How to tile a countertop

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Materials and Tools:

utility knife
power drill
measuring tape
carpenter’s square
cement backerboard
3/8″ wood strips
pneumatic nailer
2″ galvanized screws
notched trowel
ceramic tiles (with bullnose trim)
1×2 tack strip
tile spacers
rubber grout float
grout sealer


1. Begin by turning off the water shutoff valve to the sink and placing a bucket under the supply line. Remove the coupling nuts, then the “P” trap, allowing the bucket to catch the water. Next, loosen the clamps holding the sink in place and slice through the caulking between the sink and countertop with a utility knife. Remove the sink.

2. Remove the stove. Remove any brackets or screws that are holding the countertop in place. Be sure all screws are removed. Use a utility knife to slice through the caulking between the countertop and wall. Remove the countertops.

3. Measure the span of the base cabinets, from the corner to the outside edge. Also measure the depth from the front edge to the wall behind at both ends. With a carpenter’s square, check the square of the walls at any corners. Also check the level at this point and inspect the cabinets and make any necessary repairs.

4. Have plywood cut to size at your local home supply store (or use a circular saw). Next, add 3/8-inch wood strips along the countertop to adjust the height (if necessary) with a pneumatic nailer. Position the plywood on top of the cabinets, flush with the cabinet edge. Attach the plywood with two-inch screws driven into the cabinet framing every two inches.

5. Cut cement backerboard to size and position it directly on top of the plywood. Remove, then add mastic to the plywood with a notched trowel and set the backerboard on the mastic. Secure with galvanized screws. Cover the joints between the backerboards with fiberglass tape. Apply a thin layer of mastic over the joint to create a smooth surface. Sweep and vacuum the surface when the mastic is dry.

6. Measure the area out for the sink and cut away the backerboard and plywood with a jigsaw.

7. Dry fit the tiles by drawing perpendicular lines in the corner of the countertop using the front edge as a guide. This will provide you with the starting point for the tiles. After dry fitting, see what cuts, if any, need to be made to the tiles to cover the area. Also dry fit bullnose trim around the edge.

8. Attach a 1×2 tack strip along the edge to support the bullnose trim until the mastic dries. Using mastic and a trowel, “butter” the edge of the bullnose trim with mastic and place on the counter edge. Once all trim is in place, move to the countertop.

9. Spread mastic on the countertop evenly with the trowel. Use a twisting motion to set tiles in place, beginning along the front edge of the counter. Insert tile spacers to maintain consistency in the layout and to leave room for grout.

10. Next, spread mastic on the wall and on the back of each piece of tile and trim for the backsplash. Add bullnose trim at the wall base, where it meets the tile. Once the trim is in place, measure the wall to find the center above the stove. Create a design with trim and tile and put it in place. Continue until the backsplash is complete.

11. Around outlets, hold tile in place and mark cut lines with a pencil to determine the cuts to be made. Use longer screws to reattach the outlets to compensate for the new tiles.

12. Spread grout with a rubber grout float into the joints. Try to get the joints flush with the surface. When the grout firms up, scrape excess grout. Give the tiles a good cleaning with a damp sponge, being careful not to pull any of the grout out of the joints. Once the surface is dry, buff and polish the tiles with a dry cloth. Allow to cure 48 hours. Apply a grout sealer with a sponge.

13. Once the sealer has cured, the project is done. This installation takes around 3 days and costs around $1,500.

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The wide range of tile options available at home supply stores makes tiling a bathroom countertop an uncomplicated venture. Use of adhesive tile matting, which is cut with a scissors to fit the bathroom countertop surface, is a clean method of installation for a quick bathroom update. The matting can be applied over the existing laminate or tile countertop. Epoxy-based grout eliminates the use of grout sealer. Home supply stores can cut ceramic, stone or glass tile to fit your countertop for an extra charge if you are uncomfortable using a wet saw.

Remove the bathroom countertop sink by running a utility knife around caulk around the sink and pull the sink out with the crowbar.

Measure the bathroom countertop with a measuring tape to determine the square footage of the tile needed. Cut the tiles to the desired size with the wet saw while wearing the goggles and work gloves.

Cut the adhesive tile matting to the size of the bathroom countertop. Pull the backing off the matting and press the matting on the countertop with your hand. Pull off the clear front sheet of the matting.

Press the tiles on the matting using spacers to evenly separate the tiles.

Mix epoxy-based grout with water according to the manufacturer’s direction. Remove the tile spacers. Apply the grout over the tile with the grout float, pressing the grout in the spaces between the tiles. Use the edge of the float to remove excess grout.

Dip the sponge in water and wring the sponge out. Remove excess grout with the sponge. Wait one hour and polish the tiles with the soft cloth to remove the grout haze. Replace the bathroom counter sink.

Apply clear caulk sealant around the edge of the sink. Allow the sealer to cure for three days before using the sink.

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Tile’s glasslike outer layer is durable and highly resistant to water, stains and heat, making it a logical choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Available at a low cost and in a variety of colors, textures and sizes, ceramic tiles are a versatile material that can suit a wide range of decorating styles. With a few simple tools and a little planning, the average homeowner can successfully tile and grout her own countertops without having to call in a professional.

Lay dropcloths to protect floors from spills.

Ensure that the tile underlayment is flat, solid, clean and securely attached to the cabinets below and that any openings for sinks have already been cut. Make sure the underlayment is made of the appropriate water-resistant material: exterior-grade plywood or cement backerboard.

Determine the tile layout and mark reference lines on the underlayment’s edges with a pencil. Take into account the thickness of grout joints between tiles, which are usually around 1/16 inch, or measure the plastic spacers, if your tiles come with spacers. Plan the layout to use full tiles as much as possible, minimizing the number of cuts.

Measure, mark and cut tiles to fit at the perimeter and around sinks and faucets. For straight cuts, use a tool called a tile snapper, available for rent at home centers and tile supply stores. Use tile nippers for irregular cuts after scoring the cut line first with a glass cutter or utility knife. Smooth the sharp edges of cut tiles with a tile sander or grindstone.

Spread an even bed of tile adhesive or latex-modified thinset mortar over the underlayment using the straight edge of a notched trowel. Comb out the bed with the notched edge of the trowel. Make sure you hold the trowel at a consistent angle – 45 degrees usually works best for most applications – to ensure you form ridges with a uniform height.

Set the tiles by aligning them with the layout lines and pressing them into the adhesive or mortar bed. If your tiles come with plastic spacers, butt them together to create even grout joints. To create a flat surface, use the grout float to push down any tiles that stick up.

Allow the adhesive or mortar to fully set. Then scoop tile grout onto a rubber or foam-faced trowel called a grout flout and smooth it over the tiles using diagonal sweeping motions to press grout into every joint.

Scrape off excess grout with the grout float. Let the grout firm up in the joints, then fill a clean bucket with water and dampen a sponge in the water. Wipe the sponge over the tiles to remove the remaining hazy film of grout. Rinse the sponge and change the water frequently. Don’t let excess water pool on the grout joints or the grout won’t cure properly.

Allow the grout to fully set; this may take a couple of weeks, depending on the type of grout. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific setting times. Once it’s set, apply a water-based acrylic tile sealer to protect grout from stains.

