Forming and Polishing Granite Tile Edges

Advice on how to round over and polish stone countertop edges. January 8, 2010

I have 1/4" granite tiles that are going on a 4' x 6' island. I'd like to use 2" strips of these tiles for the edge, too. The edges of the countertop tiles need to be rounded and then polished, so they can overlap the edges.

I'm a good tiler but have never polished edges. What is involved in terms of equipment, skills, learning time, etc.? I may have a need to do more of these in the future. Is it worth my while to buy the equipment and learn to do it, or should I just pay the approximately $1.00 per inch that I have been quoted?

Also, visually, I'm trying to make these tiles look as close to a slab as possible (the slab in this pattern cost $11,000, so we went with very similar tiles). Do I stick with 12" x 12" tiles as much as possible on the top, or do I cut off a 2" strip for each edge tile and make it look like the pattern is continuous?

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor F:
To just polish out that edge you'd need a variable speed grinder, a 4" hookit backup pad along with a set of 4" polishing pads. Wet pads would be preferred but you could also use pads made to be used dry. With the wet pads you'd simply need a spray bottle of water to keep them moist as you polished the edge.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. I do have several variable speed grinders of different sizes and speeds - all dry. I have seen the polishing pads at the local tile supply place. I'm wondering how you would get a nice consistent quarter round edge on 1/4" thick granite, however. If this were wood you would just use a router bit. Is there such a machine, at a decent price, that routs granite? (I would not want to put granite on my expensive wood router assembly.) Would such a granite router be cost effective for small jobs like mine?

From contributor F:

There's a Tru-Form Profile Wheel. Note the different radius on the profile of the roundover (quarter-round). Yes, they are in millimeters, but their conversion is true standard. You can get them with the steel bearing - most folks do, or a Vel-Vet touch one (hardened plastic).