Epoxy resin countertops provide a gorgeous, durable, and customizable option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. When combined with a stunning backsplash, epoxy countertops create a seamless look that transforms the space. Installing an epoxy countertop with a coordinated backsplash may seem daunting, but it can be accomplished with proper planning, preparation, and products. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process step-by-step, from choosing the right epoxy products to applying the resin and completing the beautiful backsplash. With these tips and techniques, you can achieve stunning, professional-looking results.
Choosing the Right Epoxy Products
The key to success when epoxying a countertop is selecting the right products. Be sure to:
- Pick the proper epoxy resin type: Epoxy comes in many formulations, but for countertops you’ll want either a 100% solids or high solids (low VOC) two-part epoxy resin made specifically for countertops. These provide maximum durability, chip resistance, and a glass-like finish.
- Get the right amount: Calculate the square footage of your countertop and buy enough epoxy to apply 1/4-3/8 inch thickness. Having too little epoxy can lead to an uneven topcoat.
- Choose coordinating colors: Select base resin and pigment colors that match your backsplash. Opt for solid colors or decorative additives like metallic powders or flakes.
- Acquire appropriate tools: You’ll need items like mixing containers, stir sticks, a respirator mask, disposable gloves, plastic spreaders, a propane torch, etc. Prep tools ahead of time.
Properly prepping your countertop workspace and acquiring the right epoxy products will ensure your project gets off to a great start.
Preparing the Countertop Surface
Preparation is crucial when epoxying over an existing countertop. Be sure to:
- Deep clean the surface: Use degreaser to remove all dirt, grease, wax and soap residues. Rinse thoroughly and let dry completely.
- Sand down the top: Use 100-150 grit sandpaper to rough up and degloss the countertop surface for better epoxy adhesion.
- Fill any cracks or holes: Use epoxy filler or caulk to fill any imperfections for a smooth finish. Allow time to cure before sanding flush.
- Secure loose areas: If sections of laminate are peeling, re-adhere them with construction adhesive. Clamp until set.
- Install edge banding: Apply iron-on veneer edge banding to finish any exposed sides or seams. Trim excess.
- Mask off walls and backsplash: Use painters tape and rosin paper to protect surrounding surfaces from drips.
Taking time to correctly prep your countertop will allow the epoxy to bond tightly and fully coat the surface, creating a strong and seamless base.
Applying the Epoxy Countertop Resin
Once your surface is prepped, it’s time to apply the epoxy. Follow these best practices:
- Mix thoroughly: Combine resin and hardener according to package directions. Mix for 3-5 minutes scraping the sides and bottom of container.
- Pour in batches: Spread out the epoxy in smaller batches to make smoothing easier. Too much poured at once can lead to an uneven top layer.
- Spread evenly: Use a plastic spreader to evenly apply the epoxy over the surface at a thickness of 1/4-3/8 inches.
- De-bubble between pours: Use a propane torch on a low setting to eliminate any air bubbles between epoxy batches.
- Smooth until glossy: Slowly pass a clean plastic spreader over the surface to remove imperfections and achieve a glass-like coating.
- Remove drips: Carefully scrape off any epoxy drips from the sides before reapplying tape and plastic to edges.
Applying the epoxy in thin layers while carefully spreading and smoothing each batch will help achieve a flawless, professional-looking finish.
Installing the Coordinating Backsplash
The right backsplash takes your epoxy countertop to the next level. Here’s how to complete the installation:
- Select a waterproof backsplash material: Glass, ceramic, or porcelain tile work best. Make sure it matches your countertop epoxy.
- Cut tiles to fit: Measure and cut your backsplash tiles to size using a wet saw. Grind cut edges smooth.
- Prepare the wall surface: Sand, clean, and apply epoxy primer to the backsplash area for best adhesion.
- Apply thinset and install tiles: Spread thinset mortar on the wall and press tiles into place. Check for even alignment.
- Grout application: Once the thinset has dried, mix grout and apply smoothly between the tiles and along edges.
- Final seal: Use grout sealant to protect and waterproof finished grout lines once fully cured.
Choosing gorgeous backsplash tiles that coordinate with your new epoxy countertop brings the whole space together for a stylish, cohesive look.
Curing and Finishing Touches
You’re in the home stretch! Follow these final steps:
- Allow proper cure time: Give the epoxy countertop and grout at least 72 hours to fully harden and cure before use.
- Inspect for flaws: Look over the surfaces carefully and use epoxy patch filler to smooth any remaining imperfections.
- Sand and buff: Lightly sand then buff the countertop with a polishing pad once fully cured for a flawless shine.
- Seal: Apply an epoxy-compatible sealant to protect the finish of both the countertop and backsplash.
- Replace fixtures: Reinstall sink, faucet, soap dispenser, and other fixtures secured with epoxy adhesive.
- Show off your work: Add finishing touches like decor and accessories to showcase your beautiful new epoxy countertop and backsplash!
With proper curing time, polishing, and sealing, your installed epoxy countertop and coordinating backsplash will provide endless enjoyment for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions About Epoxying a Countertop with Backsplash
What type of backsplash goes best with an epoxy countertop?
Glass, ceramic, or porcelain backsplash tiles are most compatible with epoxy resin countertops. Match the color and pattern to your countertop for a cohesive look.
How do you attach the backsplash tiles to the wall?
First prepare the wall surface, then apply thinset mortar to adhere the tiles. Let dry completely before applying grout in the seams.
Should the backsplash go over or under the countertop?
For the most seamless appearance, the backsplash should be installed slightly overlapping the countertop edge by about 1/16 inch.
How far up the wall should the backsplash extend?
Standard backsplash height is 4 inches from the countertop, but can be customized based on your style preference and budget.
How long does the epoxy resin take to cure?
Most epoxy countertop resins take 72-96 hours to fully cure. Do not use the countertop until completely hardened.
Is it okay to install a sink/faucet after the epoxy is cured?
Yes, sinks, faucets, and other fixtures can be installed after curing as long as you use an epoxy-compatible adhesive.
Can you put hot pots or pans directly on an epoxy countertop?
It’s best to use hot pads or trivets with very hot cookware to prevent cracking or marks on the epoxy surface.
How durable and waterproof is epoxy as a countertop material?
High-quality epoxy makes an extremely durable, waterproof countertop able to withstand heavy daily use and cleaning.
Does epoxy turn yellow over time?
When properly formulated and applied, epoxy resin does not yellow with age. Avoid excessive UV exposure to prevent discoloration.
Transform Your Space with an Epoxy Countertop and Backsplash
Creating a stunning, seamless look by epoxying over your existing countertop and adding a coordinating backsplash is easier than you think. With the right products, thoughtful preparation, expert application, and creative design, you can achieve jaw-dropping results. Not only will it transform the beauty of your kitchen or bath, but epoxy countertops are also durable, hygienic, and easy to clean. Just take it step-by-step, and before you know it, you’ll have an eye-catching new space you can’t wait to show off. With this complete guide, you have all the information needed to epoxy your countertop like a pro!