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Tile countertops are one of the most durable available, and although there are numerous tile types sold which have accompanying bullnose caps and edges, not all material comes with bullnose. Sometimes you will have to create custom edges out of natural stone, a strip of wood or an alternate material. There are several ways to create an edge that rounds off the countertop rather than leaves an exposed perimeter.


The most common countertop installation is a sheet of 5/8 inch plywood with a layer of 1/2-inch concrete board mortared and nailed down on top. This gives you a reveal of just over an inch, which is easily covered by V-cap material. V-cap material is sold with a rounded edge that caps the perimeter, with part of the piece installed on the countertop and the other, vertical section adhering to the face of the top. Corner caps are sold for the outside edges. If your tile selection has V-cap, this is the easiest to install.

Normal Bullnose

If V-cap material isn’t available, but regular bullnose is, create your own corner wrap. Double the plywood so that you have two layers of 5/8 inch stacked on top of each other, with a layer of 1/2-inch concrete board on top of that. In addition, cut down a strip of concrete board to cover the visible edge of the countertop; this will be slightly larger than 1 1/2 inch wide. The underlayment must be mortared in place and nailed on. From there, install the bullnose edging on the countertop with mortar, extending past the face the thickness of the tile. Then cut down strips of the field tile to install on the vertical edge, with the bullnose edge capping the top. For best results, also cut down a strip of plywood to rest under the edge of the top so that your face pieces are held in place while they dry. Alternatively, you could install the top one day, come back the next when it has dried, and use masking tape to hold the face pieces in place as you install them.

Natural Stone

If your material doesn’t have bullnose available, use a similar color of natural stone. Cut down 3-inch wide strips and then chamfer/grind down the edges with a stone polishing kit to custom-create bullnose. Alternatively, special rounded blades are available for the tile wet saw. Push the tile through the blade along the rounded edge to create a bullnose edge on your natural stone. You cannot do this with ceramic as it will eat away the glazing and reveal the raw material. You could also cap the front edge with strips of natural stone cut down to the thickness of the countertop, or buy specially designed natural stone edge material with patterns engraved in it.

Wood Strips

Similar to how natural stone can be used as an edge material cut down to the thickness of the top, you can cap the edge of a tile countertop with wood material. After the tile is set, measure the thickness, cut some wood down to size, finish it as you see fit and then glue and nail it to the face. The edge where the top meets the wood should be caulked, not grouted, to allow for movement of the two different materials.

If you are making a tile countertop in your kitchen or bath, plan your tile layout before you begin. Plan your layout with courses of full (uncut) tiles starting at the front edge; any rows of cut tiles will be at the ends and at the backsplash, where they will be less noticeable.

To ensure that cut tiles at the ends are equal width and not too narrow, mark the left-to-right center of the counter and plan the first front-to-back row so it is either centered over this mark or a grout line between two rows of tiles will be. Choose whichever layout yields the largest cut tiles on the ends. Bend this rule on sink counters when the sink is not centered. Shift the layout so it is centered on the sink, which is typically a focal point.

If you plan to edge the front of the counter with trim tiles, dry-fit that trim and, if relevant, the tile that will face the countertop. Allowing for a grout line, pencil a layout line parallel to the front edge at this point to guide positioning the front edge of the first course of full tiles.

Many tiles have built-in lugs on the side for spacing. If your tiles don’t have lugs, use plastic spacers so they align properly.

Follow these steps to lay the tiles:

Dry-fit the first course and the center row of tiles to verify your layout.

Using a framing square, mark a layout line perpendicular to the front edge along the edge of the row.

Your first tile will be positioned adjacent to the two layout lines.

Mix a small batch of thinset mortar with latex bonding additive according to directions.

Apply thinset to the backerboard up to the layout lines with the smooth side of a trowel. Then use the notched side of the trowel, held at a 45-degee angle, to comb the thinset.

Combing assures that the correct amount is applied and that the application is uniform. This, in turn, ensures a flat tile surface.

Continue to spread mortar and lay full tiles on one side of the layout line, using spacers between them.

Push each tile down to ensure full contact with the adhesive and lay a straight board across the set tiles to verify they are flat, check spacing and make needed adjustments as you go.

After all the full tiles are in place, cut the border tiles and fit them into place before moving on to the next section of the counter and beginning the process again.

Spread the grout diagonally over area no more than 5 feet wide at a time. Use a rubber float to push the grout into the spaces between the tiles.

How to Tile a Countertop

Read the grout manufacturer’s instructions for an overview of applying grout. Start with the tool held at a 30-degree angle until the joints are full and then cut away the excess grout with the tool nearly perpendicular to the surface

Wait a few minutes and use a damp grout sponge to remove excess grout off the face of the tiles before it dries, trying not to disturb the grout lines. Wait a few more minutes and repeat until the tiles are clean.

Use cheesecloth or a dry soft cloth to buff off any haze that may remain after 15 or 20 minutes.

Follow the tile dealer’s advice and manufacturer’s instructions about whether, when, and how to apply a sealer that will help prevent food stains.

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When it comes to adding value to your home, updating your kitchen can have a significant impact. However, even if your budget doesn’t allow for a full-scale remodel, making small changes can improve the look and feel of these rooms. It may not seem like a major difference, but covering your countertop with ceramic tile is an ideal way to freshen the look of your kitchen. Best of all, once you understand the process, it’s a project that even novice do-it-yourselfers may feel comfortable taking on.

Prepare Surface

Before you can lay the tile for your countertop, you must prepare the surface. Tile adheres most effectively to construction or exterior-grade plywood that is cut to fit your countertop. For added protection, top the plywood with a sheet of plastic that serves as a moisture barrier and a cement board top layer. If you do not want to use cement board, two sheets of exterior -grade plywood are a sufficient base for your tile countertop. However, no matter what materials you choose for your countertop’s substrate, they must be level and smooth before you begin laying the tile.

Lay Out Tile

Plan the layout of your tile before you adhere it to the countertop prevents mistakes and helps determine how many of each tile are required. When deciding on your layout, consider factors like the placement of the sink and other fixtures that you might have to tile around and figure out how many border tiles you need and where to place them. Lay out all of the tiles on your substrate, using spacers to make sure that the placement is correct. Begin your layout at the sink to ensure a symmetrical look. However, if you have an L-shaped counter, begin at the corner and work outward. As you lay out the tile, mark any pieces that need to be cut and cut them along the lines with a tile cutter. It is also a good idea to make reference lines as you go so you have a guide when actually laying the tile.

Apply Thin Set

Once you know how to place the tile on your countertop, you can apply the thin-set adhesive. A notched trowel is the best tool for smoothing it across the plywood or cementboard substrate. However, because it can dry quickly, apply the thinset in small sections and immediately set the tiles to ensure that they adhere properly. As when dry fitting the tile, it’s best to start around the sink or in the corner with an L-shaped countertop when applying the thin-set mortar.

Lay Tile

When laying the tile, start with whole tiles before moving onto cut and border tiles. Avoid dropping the tiles down into the thinset; instead, use a horizontal sliding motion to set them in place. As you tile each section, check the area to ensure that the spacing is correct and none of the tiles are askew. When you are sure the section is properly tiled, moved onto the next area, repeating the thinset application and tile setting.


