What material to use for sink surround (to be tiled.

18 Feb 2012
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United Kingdom
I’ve been renovating our guest room and have built a vanity unit for a small sink in the corner of the room.

there is a small work surface which fits around the sink (100mm at its widest) which I plan to tile with small mosaic tiles. The sink will only get occasional use but the surface will get splashed from the sink.

I soon saw the error of my ways when I made the surface from MDF only to realise it would not be suitable to use near any moisture or to tile onto.

I’ve replaced to surround with 18mm marine ply. I was wondering what I need to due to prepare this surface for tiling? Laying cement board seems overkill as it’s such a small area and will not get excessive loading. Can I tile directly onto the ply? Should I use a flexible adhesive and grout?

Thanks in advance for any advice...
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to answer your question:
cut the hole for the basin bowl in the ply but tile the ply before dropping in the basin to sit on top of the tile.
flexi adhesive & grout or standard adhesive & grout - either will be fine.
presumably your taps will come through the basin rim and you will have a tile splashback.
prep fix the taps & waste etc. before dropping the basin into the hole.
seal all raw edges esp. the cut-out.

the ply should be packed up at the edges to provide a backing for some wood trim.
the trim must be set high enough not to interfere with opening any doors or drawer - usually not an isssue with small vanities.

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