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james 03-17-2007 06:22 AM

Re: Saint Helena Oven
I'm not sure whether anyone has asked this already. How did you build your landing. It looks like a single slab of granite with a nice bullnose edge? Is that right, or am I blind. Anyway, how did you build it and was it expensive? It looks really nice. Thanks.

jahysea 03-17-2007 11:31 AM

Re: Saint Helena Oven

Originally Posted by james (Post 8803)
I'm not sure whether anyone has asked this already. How did you build your landing. It looks like a single slab of granite with a nice bullnose edge? Is that right, or am I blind. Anyway, how did you build it and was it expensive? It looks really nice. Thanks.

Hi James, I don't think anyone has asked about the landing yet. When we did our indoor kitchen we had granite slab put in. When I went back to the same shop to get a bid on the outdoor kitchen, I found they no longer did slab work. But they had granite tile that somewhat matched the inside, and they had custom bullnose pieces that looked like slab edges. So I tiled the outdoor kitchen in the granite and used the bullnose. The bullnose fronts leave a very professional slab look. Many folks (usually women) comment on the nice slab granite and I point out it's actually tile with black grout. Tiling counters is much funner than floors. No knee pads required.

Anyway, I had some leftovers from that project, so I used them for the oven landing. The landing is a strip of granite tile with the bullnose along the edges. I didn't have anymore custom bullnose corner pieces, so I mitered the bullnose into a point at each edge. I think it looks great too, thank you.

Les 03-18-2007 08:21 AM

Surface Material

I've begun the process of looking at material for my island / oven landing. I was told that granite would not be ideal because of the freeze / thaw and staining. Have you had any issues with yours? It looks awesome!


james 03-18-2007 09:41 AM

Re: Outdoor counter materials
Hey all,
I moved this to the outdoor kitchen forum. Seems like a good idea.

I have granite outside on NorCal and it seems to be holding up nicely. Those are pre-finished slab granite kitchen counters that you can buy from an importer in the east bay.

JC, how did you set the granite tiles and how big a joint did you use? Did you use those little tile setters that you get at Home Depot? I am guessing you used no sand grout. Did you seal it.

I think this would be helpful info for future builers. Thanks!

jahysea 03-18-2007 04:02 PM

Re: Outdoor counter materials

I'm also in Nor Cal, so freeze/thaw was not an issue for me.

James, I had poured the base for my shelf out of concrete. I thinset the tiles to the concrete, setting them slightly off level sloping away from the building to allow drainage. I used a square notch thinset trowel with large notches (3/8 inch?). I would recommend the use of spacers, the smallest ones they sell, probably 1/16 inch. Stand them on end, don't set them into the corners.

When doing the bullnose, spacers are pretty much required. You set the tile and allow the thinset to harden. Then set the bullnose, using spacers at the top, and using masking tape to hold the bullnose tight against the spacers while the thinset hardens to the bullnose. Without the tape, gravity is just too much for the thinset to hold the heavy pieces of bullnose.

And if a piece of bullnose hits the ground, you are out $15 and a week to custom order a replacement!

Xabia Jim 03-19-2007 09:08 AM

Re: Outdoor counter materials
1 Attachment(s)
We went with granite for the outside...freeze here is not an issue:) I'm not sure freeze/thaw on a granite counter should be a issue....make sure it drains and if concerned, cover it in the winter.

And.... don't use marble outside if you can find granite.

We had a 2 day granite service...ordered Monday at 9 am, they were installing it at 3 pm on wednesday!

james 03-19-2007 10:25 AM

Re: Outdoor counter materials
Do any of our cold weather members, or more technical folks, have a recommendation for granite counters outside where you have a deep winter freeze?

Are there any differences between how slab granite and granite tiles behave with freezing?

My experience is that granite is a great outdoor counter material. It's tough, looks good, doesn't chip or stain, and it's easy to clean.

CanuckJim 03-19-2007 11:44 AM

Re: Outdoor counter materials

There are granite house foundations, granite houses complete, too, all over the place here (we're close to the Precambrian Shield after all), and not one of them shows freeze/thaw problems with the actual stone. These are solid blocks, of course, and the only vulnerable area is in the mortar lines. Once water enters, it will freeze, then thaw, then freeze. I would imagine that the only problem with tiles would be the vulnerability of the grout lines on more or less flat surfaces. I'd cover a tiled counter in winter, but I wouldn't for solid slab.


Les 03-19-2007 01:15 PM

Re: Outdoor counter materials
Thanks Guys for the response. I think I can handle the freezing with a good sealant. It also sounds like the staining is a non issue as well.

Thanks again,


jengineer 03-19-2007 02:41 PM

Re: Outdoor counter materials
From an Engineering Geologist's son who can't tell the difference between gneiss and schist...

Jim hit it between the lines when he said grout lines. In solid granite there may be places where the granite structure is not tight and for lack of a better word - I guess I should call dad, a fault is found. If this fault is such that water can get in and then experience cycling (freeze and thaw) then the slab can crack. Most workshops will not lay down a slab that has a fault in it as it may also be the place where it is the weakest and prone to split/break.

As for staining there are two types that occur in low grade granite - one is from food that is placed on the stone and the granite absords it into the micro structure, can be darn near impossible to remove - for outdoors you call this charactrer addition and move on. The stone may also naturally leach out minerals (copper - green, iron - brown) as it is exposed to the elements. Keeping your stone sealed will reduce the likelyhood of stains. Most granite will accept a good polishing and is tight in structure.

Stain happens

Yep just reach out and touch someone. Dad said that staining is not as bad with granite as it is with marble (as I see James has commented on). It is also not as soft as marble and then he pipes in with "don't you remember your siste'rs stone tumbling operation" We lost a lot of material with the marble compared to the granite. Some of the granite crubmled to nothing but I told you that piece would....

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