After you have placed all of the tile, allow the adhesive to set according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In most cases, you should wait at least a day before grouting your countertop. Before applying the grout, carefully remove any thin set from the face of the tiles with a utility knife. Mix the grout according to the package’s instructions. To avoid stains on your countertop, look for grout that has a latex additive or mix it with a liquid latex additive in addition to water. With a grout float, apply the mixture to a small area of the countertop, pushing the grout into the space between the tiles. When you have finished the area, use a damp sponge or rag to clean the surface of the tiles before moving onto the next section. When the grout has cured for approximately three days, you can apply a grout sealer, which will further protect your tile countertop from stains.

How to Tile a Countertop

Shuji Kobayashi / Getty Images

When you have severely aging laminate counters, they either need to be removed and replaced or fixed. Unlike marble, soapstone, granite, wood, and even to some extent solid surface counters, laminate counters do not develop an attractive patina; they only get more scratched and chipped, with the top wear layer scuffing away and revealing the lower image and core layers.

One alternative to full countertop replacement is to tile over the laminate. If the laminate and substrate are in good condition, you can tile directly on top of the laminate. While not a perfect solution to all of your countertop woes, tiling over laminate just might be the fast, inexpensive solution you need to carry your kitchen through for a few more years or to aid in a house sale. Ceramic tile over laminate allows for maximum creativity. Plus, unlike large countertops slabs, you can easily carry and transport tile in all vehicles.

Pros and Cons

  • Fast completion
  • Inexpensive
  • Many style choices
  • Reduces waste
  • Easy to transport materials
  • Grout seams
  • Square-edge laminate only
  • Lower resale value
  • Use only on structurally sound counters

Project Limitations

Wrapped edge laminate is attractive and it better resists chipping than square edge laminate. Unfortunately, though, you cannot tile over wrapped edge laminate countertops. You will need squared-off, vertical edges to accept the tile.

Project Metrics

  • Working Time: 6 hours (based on 16 square feet of countertop)
  • Total Time: 4 days
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Materials Cost: $100 to $250

Tools and Supplies You Will Need

  • Four-by-four ceramic tile
  • Bullnose or other profile 2-inch ceramic tile trim
  • Ceramic tile adhesive
  • Tile grout
  • Wet tile saw or rail tile cutter
  • Tile nipper
  • Tack cloth
  • Orbiting oscillating electric sander and sanding discs
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
  • Tile spacers
  • Trowel: 3/16-inch to 5/32-inch V-notch
  • Rubber tile float


Assess the Base for Structural Support

Laminate for countertops rests on a base of particleboard (medium-density fiberboard or MDF) which may fail over time, especially in contact with water. Assess this base for structural strength. If it is sagging or broken, it cannot be used as a base for tiling.

Remove Obstructions

Sink, faucet, cooktop, and all other items that cover the top and sides of the laminate counter must be removed.

Adhere Peeling Laminate

While the point of installing tile over laminate is to cover up the poor laminate, there is a limit as to how bad that laminate can be. If the countertop is delaminating in areas, the tile will not hold. Use contact cement to reapply the laminate so that it firmly sticks to the MDF.

Cover the Laminate (Optional)

If the laminate is peeling too much and cannot be repaired, cover it with a backer board layer. A cement backer board such as Durock screws directly onto the laminate. Tape up the seams with fiberglass mesh tape. This gives you a fail-proof surface on which to install your tile, and it eliminates sanding.

Roughen the Laminate Surface

Give the laminate surface a single pass with an orbital oscillating electric sander outfitted with 60 grit paper. The aim is not to sand deeply but to give the surface a sanding that covers it in a field of fine scratches. Avoid chipping the edges with the sander.

Thoroughly Clean the Laminate

For cleaning the laminate, use TSP rather than cleaning solutions which leave a residue. Afterward, use a tack cloth to remove the rest of the dust.

Plan Your Tile on the Countertop

Four-inch-square ceramic tile likely will not perfectly fit your countertop depth. So, you will want the uncut tile to be in the front, with cut tiles in back. If using a rail style tile cutter, you will want to position the ragged cut side against the wall to be later covered up with a backsplash.

Cut Tile According to Plan

In advance of mortaring, lay out all of your tiles on the countertop; this is called dry-fitting. Cut all of your tile to size either with a wet tile saw or a rail-type cutter.

Lay Down Mortar and Tiles

Sparingly lay down the mortar and trowel it out with the V-notch trowel. Keep the front and side tiles flush with the edge of the countertop. Use plastic spacers to maintain proper seam width. Around the sink and cooktop (if any), bring the tile up to 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch away from the edge of the cutouts. If you bring the tile too close, you risk narrowing down the space and making it difficult to re-install the sink or cooktop. If the tile is too far away, the sink and cooktop lips will not cover the tile.

Let the Tile Cure

With most ceramic tile adhesives, the full cure time is 24 to 72 hours. Consult the instructions on the adhesive. It is important to let the tile fully cure or the tiles may shift when grouting.

Grout the Tile

Grout the tiles with the rubber float, moving the float diagonally against the tiles and fully pressing the grout into the seams.

Add a Backsplash (Optional)

The backside of the tile, closest to the wall, will later need to be covered with a backsplash. A backsplash can be created with more of the same tiles that you used on the countertop or you may choose to use marble, copper, or peel-and-stick materials.

People have seriously strong opinions on the countertop material.

How to Tile a Countertop

How to Tile a Countertop

Tile isn’t just for backsplashes and bathroom floors. Mosaics can also make up the material for countertops. Popular in the ’70s and ’80s, tiled bathroom and kitchen countertops can still found today, especially in Arts and Crafts-inspired homes. But when it comes to installing new tile counters, experts have mixed opinions.

Sure, tile adds pattern and texture to a room. However, since the surface isn’t as smooth as, say, its butcher-block and concrete counterparts, tile can be tough to keep clean—especially the grout, which is quite porous. From the different types and costs to the pros and cons, here’s what homeowners should consider before taking a walk on the tiled side.

Types of Tile Countertops

How to Tile a Countertop

There are many different materials on the market, but the pros recommend natural stone and porcelain for bathroom and kitchen countertops.

Natural stone won’t show chips or imperfections as clearly, explains Angelica Baeza of Arizona Tile, one of the state’s leading showrooms, but it does require regular sealing. Meanwhile, less maintenance is needed with porcelain tile, but flaws will be more noticeable.

“New advancements in porcelain tile actually allow for the ceramic tile to be cut, polished, and installed similar to a solid surface or natural stone installation, minimizing or reducing seams or grout joints,” Bart Bettiga, executive director of the National Tile Contractors Association, tells us, adding that the new technology also allows a wider variety of colors and styles.

“Tiles to perhaps steer away from include products with a high glaze not suitable for countertop use,” he continues. “Always check with the tile supplier for service ratings for these products and ask in writing for a report to indicate if it is acceptable to use on countertop surfaces.”

Pros and Cons of Tile Countertops

How to Tile a Countertop

Pro: Variety. Like we said, you’ve got options—both in appearance and in price. Beyond material type, choose from a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes.

Con: They’re susceptible to stains and bacteria. “As a porous surface, grout must be sealed annually to safeguard against staining,” Baeza explains. “Even so, this might not be enough to prevent all stains. Perhaps most importantly, the porous nature of grout lines allow for bacterial absorption; especially when handling and preparing uncooked food.”

Pro: Some of that can be prevented. According to Bettiga, the aforementioned issue “stems from using materials with grout joints, making it more difficult to maintain and clean.” Instead, select panels or slabs and use epoxy grout specifically designed for countertop use.

