Building an Outdoor Tile Countertop

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
12x12-inch ceramic tiles (as needed)
Plywood sheet; all-weather
1/2x1/2-inch, 8-foot long pieces of wood
Band saw
Metallic fleck paint
Tile and wood glue

Entertaining outside on the deck, in the garden, or around your backyard can be made even better by building a tile countertop. An outdoor kitchen is a lot of work and a lot of time but it is all well worth while. The following steps will show you how to turn an existing countertop into an outdoor tile countertop.

Step 1 - Cutting the Wood

When first creating an outdoor tile countertop you need to know how large you are going to make it. Keep in mind that tiles are square with a 12x12-inch measurement.

Use the measuring tape and collect the measurement of the base or existing counter starting with the width. You can make your new countertop as wide as you want as long as the existing base can support it.

When you have your length and width figured out you can now transfer those measurements to the sheet of plywood. If you are making an "L"-shape then measure out each section separately. You may need more than one sheet if this is the case. After measuring for the length and width cut them out.

With the width recorded you may now measure the length. If the countertop you are building forms an "L"-shape then keep the thicker parts in mind when determining the length. With the tiles being a 12x12-inch square the width at the corner should be in 12x12-inch sizes.

Measure out the perimeter of the countertop and cut the 1/2x1/2-inch pieces of wood to match.  Next, place a tile next to the 1/2x1/2-inch pieces of wood and mark the height of the tile.

Step 2 - Framing the Tile Countertop

Place the cut pieces of plywood on top of the base then nail it in place.

Put wood glue along the lines of the 1/2x1/2-inch pieces of wood and glue in place along the perimeter. When the glue has secured the wood in place you can then nail it to the plywood to keep it there. Continue around the perimeter until it is completely encased.

Step 3 - Test Run and Painting

The final step will be gluing the tiles in place. Before actually gluing them down, however, you want to place them on to the plywood surface you nailed down to ensure they all fit. After your dry install run through you can remove the tiles and set them off to the side for later.

Make sure you are in a well ventilated then spray a coat of paint on the plywood. Apply a second coat if needed. What will happen is the wood will take on a metal look which will look great with the tile.

Step 4 - Laying the Tile

Once the paint had dried you can start putting glue on the tiles and placing them on the countertop. Make sure the tiles are flush against the wooden perimeter and against each other.

When the tiles have tried rinse them off with water a mild soap.