Pretty much like everyone else, you want a modern-looking kitchen, and without spending hundreds of dollars. Tiling your kitchen’s countertop can make a huge difference. More so, you can do it by yourself, and with inexpensive classy tiles.
There are different types of tile you can use to make your countertop stand out. An example is ceramic which has been widely used in many other surfaces, apart from kitchen surfaces.
A countertop consists of a base sheath (usually ply wood) and cement board among others.
In this article, I shall take you step by step, till your countertop is beautifully and neatly tiled. There are however some few things you should take into consideration before doing the tiling. These things can determine how the process will be and can also determine the results you get. Read closely to get the best of the countertop.
Factors to Consider Before you tile Your Countertop
Before you get the materials for the job, there are a few things you should have in mind. These are:
The Right Type of Tile:
Nowadays, tiles are available in many types unlike in the olden days. Some tile materials you can check out include porcelain tiles, granite tiles, stone tiles and the famous ceramic tiles.
Glass tiles are not recommended for countertops because they can easily get chipped and so you should wipe them from the picture and save them for other surfaces like the backsplash.
Ensure what you choose is good for the intended place.
Getting your preferred design will give satisfactory results at the end. Tiles like Porcelain and ceramic offer a wide range of colors and shape. There are also edge tiles specifically for edges so u don’t need to cut tiles for your edges.
Starting from the tile cost to the labor (if need be) ensure that they will fit on your budget without straining.
Steps How to Tile a Kitchen Countertop
steps are going to prove to you that you do not need training to tile the countertop by yourself. Let’s see how.
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Grout float
- Carpenter square
- Grout sealer
- Cement board
Here with the 12 procedure you can tile your countertop and update your kitchen. I describe here step by step.
1. Disconnecting Water and Removing the Sink
Cut the water supply by turning off the supply valves just below the sink.Let the water drain from the sink. Then unscrew the screws that attaches the sink with the countertop and lift it off.
2. Measuring Counter Dimensions
Using a tape measure, determine the length and width of your counter to know the size of plywood to use.Check also, thewall squares at the corners with a carpenter square.
3. Cutting the Plywood
Mark the counter dimensions on the plywood you want to install and then place it on saws for easy cutting. Ensure you clamp the plywood for accurate cutting.
Having done that, place the plywood on the counter just to be sure you got the right dimensions. If they are good, screw the plywood onto the cabinet.
4. Measure the Sink Area and cut it
Make a sink shape dummy to help you get the right sink dimensions. You will then place that dummy onto the plywood and trace the shape by drawing with a pencil onto the plywood. Using a jigsaw, trace the shape and cut it out to form an opening.
If your countertops cabinets have no frames, measure the dimensions to the front side and deduct 1/8 inches from the measurement you got. Then measure the length of the cabinets and mark them on the plywood.
5. Attaching Plywood Onto the Cabinet
Firstly, if your cabinets aren’t supported, get wall cleats and attach them onto studs. If there is another opening on the cabinet, like that of a dishwasher, use a wall cleat a bit thinner than the one used at first and attach it onto the studs with screws.
In this case, it is very necessary to use short screws as longer ones could hit the water pipes. You certainly don’t want to mess with your plumbing!
If you are using 2 sets of plywood, apply mastic onto each of them and attach them together. Use a drill to make an 8 inches’ hole on the plywood on the back side of the plywood as well as on to the wall cleats.
Staple the plywood onto the cabinet with wood screws.
6. Work on the Corners and Edges
Attach fiberglass tapes onto the edges and add a thin set mastic topping. The tape acts as a foundation to reinforce the mastic. Leave it to settle well before continuing with your work.
7. Cutting and Securing the Backer Board
Cut the backer board and place it on the plywood. Apply mastic onto the plywood using a notched trowel. Then place the backer board over the mastic and screw them together with galvanized screws.
Smoothen the mastic in the joints into a uniform layer and cover them with tape(fiberglass).
8. Dry fit and cut the Tiles
Place the tiles onto the plywood before you apply mortar. This will enable you to come up with a way to properly align your tiles against each other.
Cut out tiles that may require cutting, especially those that are to be fitted in the edges or around outlets. Be careful to achieve clean cut tiles.
If you not sure on how keen you will be on cutting the tiles, you can mark lines on them. The lines will help you to know the exact place you should cut a tile at.
9. Apply Mastic on the Plywood
With a notched trowel,spread mastic onto the countertop and the side edges.
10. Setting Tiles
Fit your tiles onto the mastic and press onto them lightly for a firm hold. Use tile spacers to separate one tile from another. After you have set all your tiles in place, shift your focus to the edges.
Remove the rubber spacers you had fit into joints and spread grout into the joints using a grout float. If your tiles arethe porous type,apply a sealer onto them before grouting to prevent the grout from sticking onto the tiles.
After spreading in all joints. Wipe off the excess grout with a damp cloth and leave the surface to dry. After it has dried, polish or rather wipe it with a dry cloth.
12. Apply Grout Sealer
Having finished grouting, you can apply seal to the areas where tiles met a wall.
Care and Maintenance of the Kitchen Countertop
Countertops are easy surfaces to maintain but in order to keep their good looks, you will have to do the following care tips: –
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- Scrub away food particles that stick on grout lines with a soft brush.
- Wipe the countertop with a damp cloth after preparing a meal.
- In case you spill something on the countertop, wipe away almost immediately to prevent it from getting absorbed into the tile. Molds also easily grow on wet grout surfaces.
- Do not use vinegar to clean tile surfaces. Vinegar damages stone tiles and removes sheen on porcelain and ceramic tiles.
- Ensure that seal stone tiles at least once a year to prevent staining.
Installing acountertop can cost you’re a fortune especially when you hire a professional to fix them for you. This job can easily be handled by almost everyone and you can cut on costs by doing it yourself. It is simple and you also get to work on your own space, at your pace and you get it done exactly the way you want it!
Jennifer D. Simon has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Read More