Con: They’re not the most durable. Though heat-resistant and (to a point) scratch-resistant, tile countertops can also chip. Ceramic is much softer than natural stone, Baeza points out, and is therefore especially susceptible.

Pro: It’s easier to replace one tile than an entire slab. When one area is broken, it can be swapped out with some replacement tiles.

The Cost of Tile Countertops

How to Tile a Countertop

Depending on the material you choose, you could pay anywhere from $1 per square foot to $15 per square foot, by Bettiga’s estimates.

“Ceramic tiles are generally less expensive to install than other countertop materials and the new gauged porcelain tile panels and slabs that are available are comparable in price to other materials,” he says. “Because you are not generally purchasing material that encompasses a lot of square feet, it is best to focus on the right product, design, and suitability.”

With enough research and the proper preparation, homeowners may be able to handle certain installations themselves, but larger panels and slabs should be left to the professionals. Ask your tile supplier to refer you to a quality company. Installation rates will also vary by project, so collect quotes and compare to the cost of other surfaces.

How to Tile a Countertop

Table of Contents

Granite countertops will allow many options to choose from. This is one of the primary reasons that this natural stone is known as a great countertop material. Because of your many options, selecting the ideal backsplash may not seem like the easiest task. However, with proper planning, you can find an appealing tile backsplash to pair with your new granite countertop.

How Can You Match a Granite Countertop to a Backsplash?

Matching a granite countertop to a backsplash is not all that difficult if you take the proper approach. That said, there are several approaches you can take to finding the right backsplash.

Choose the Countertop First

The most common approach to pairing a backsplash with granite countertops will be to select your countertop first. Doing so will make it much easier to find a backsplash that is an ideal fit. Once you know what color and style your granite countertop is, you can find a similar color or pattern of backsplash tile. Keep in mind that the tile does not necessarily have to be the same color as your granite to be a good pair. In many cases, you can choose a neutral colored backsplash that will pair well with any countertop.

Choose Your Backsplash First

The opposite approach to the one mentioned above will be to select your backsplash first. While this order is not common, it can work. If you choose a flashy backsplash with vivid colors, it will be best to then select a granite countertop that is more subdued.

What Types of Tile Can Be Used for Backsplashes?

When it comes to tile backsplashes, there are also several options to choose from. Some of the most popular options are subway tile, glass tile, mosaic tile and ceramic tile. The order you choose the countertop and backsplash in will have a significant impact on which material will be right for your space.

Types of Tile Backsplashes

Subway tile
Glass tile
Mosaic tile
Ceramic tile

What Are Other Options Besides Tile?

Various types of tile are not the only options you have for backsplashes. If you are looking for a stylish new kitchen backsplash to pair with your granite countertop, you can also consider the following options.


Granite is not only a great material for kitchen countertops, but it will look terrific as a backsplash as well. If you are installing a full backsplash (one that extends from your countertop to the bottom of the upper cabinets), there are few materials that can rival the beauty of a granite slab. From the coloring to the veining present in many slabs, you will surely be able to highlight the natural stone you select for both your countertop and backsplash. One of the primary advantages a granite backsplash has over tile is no grout lines.

Stainless Steel

If you are going for more of a modern look, consider a stainless steel backsplash.


As with stainless steel, glass backsplashes are a nice choice for a contemporary look.

In addition to countertops, backsplashes, cabinetry and flooring are all essential parts of kitchen design. The kitchen itself is a major factor in any home remodeling project. When you consider this, finding the right backsplash for your countertop is a big deal. Regardless of the style you choose, your granite countertop or your backsplash can easily become the focal point of your kitchen. Reviewing this guide can help you select a wonderful backsplash for your home.

by admin | May 22, 2018 | Tiling


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A ceramic tile countertop is durable, beautiful and easy to install.

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How to Tile a Countertop. You do not have to be a professional tile layer to tile a countertop. It is possible to get professional results tiling a countertop yourself by following these steps. Note, however, that this requires not only a…

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Give your countertops and backslash the timeless beauty of stone for a modest price. We’ll show you everything you need to complete a DIY tile job in your k

Cut and Lay Attractive Ceramic Tile to Replace an Outdated Kitchen Countertop and Backsplash to Modernize Your Kitchen

Hometime explains how to set tile for a ceramic tile countertop, including adhesive, edge tile and backsplash tile.

How to Tile a host Paul Wilson shows how to install tiles on a kitchen countertop.

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If you are making a tile countertop in your kitchen or bath, plan your tile layout before you begin. Plan your layout with courses of full (uncut) tiles starting at …

Use wood trim instead of special edging tiles and do the work yourself. If your counter has curved edges as most do you ll have to grind off the raised bead at the lip with a belt sander and you won t be able to tile the backsplash without cutting off the curved top edge. Ceramic countertops are popular and making and installing one is a manageable diy project for most homeowners.

How to Tile a Countertop

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How to Tile a Countertop

Give your countertops and backslash the timeless beauty of stone for a modest price.

How to make a tile countertop. Whether you want an intriguing pattern that. Bull nose tiles come in two styles. Lay the first few feet of full tile up the middle of the layout. Then spread a layer of tile adhesive with your notched trowel starting at the beginning of one end of the countertop.

Follow these steps to build and install tile countertops. Use spacers to make sure your tiles are properly placed. We ll show you everything you need to complete a diy tile job in your kitchen from prepping the surface to setting the tile to caring for it after it s installed. Make an x on the material that needs to be removed when cutting the tiles.

I got a book from the library on how to do the work and got floor tiles grout and wood trim for the counters in a medium size kitchen for a little over 150. Step 1 measuring and preparing. Take the other full tile and align it next to the marked tile and make the same marks on the tile. How to make a tile countertop look modern.

Setting tile on laminate. Using a tile wet saw measure and cut the side pieces and place them firmly into place. It is important to determine the appropriate placement and spacing of the tiles before you tile countertops. Save money by installing a tile countertop yourself.

Arrange the tiles on the countertop base. Position your tiles on the concrete board countertop as you want them to be set making sure to account for grout lines. Try using flooring tiles instead of those specifically for countertops. On sinks that are self rimming remember the rim will cover the opening where the tile is and it will later be set into silicone so it ll be sealed.

Tile countertops add a sturdy and easy to clean surface to any kitchen or bathroom. You need straight edged tiles and bull nose tiles for your countertop. A single rounded edge for use along a straight edge and a double bull nose two adjacent rounded edges for use on outside. Tile is an ideal countertop material.

Available in a wide range of patterns colors and prices porcelain and ceramic tile make a durable countertop that can be installed by the handy do it yourselfer to save considerably on installation costs. Installing a tile countertop yourself is a great diy project. A laminate countertop is an acceptable base for ceramic tile but think carefully before you attempt it. Coming in a variety of colors and styles tile is heat moisture scratch and stain resistant so it works well.

Use 1 8 inch tile spacers to keep everything evenly spaced apart. Tiles are very attractive and come in a wide variety of designs and styles.

How to Tile a Countertop

Happy New Year everyone!!I have an old grimy tile countertop that is just disgusting. I think it is very unsanitary with the grout lines and would love to find a cheaper alternative. I can’t afford a full renovation of the kitchen and looking for a DIY option. Anyone with experience with covering the tile tops with concrete? I thought about doing a coat over the tile countertops and then some other type of backsplash.Thanks for your help and suggestions.Jim

How to Tile a Countertop

How to Tile a Countertop

How to Tile a Countertop

Hi there, a concrete finish over tile has definitely been done before with good results! In that link she went right up over the tile on the backsplash as well but maybe to keep some difference between the tile on the back could be painted?

