Countertop Decking

October 07, 2014
Porcelain, ceramic, or stone tile can be used on all manner of tile countertops. The term decking refers to the wood that covers the tops of the cabinets or shelves beneath the tile countertops. This section covers the two types of wood decking commonly used for that purpose.

The first type are 1″ X 6″ boards normally of Douglas fir. These are firmly attached to the cabinets by nails or screws. These boards are normally only associated with countertops that will receive a mortar bed above. They can be used to bring up the necessary height for a plywood or backerboard countertop beneath the plywood layer also.

The second type is 3/4″ (also 23/32″) exterior grade plywood. This is the common and necessary layer beneath backerboard installations.
The deck needs to be structurally stable and sound much the way a floor must be. It needs to be able to support the tile, substrate, and any expected loads. The deck also needs to be able to expand and contract without affecting the wall or backsplash behind it.

Cabinets or a wall-mounted shelf will support the deck and tile work. Therefore the proper construction of the lower elements is as essential as the properly installed tiling elements.

Counter tile for decks can be installed on mortar beds, backer board, and exterior plywood. Back splash tile can be applied to mortar, masonry, drywall, or backer board.