ceramic wall tile in kitchen

Old 11-13-00, 08:40 PM
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Need to know how to apply ceramic wall tile in kitchen between countertop and bottom of cabinets. This is mostly for the enhancement of the kitchen and ease of cleaning. Now have painted surface over sheetrock in home 4 years old. Area only has one area where there may be contact with water, a 3" area at sink between sink and window sill. Do you have to have a special board all around the area or just where there will be contact with water? Want something different and special also needs to be medium difficulty at maximum for this female to install.
Old 11-14-00, 03:12 AM
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Hi Casper;
There are alot of variables involved so what I tell you will be "generally speaking".
If you have a 3" or 4" Backsplash that is the same material as your countertop (most do) Then I would not worry about the backer board. If the paint has survived fairly well then the tile should as well.As long as the drywall is not rotten or water damaged already you should have no problems.
When I do a backsplash I always check the countertop and cabinets above for level. Then I find my open end. (I really don't know how to explain it) Where either the cabinets end or by the fridge or anywhere that it no longer is a backsplash and becomes wall (I hope you understand) This is where I put the trim tile or wood trim or whatever you are using.Start with full tile at the trim. I then dry-lay (no adhesive yet) or measure to see what my cut on the other end is going to be. I try not to have a cut smaller than 1 1/2" if possible. (sometimes its not)
Ok if the counter is level I start with full tile there and put my cuts underneath the cabinet above.If not you will have to draw a level line.
What I told you above is for a backsplash with one open end. (L- shaped countertops are a good example of only one open end.)
If you have a backsplash with two open ends I find the center point. (Many times this is where the sink is but, not always.)
I then again dry-lay the tiles both directions to see what my cuts are at the ends. (don't forget there are two ways to go from the center your center point could either be at a grout joint between two tiles or in the exact center of one tile. Which ever gives you the largest cut is the best way to go.) Then start with full tile at the center and at the countertop and work your way out to the trim. THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!If your center point is where the sink is (which usually has a window and only has about a 3" piece of tileable area between the window and the countertop) If this is the case, Then I usually start at the trim tile on both ends with full tile and work my way to the center and install what I call a "Dutchman" a "Dutchman" is a cut piece of tile or a full course of cut pieces within the field. Us tilesetters hate to do this (with a passion) and I never do it except in this scenario.The reason is I think that that one "dutchman" in the center looks better than both ends being cut to the trim tile.(which is,technically speaking, a dutchman as well)Its usually only one tile and if its more than 3" wide, unless you know what your looking for, you won't even notice it once grouted.
This is really an easy project just dry-lay everything out, make sure your tile is level and you should have no problems. The hardest part is cutting out for switchs and/or outlets.(which the place where you bought the tile should be able to do for you.) If you do have any cuts that border another tile, (a dutchman) take a piece of 100 grit sand paper and gently sand the cut edge.(this will "ease" the sharp cut edge.
With your outlets and switches (if you have any) TURN THE BREAKERS OFF! you need to bring those out flush with the tile (remember your adding a 1/4 inch or so to the existing wall) if you don't do this the plates won't fit back on.
Thats about it. WHEW!!!!!!I'm out of breath
Just take your time. Print this out if you can. and Good Luck!If you get stumped you can come back and post or you can go to my website and contact me directly and I'll try to help. Sorry, if I missed anything but, I'm no writer.
Rich Gately (Tileman1) www.gatelytilecompany.homestead.com
Old 11-14-00, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Katy (Houston area) TX USA
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Another consideration might be balancing the cuts on both sides of the window, and then working in both directions outward. The "dutchman" is still an option under the sill. Balancing in the window/sink area is particularly important design-wise when decorative tiles are incorporated into the scheme.


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