Hey Jimmy, if you are interested in painting your backsplash I’ve seen posts here where they used tile paint to paint tile backsplashes. If you do a little searching I’m sure you can find the brand, etc.

How to Tile a Countertop

We had white 3.5 ” tiles/grey grout installed on the kitchen countertop and backsplash when we bought the house and totally remodeled the kitchen in 1984. As much as I would sometimes consider another counter top, the one we have was done so well, long-lasting, and solid, looks great, that I cannot make myself change it. The grout was the heavy-duty cement type, not the soft grout which cracks and discolors after some time. All I do is scrub the grout regularly to keep it clean and sanitary, using a coarse brush, soap and water. I have attached interesting larger tiles on the backsplash behind the stove/range using heavy-duty Velcro. The entire almost 30′ countertop is edged with an oak strip, which still looks great, cleaned and oiled yearly or as needed.

How to Tile a Countertop

I don’t like the small blue tile as it dates my house . Also very unsanitary with the grout, I know we can seal it, but just don’t like the look.

Related To:

How to Tile a Countertop

Sliding Butcher-Block Countertop Into Place

Installing a new countertop can be a challenge, and here’s how you can do it successfully.

Materials and Tools:

hand plane
circular saw
combination square
power drill
putty knife
folding rule
pry bars
block of wood
rubber gloves
safety glasses
dust mask
wood screws
contact cement
replacement countertop


1. Remove any trim pieces along the wall that may interfere with removing the countertop. Use the pry bars to carefully remove the old countertop. Pry off the trim pieces along the underside on the countertop and save them for use with the new counter.

2. In this case, the countertop was attached to the ends of studs with nails. The nails did not have enough gripping power and the counter became tilted. For a more secure installation, install support blocks cut from a 2 x 4 between the studs.

3. Measure between the studs with a folding rule.

4. Cut the supports from a 2 x 4. Pre-drill holes at an angle in the ends of the support blocks and insert wood screws partially through the blocks.

5. Install the support blocks between studs. Check for level before driving the wood screws into the studs.

6. Clean up old counter and place face down on underside of replacement counter piece. Use the old counter as a template and trace a line on the new counter piece.

7. Put on safety glasses and cut new counter using the jigsaw. Use a hand plane to make sure the corners are smooth.

8. Install trim pieces from original counter on underside of replacement counter.

9. Install new counter and check for level.

10. Apply contact cement to edge of counter and to laminate strips cut to fit the edge of the counter. Press laminate onto sides of counter. Put on safety glasses and use a router to trim the laminate so it’s even with the top of the counter.

11. Spread contact cement over top of counter and install your top laminate on the top. Use the router again to trim the edges.

If you decide to use tile for a countertop, you should also consider the look of the counter’s edge before you purchase the counter tiles. Edge options may be limited by trim tile; especially If you want to use the same color of tile on the edge as on the countertop. There are four ways to provide a finished edge for a tiled counter:

  1. Wood Strip – not recommended
  2. Border Strip – decorative relief tiles
  3. Bullnose Tiles – tiles with a tapered, glazed edge
  4. V-caps Tiles – tiles that wrap around the edge of a counter

V-cap tiles trim the edge of a tiled counter on a patio

Tile Counter with a Wood Edge

A wood edge is the least expensive option and the least desirable. Wood does not provide a durable and long-lasting solution for a kitchen – especially near wet areas like a sink. However, it can be easily replaced and can provide a nice accent to the cabinets. if you will be using wood edge trim, fasten a 1×2 batten to the face of the countertop so the top edge is above the top of the counter.

Finishing a tiled counter with a wood strip

Tile Counter with a Borderstrip and Bullnose Tiles

If you can’t find V-Cap tiles to trim the edge of a counter, consider using a decorative or relief borderstrip. This option will be more expensive than using using field tile and can be more expensive than a V-cap – depending on the borderstrip. Make sure you can purchase a bullnosed tile in the same glaze as the rest of the counter. Alternatively, you can create a borderstrip with glazed bar tiles or decorative caps. If you are using bullnose tiles for your edge, a batten that is the same thickness as the edging tile, plus 1/8″ for mortar thickness, should be fastened to the face of the countertop so that the top is flush with the counter.

Finishing a tiled counter with a border strip

Bar Tile can be used to create the border strip

Decorative caps can be used to create the border strip

Tile Counter with Field Tile and Bullnose Tiles

This solution is the the least expensive of the three options that use tiled edging. You might be able to avoid lots of cuts if the counter tile comes in a format that matches the width of the counter (like 1″ x 2″). Install the same as with the borderstrip.

Bullnose tile trims the edge of a tiled counter

You can use bullnose tile to finish the edge of a tiled window as well. For something different, set the bullnose tiles on the wall surface, instead of the recess. In this case, set the recess tiles first, then the bullnose.

Tile Counter with a V-cap

For a professional look that is maintenance-free, consider using a special type of trim tile tile called a V-cap. V-cap tiles are expensive; but, you’ll save money on installation costs. They do tend to break easily before they are installed; so, purchase about 10% more than you need. To install V-cap Tiles, a 1×2 batten attached with screws along the reference line will guarantee straightness.

Lay out tiles in a dry run using spacers before you actually install them. L-shaped counters should be tiled starting at the corner and working outward. All other counters, start at the sink to ensure that there will be equal sized cuts on both sides of the sink. To prevent yourself from having to cut very narrow tile segments, you may need to shift your starting point.

Finishing a tiled counter with a wood strip

You can tile over a laminate countertop. Just make sure that it is square, level and structurally sound. The surface will need to be sanded before setting the tiles to ensure proper adhesion. If you need to remove your existing countertop, remove the screws from beneath the countertop and if needed, cut the construction adhesive with a knife.

Tiled countertops aren’t as popular as they used to be. Solid surface counters like granite and more recently Silestone and quartz have become the new standard. However, I frequently here designers mention that client who installed tiled counters many years a ago still love them and prefer them. Tile is still an excellent choice for a countertop because it provide a great value, excellent durability with limitless design options.

LESLIE: Alright. Now I’ve got Sharon on the line who is dealing with a grouting issue. What’s going on there?

SHARON: Well, I have grout in my kitchen, around tiles. They’re about 5-inch tiles or so and …

LESLIE: Are they counter tiles or backsplash?

SHARON: Countertop and backsplash. And the problem, Leslie, is just the flat countertop.

SHARON: Since it’s so old, I don’t know if it will seal correctly. It’s kind of stained and dirty and I was wondering the best way to clean it out. Would you have to chip it all out or can you clean it with something and then regrout it and reseal it? What can I do?

TOM: Yeah. Well, yes and yes. So, you can try cleaning it and what you might want to try is a grout stripper, not a grout cleaner. It’s a little more aggressive in terms of its ability to pull out stains. However, if that doesn’t work to your satisfaction, you can get a grout knife and – or a grout saw, I should say – and cut out the grout that’s there and then simply put in some new grout, which is a very easy home improvement project to do.

SHARON: OK. And then, how do you go about – once you put the grout in, how do you go about sealing it?

