How to Tile a Kitchen Counter
The kitchen counter is one of the first things that people notice when they enter your kitchen, so you need to make your counter look good. If granite is beyond your means, there are tiles that bring out your desired results.
Kitchen counter tiles are easy to install, so you do not need to hire an expert to do the job for you. To install tiles on your kitchen counter, follow the step-by-step guide below.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Work gloves
- Face mask
- Electric power drill with screwdriver set
- Tape measure
- Board knife
- Tile cutter/saw
- Plastic buckets,
- Backer board, ¼-inch
- Backer board tape, 2-inch wide
- Screws, 2-inch
- Tile spacers
- Tile modified thinset
- Tile or grout finish
- General purpose cleaning detergent
- Cleaning rags
Step 1 – Prepare the Area
Installing tiles can be a dusty and messy business, so you need to wear gloves and a face mask to protect yourself. After donning your protective gear and clothing, pour water into the bucket and mix it with powder detergent to make your cleaning solution. Wet the kitchen top with water and brush the detergent solution briskly to remove grease, dirt, mold and so on. Wash the area thoroughly and let it dry.
Step 2 – Measure and Lay down the Backer Board
Use a tape measure to measure the countertop for the coverage of the backer board. Use the board knife to cut the backer board according to the measurements taken. Mix thinset according to mixing directions. Spread evenly on top of the kitchen counter.
Place the backer board on top of the thinset and secure it with screws into the outer edge of the kitchen counter. Allow 5-inch intervals between screws. Once this is done, spread the backer board tape to cover the edge of the kitchen counter, including the wall, where applicable.
Step 3 – Lay the Tile
Mix the tile modified thinset in the plastic bucket with water, according to the package instructions. Use the trowel to spread the mixture on top of the kitchen counter. Place the tiles in a line on the front edge first. Use the tile spacers to keep uniform distance between tiles. Use the level along the way to ensure that you have uniformly pitched tiles. When you come to the edge, measure the remaining space of the kitchen counter, and if it is less than a whole tile, saw off the extra tile part to obtain the right size to cover the whole surface.
Step 4 – Apply the Grout
Mix the grout in another bucket and spread it out evenly in between tiles, filling out the spaces and cracks. Use a sponge to spread it. Let the grout dry for 1 day. Then wet a sponge with warm water to wipe the tile surface, remove the remains of the grout and clean up the tile finish. Let the grout cure for another 3 days. Then apply penetrating sealer for the tile and grout. This should keep it shielded from liquid penetration and early grout deterioration.
Step 5 – Finish Up
Gather up all leftover materials and store them in a safe place for future use. Put away all your tools and clean up the kitchen counter using a sponge, mild soap and warm water.