Old 05-03-2007, 11:45 PM
nissanneill's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 1,883
Thumbs up Concrete slab benchtop surface -tiles?

In planning the area around the proposed (and commenced) Pompeii oven, I read with interest the benchtop surfaces adopted by other forum members. Without spending a small fortune on granite, etc, I have just come into the posession of some 200 x 200 and 300 x 300mm 'Ariostea Mono Vitrostone' neutral coloured semi gloss smooth tiles which look perfect for tiling the workbench and splashback areas around my oven. I have no intention of creating a complete outdoor kitchen rather a convenience area to prepare the food to be baked, ie. a work area, sink and minimal storage (apart from wood) areas.
Are there any problems apart from the grout lines (and porousity of such) with using tiles for the surface. I am in a mediteranian climate area so no temperature extremes. The area will be under cover but not totally enclosed although cafe style vinyl blinds are anticipated in due course to make the area more user friendly all year round.
I also found 3 great natural gas wall mounted heaters which will add to the versatility of the area.

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Old 05-04-2007, 01:37 AM
james's Avatar
Brick Oven Merchant
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pebble Beach, CA
Posts: 4,648
Default Re: Concrete slab benchtop surface -tiles?

Go for it. I think you should invest in a good, high-end grout sealer. Are the tiles smooth, where you can use non-sanded grout and a thinner joint, or do you need a wider joint, with the chunkier sanded grout? Either would work, but if you can go tight, and have it still look OK, I think that would be better.

Don't go brilliant white. :-)

I think JC did granite tiles with tight grout lines.

Also, outdoor space heaters are great. They let you use your outdoor space much more often in the shoulder seasons -- that's our experience in Sonoma, where the fog sucks in at night and it cools down quickly. Weather good for grapes but bad for outdoor dining.

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Old 07-17-2007, 12:54 PM
enz enz is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 41
Default Re: Concrete slab benchtop surface -tiles?

Amen to the grout sealer! It's what no mason will tell you, bad for business. Grout lasts for years and years if sealed properly.

I'm a fan of granite tiles. They run can be had for as little as $4 or $5 per square foot.

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Old 07-18-2007, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 66
Default Re: Concrete slab benchtop surface -tiles?

just my 2 cents..but the size of the grout line is more dependent on the width rather than the smoothness of the tile surface..the widest line i'll grout with unsanded is an 1/8 inch..but even a wider line with sanded grout that is sealed should be alright....htere's also a 2 part epoxt grout system sold by Lowes..can't recall the brand name off the top of my head but i just tore out an old potting bench and built a new outside cabinet with an old sink(one that goes up the wall 14 inches with the faucet assembly thru the back) and used porcelin tile over durock for the top...i used the epoxy grout..no sealer is necessary and the stuff seems bullet proof..only 1 drawbacks that i can see..if you ever need repair you'll have to buy a whole new kit..and the other important thing is..don't pussy foot around with it..it doesn't take long to start drying and clean up is critical
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