LESLIE: Well, you want to let it dry – cure – really well and before it actually cures, you want to clean the tile surface very well. You want to sponge away any of that clouding that you see from the grout because once that sets, you’ll never get it off of the tile. So really do a good job of cleaning off your tile. Let that grout properly cure and then you need to get a grout sealer and apply it.

And the best way is they sell these little applicators. They look almost like small squeezy bottles and they have a little, foam roller-top or a little nail-polish brush. And that helps you just apply it right to the grout. And then put that sealer on and that’ll really do a good job of helping you keep that grout looking clean for a while.

SHARON: OK. So do you have any suggestions on how to keep it looking good? I mean is the sealer going to keep all of that nasty stuff out or do you just kind of scrub it a little gently after you’ve sealed it, once it’s sealed?

TOM: Well, there’s two kinds of grout: there’s sand grout and epoxy grout. And if you use the epoxy grout, it’s a lot harder to install but it does stay stain-free a lot longer. So that’s another option for you, too.

SHARON: OK, OK. Very good. And I like your zippy hold music. It makes you want to do aerobics.

TOM: Alright. Well, we hope it’s a tune for you to work by.

SHARON: Yes, wonderful.

SHARON: Thank you so much for your help and have a wonderful day.

TOM: You’re very welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks again for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

If you have a tile countertop that reminds you of ancient Greece rather than a room in the 21st century, it may be time for replacement.

To tile a countertop, start by removing the existing built-ins (cooktop, faucet, sink) and the old countertop.
Turn off the hot and cold water valves beneath the sink, shut off the gas, and turn off the electricity.

Disconnect the water supply lines, the sink drain, and the gas or electric lines.

With all built-ins removed, use a hammer and a pry bar to get rid of the old countertop. Keep in mind that some countertops may be attached to the cabinet with screws from the underside.

Note: Be sure to wear protective clothing and eye goggles to avoid injury.

Begin the new installation by first measuring, cutting and installing a new plywood sub-top (known in the trades as the rough top). We use 3/4 inch exterior grade plywood. Mortar or mortar board lie on this plywood platform.
Align the new plywood rough-top evenly with the front edge of the cabinet.

Pre-drill the holes using an 1/8-inch drill bit and then use 1 5/8-inch drywall screws to attach the plywood top to the cabinet at all edges, about 6 to 8 inches apart.

Next, use the manufacturer’s template that comes with the sink or appliance to mark its cutout size and location.

Use a jigsaw to make the actual cutout.

Finally, apply a layer of 15-pound building paper over the plywood top, securing it with a few staples.

The next step for a professional would be to add chicken wire and float out a bed of mortar. For the do-it-yourselfer, prefabricated cement backer board makes the job easier.

Measure the backer board to fit precisely over the plywood rough top. The backer board, which is 1/2-inch thick can be cut with a sharp razor knife or by using a circular saw with a masonry blade.

If you use the saw, be sure to wear a breathing mask since you will encounter an enormous cloud of dust.
Before permanently fastening the backer board, lay it atop of the rough top, and scribe from below, any cutouts that were made in the plywood for a sink or appliance.

Remove the scribed backer board and use a jigsaw to make the matching cutouts.

Secure the mortar board to the plywood substrate using 1-inch galvanized roofing nails or 1-inch bugle-head drywall screws.

Use the special mesh tape and joint compound sold with the backer board to finish the joints.

The nail or screw heads should also be dabbed with a bit of the joint compound. Allow everything to dry overnight.

Begin the tiling process by laying out the tile:
An outside corner trim piece is an easy place to start. You may want to start by centering the pieces around the sink or an appliance.

Irregular pieces should be marked and cut with a tile cutter, which can be rented for about $45 a day.

Lay the tile out with the appropriate-size rubber spacers and mark and cut each piece. Rubber tile spacers help to keep the joints aligned and uniform in width. Butt tiles together for thin joints.

The most challenging pieces to fit will be those that surround the openings for sinks and appliances. Tile nippers will make custom cuts far easier.

Once all of the pieces have been precut and removed from the work surface you’re ready to lay tile. Here’s what we do:
Use a 1/8-inch notched trowel to apply the mortar-adhesive to the backer board.

With a margin trowel or butter trowel, spread a small amount of mortar-adhesive onto the back side of a piece of tile.

Place the tile, starting with the trim pieces followed by the field tile, being sure to use spacers between each piece if desired.

Be careful to lay tiles in straight lines by sighting down the joint rows. The other trick is to make sure that tiles are evenly laid insuring that top will be as smooth as silk.

The tile splash can be applied directly to the wall by using a small amount of mortar with each piece. Allow the tile adhesive to set up for about 24 hours and then apply the grout.

If the joints are less than 1/8-inch, use unsanded grout. If 1/8 inch or larger, use sanded. Mix the grout according to the directions and apply it with a rubber grout float working in a diagonal direction.

Excess grout should be removed with a damp sponge.

Install a new self-rimming sink and your appliances. Reconnect the water supply lines and pipes or the gas line and wiring.

Apply an acrylic or silicone-based tile and grout sealer to the entire tile and grout surface after the grout has cured for a couple of weeks.

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How to Tile a Countertop

Choosing a coordinating countertop and backsplash isn’t rocket science, but it’s also not as easy as 1, 2, 3. Complimentary colors alone won’t always lead to a perfect match. You must also consider patterns, movement, and sheen to create a look you’ll truly love.

Most experts will advise you to choose your countertop before your backsplash. This is because your countertop is a much more significant investment than your backsplash. It is what will get the most use, and it is one of the most visible features in your kitchen.

From a practical standpoint, your kitchen countertop also must be installed first. Once it is in place, you could then take home sample backsplash tiles and double-check how they look with the countertops, cabinetry, and fixtures. You can also get an idea as to how they look in different lighting throughout the day.

How to Tile a Countertop


Countertop and backsplash colors should complement one another. Consider using a color wheel to help evaluate your options since it shows you what colors blend nicely together.

Some homeowners will choose a backsplash tile that has a color matching the veins or spots of color in their countertop. This can be a great option if you also consider the patterns and movement in the countertop and backsplash tile. You don’t want them to compete with one another.

If you have a countertop with a lot of movement in it, which is especially common with granite countertops, consider a more subdued backsplash, so your eyes have somewhere to rest.

If your countertop is uniform and neutral, feel free to amp up the backsplash with a burst of color or more intricate tile patterns.

If your countertop has different patterns and movement but the backsplash tile you love also has a busy design, then try matching the color palettes. It will ensure the countertop and backsplash feel more cohesive rather than compete with one another in both pattern and color.

Another option is to run your countertop onto the backsplash. This creates a sleek, clean, uniform look, and can be an economical choice if you have extra countertop material left over.

How to Tile a Countertop


The purpose of your backsplash is to protect your walls from spills, splatters, mildew, and mold. Keep that in mind when you choose materials—they are going to get messy. Make sure whatever material you want can be cleaned easily with a damp cloth or sponge.

If you select larger-size tiles, you’ll also have to use less grout, which will mean fewer joints and less cleaning. Also, note that some backsplash materials need more maintenance than others. Natural stone backsplashes will need to be cleaned and sealed periodically – probably about twice a year.

Some homeowners like the sheen of their countertop and backsplash to match – meaning if their countertop has a high-gloss finish, they also want shine in their backsplash.

Do you still have questions? Come on in. Visit our showrooms for inspiration and talk to our experts. Let us help you turn your kitchen into your favorite room in your home.

