hour was wasted to go back to Lowe’s to have the corner tiles cut. All in all, it took two days because you also need to let the grouted area set overnight just as you would any tile job. 

PROJECT COST: It costs around $30 for a roll of Bondera Tile Mat and $6 for the Bondera seam tape, plus the cost of tile and grout. 

  • This project was well worth it in the end.
  • No muss, no fuss, and no contractor.

Also, no demolition and no damage to the existing tiles that I could no longer match! We could keep our existing vanity, which is still in good condition.

I can’t wait to do something fun with my next roll of Bondera. I’m thinking of an artistic tile wall mural as a backsplash in the kitchen.

All images © Rose Hill

© Rose Hill All Rights Reserved

UPDATED: Nov 15, 2011 

 

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My interests keep changing. I love to garden and I enjoy photography. I have an opinion about everything and like to exchange with others. It's what makes me happy.

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