Let me show you how to install tile on a kitchen countertop. This project is a great alternative to solid surface materials. Honestly, I’m getting sick of seeing granite on every countertop in my kitchen. I have the same granite on the back splash and fireplace surround, as well. I need to introduce a different material and pattern to the space so that I don’t experience granite overload. Sorry, granite lovers – there is such a thing! My island is being turned into an old world inspired centerpiece.

Is this how to project really DIY?

Absolutely! I will teach you how to master an old-world herringbone pattern with tile! Does this project take patience and nerve? Absolutely, but it happens to be the most admired project in my home, making it worth the extra effort. So, if you’re looking for an alternative to solid surface products (which are hardly Do It Yourself), look no further than your local tile store.

You CAN install tile on a kitchen countertop yourself!

I’m installing designer tile on my kitchen island, over a plywood base. You can tile directly over the top of Formica if you purchase the correct thin-set mortar. This is a project that will last for many years. I will show you how to cut tile with a wet saw (like a pro), mix mortar to the proper consistency and lay the tile nice and evenly across the entire surface. This project can take a few days to accomplish so make sure you set aside enough time so that you’re not rushing through. I’v got your back and I will share tips and trick to help you avoid common mistakes. You DO need specialty tools to finish this project but they don’t need to be very expensive. My tiling tools have paid off many times over and if you complete this project, yours will too!

We think we have our bathroom tile picked out.

How to Tile a Countertop

with such light colors on the wall and shower floor, I am thinking of a darker countertop.

How to Tile a Countertop

the designer that helped us with tile choice said we should match our shower sill plate and bottom of the shower niche with our countertop. while I think the counter would contrast nicely with the floor, I’m not sure how it would look in the shower area where these lighter colors are right next to it, rather than being separated by cabinets. any thoughts/ideas – or samples of a similar scheme I could see?

Diana Bier Interiors, LLC

I like your choices, but I would make a couple of changes. Use a plain white marble or quartz for the saddle and shower sill plate so it blends with your tile. Using the gray counter top material is too much of a contrast IMO.

I’d use that beautiful glass tile as a horizontal border in the shower, and then run it around the room. Then use a plain white tile for the shower niche–it’s going to be blocked out most of the time with shampoo bottles and stuff.

Although these may not be your style or color scheme, here are examples of continuing a border tile in the shower and on the walls.

How to Tile a Countertop

How to Tile a Countertop

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Patricia Colwell Consulting

I like a simple plan for bathrooms a 12 x24 porcelain tile for bathroom floor and shower walls with a smaller tile for the shower floor but in the same color family. Then the counter can be the star.

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Oh I love that turquoise tile. Make that the star.

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How to Tile a Countertop

I’ve partnered with Wayfair to share yet another tiling guide; this time I’m teaching you how to tile the kitchen backsplash.

Remember back in August, I mentioned partnering with Wayfair to create a backsplash tiling tutorial?

Ladies and gentlemen, the day has finally arrived!

Have you ever considered installing your own kitchen backsplash? It’s a fairly simple and fun way to infuse your kitchen with personality and set it apart from builder-grade design – not to mention protect your walls against splatters and spills. Besides, it makes cooking just that much more enjoyable – and we all know we can use all the joy we can get when it comes to housework. No? Just me?

Don’t get overwhelmed by the list of tools and materials, below. Out of all the tile projects you could possibly tackle, tiling the backsplash is by far the easiest. Let’s get started!

Tools & Materials:

  • Tile
  • Pre-mixed mortar
  • Grout
  • Grout maximizer
  • Silicone caulk
  • Painter’s tape
  • Small finish nails
  • Scrap cardboard, drop cloth or plastic tarp
  • Scrap wood board
  • Notched trowel
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Diamond blade wet saw
  • Rubber float
  • Caulking gun
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Respirator mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Cloths
  • 2-3 sponges
  • Measuring tape
  • 2-3 buckets
  • 24-inch level
  • Hammer
  • Mixing drill
  • Paintbrush
  • Professional-grade vacuum

How to Tile a Countertop

Step 1: Calculate Total Square Footage

Whether you’re tiling the kitchen or the bathroom backsplash, you want to make sure you get things perfect the first time (and don’t overspend). To determine how much tile you will need for your project, calculate the square footage of the backsplash by measuring the length and width of the wall you want to tile. Multiply the two numbers to get the total area.

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How to Tile a Countertop

Installing a ceramic tile countertop creates a functional and lasting workspace. In order to install a tile countertop, the following materials will be needed: plastic sheeting, ceramic tiles, edge tiles, mortar, grout, grout sealer, drywall screws, 2 x 4 (foot 61 cm x 121.9 cm) scrap, ¾-inch (1.9 cm) plywood, backer board, backer board screws, 3-inch (7.6 cm) fiberglass tape, and tile spacers. Additionally, it will be necessary to buy or rent the following tools: saber saw, drill with a masonry bit and Phillips bit, tape measure, utility knife, notched trowel, drywall tape knife, wet saw, tile nippers, level, grout float, and cheesecloth or burlap.

How to Tile a CountertopStacks of plywood sheets, which are used in making tile countertops.

With base cabinets as the supporting structure, it is first necessary to install 3/4–inch (1.9 cm) exterior quality plywood substrate cut to the size of the countertop and screwed into place with drywall screws. The next step is to cut out a space for the sink using a saber saw. Many sinks come with a template, but the cutout can be marked out using measurements as well.

Installing backer board under a tile countertop is a necessary step in this process as it ensures an even tile countertop that will not shift and crack. Cut the backer board to fit by scoring and snapping. Cut the sink curves on both sides freehand and snap away with pliers. Then, pre-drill screw holes six to eight inches (15.2 cm to 20.3 cm) apart. Staple on a plastic moisture barrier, reposition backer board, and install with backer board screws.

Next, it is necessary to tape and fill the seams. Reinforce the exposed edges of the backer board with fiberglass tape. Then, apply a 3-inch (7.6 cm) wide layer of cement mortar to fill in the gaps.

Cut the tiles to size using a wet saw and dry fit the tiles across the countertop. It is important to lay out the tile arrangement before working with mortar. Lay out the flat tiles first, then add the others that have been cut to fit. Make sure the tiles around the sink are even. Use spacers to ensure a consistent grout spacing pattern.

Once the initial layout is perfected, it is time to use mortar to attach the tiles to the countertop. First mix the mortar according to the packaging instructions, then spread in an even layer with a notched trowel. Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle and scrape it across the surface. Lay the tiles in the mortar, first paying attention to tricky areas, like the sink and L-shaped, inside corners. Install spacers between each tile to avoid shifting during the drying process.

After the tile has completely set, according to the mortar instructions, it is time to grout the tile. Mix the grout according to manufacturer instructions and spread grout across the tile countertop with a rubber grout float. Once all joints are filled, remove excess and rinse with a clean, water soaked sponge. Once the grout is dry, rub the tiles with cheesecloth to remove haze. The final step of the tile countertop process is to seal the grout, in order to avoid stains and damage.

How to Tile a CountertopA utility knife is needed to install a tile countertop.

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Apply SimpleMat to your counter, then tile – it’s that easy.

For efficiency lay SimpleMat horizontally on counter.

Overlap SimpleMat edges 1/8″ to 1/4″ (3-6mm). Overlapping is shaded in gray in illustration.

Peel off white paper.

Apply SimpleMat to counter.

Flatten air bubbles and creases.

Cover all surfaces to be tiled.

Cut SimpleMat as needed.

Cut corner from end of the mat to facilitate folding of corner.

BULL NOSE TILE: Regular shaped tile with a rounded edge used for counter edge and other transitions.

First apply tile to front of counter.

Ensure that counter tile overlaps and use spacers for a uniform grout joint.

V-CAP TILE: L-shaped tile specifically used to cover the front edge of a countertop.

Because v-cap may not fit squarely on countertop, use SimpleGrout Pre-Mixed Grout or SimpleFix Ceramic Tile & Fixture Caulk to fill voids between v-cap and countertop.

Do not apply excessive filler material as it will interfere with bond.

Begin layout by positioning the front edge tiles bull nose of v-cap along front of the countertop.

Do a dry run by placing as many full tiles on the countertop with spacers as necessary. If countertop abuts a wall, lay cut tiles against walls.

For straight countertops, mark centerline of countertop or sink, then lay tiles so cut pieces beside sink are the same width. Avoid less than half-width cut tiles by shifting the layout 1/2 tile left or right.

For L-shaped countertops, lay full tiles at inside corner. Set bull nose or v-cap pieces in place to ensure correct amount of overhanging pieces.

Can you remove tile countertops without damaging cabinets?

Yes, absolutely there will be damage to walls and cabinets when tile is removed. If you have tile extending up the wall for backsplash, the removal of that tile will most certainly damage the drywall or plaster behind it. Again, there is no reason to panic.

How do you remove a tile countertop and backsplash?

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How To Remove A Tile Backsplash | withHEART – YouTube

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How do you remove granite tile countertops?

How to Remove Granite Tiles Without Breaking

  1. Set the tip of a flat-head screwdriver along one of the grout lines.
  2. Slide the screwdriver over ¼ inch and angle the screwdriver so it is pointing toward the first crack.
  3. Remove the broken grout with your hands or a broom and discard.
  4. Slide a putty knife underneath a granite tile.
  5. Lay the tiles face-down on a tarp.

How do you remove old countertops?

For easier countertop removal:

  • Spray the adhesive surrounding the edges of the countertop with a caulk softener. Let sit for one hour.
  • Use a putty knife or box cutter to pull the adhesive from the backsplash or wall.
  • Carefully pry your tool of choice under the countertop until it is loose enough to lift.

How do you remove old kitchen tiles?

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How to Remove and Replace Tiles with Wickes – YouTube

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Can you cover up tile countertops?

In addition to updating the look of tile countertops, walls and floors, one of the benefits of Miracle Method refinishing is that all of those grout lines are permanently sealed, making the surface sanitary and easy to keep clean.

Can you resurface tile countertops?

Tile Countertops – Do your countertops need to be repaired or replaced? If your tile countertops are chipped or scratched, they can most likely be refinished instead of replaced. Chips and cracks can be filled, repaired, and refinished so well that the tile will look like brand new.

How do you remove a countertop without damaging backsplash?

How to Remove Old Countertops Without Damage the Backsplash

  1. Turn off the water and gas supply to the kitchen.
  2. Remove all items from the cabinets beneath your countertops.
  3. Unplug and move appliances, such as your stove and microwave, away from the counter.
  4. Detach the sink’s drainpipe.
  5. Spray the line of caulk holding your countertop to your backsplash with caulk softener.

How do you remove a kitchen countertop backsplash?

Scrape off any silicone glue or caulk from around the perimeter of the backsplash using a putty knife. Tap the point of a rounded pry bar between the wall and the backsplash. Pry the backsplash off using the pry bar. If it’s nailed on it will take a bit more force.

How do you remove wall tiles quickly?

Break the grout around a tile in the middle of the wall with a stiff putty knife and a hammer. As soon as there is room for it, wedge the putty knife under the tile and tap it with the hammer. The tile should pop off. If it doesn’t, remove more grout and try tapping in a different place.

How to Tile a Countertop

Choosing a backsplash tile can be stressful and choosing the wrong backsplash tile can break an otherwise great kitchen. I’m going to make the decision easy for you.

When dealing with hard surfaces, pattern on pattern does not work well together. A granite countertop has enough pattern going on all by itself. Trying to find a patterned tile that will match the undertones in your stone and not look distracting is a hard task. Take the two kitchens below for example. The dark brown kitchen on the left is just too busy. Our eyes have no where to rest. The kitchen on the right is also too busy but notice the pink tones in the backsplash clashing with the granite.

If you have granite then you have a busy pattern on your countertop. Do yourself a favor and install a solid color backsplash tile. You won’t have to worry about matching the undertones in the counter to all the undertones in the tile pattern. The kitchen below looks clean and calm. Our eyes aren’t darting all over looking for an end to the chaos.

If you are installing a solid color countertop this is the only time you should use patterned backsplash tile, but proceed with caution. Patterned tile needs to be selected carefully. What you see on display at your local home store and what is popular on Pinterest is usually what is trending at the moment and it will make your kitchen feel dated much sooner than you will like. 1”x1” square mosaic tile was a trend, then linear mosaic tile was a trend. Currently, encaustic tile is having a moment. It’s ok to install design elements that are trending but be sure you are installing them because you will like how it looks for many years. Not just until the next trend rolls in.

Subway tile has been trending for a while but it is still a timeless choice thanks to it’s clean lines. It works with so many design styles it’s hard to go wrong with subway tile.

Compare these multicolored ceramic tiles to the backsplash photos in the beginning of this post. These are crazy busy but it works because the countertop is not competing with the backsplash.

These silver and gray mosaic backsplash tiles are a great focal point. They are busy but not competing with the white counter.

This is a full height stone backsplash but the same principal applies. Solid color top, patterned backsplash.

Pattern on a vertical surface will be much more intense than pattern on a flat surface. Even with a solid color countertop a busy backsplash may still just be too busy.

The color of your tile and grout will look different when you see it in the store or showroom than it will in your finished space with your undercabinet lighting. Gather samples of your counter, tile, grout and cabinetry and view it in different lighting to weed out any undertones that don’t go together.

If a solid color tile is not your thing and you really like pattern, install a matching granite full height backsplash. I personally feel this works better on stones that have a fluid movement to them vs. blotchy, speckled patterns.

Speckled patterned granite. The pink undertone in the stone is not a good choice for orange oak.

Granite with fluid movement

If you have a busy countertop (I’m looking at you, granite), choose a solid color backsplash tile. Don’t stress yourself out trying to find patterned tile with the correct undertone to go with your stone. Most likely, you wont find the right one.

If you like pattern on your backsplash, choose a solid color countertop.

If solid anything makes you miserable, you’re wild and love pattern, install a full height stone backsplash in the same stone as your countertop. Avoid speckled, splotchy patterns and choose something with movement.

Most of our countertops have items we use everyday sitting out on them. A coffee pot, toaster, stand mixer and canisters. The hard finishes in our kitchen should be a clean backdrop for everything else that lives in the room. So don’t worry if you think a solid tile will be boring or blah. By the time everything is put away there will be so much going on you won’t feel that way for long.

What kind of backsplash do you have now? Do you see something you would change?

How to Tile a Countertop

How to Tile a Countertop

How to Tile a Countertop

How to Tile a Countertop

How to Tile a Countertop


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