When you're tiling kitchen countertops along with installing kitchen backsplash tiles, it's best to start with installing your kitchen counter tile, But first, do the task of preparing the backsplash wall so that you can install your kitchen backsplash tiles later on.
If you are installing kitchen counter tile only and keeping your existing kitchen backsplash tiles, You will need to make extra nice cuts to your kitchen counter tile along the back.
These joints between your kitchen backsplash tiles and countertop tile will be caulked, later on, and this will help in hiding some minor imperfections to the cuts.
Dry-lay one of your countertop tiles along with a sample of your edging tile, wood edging or molding, And place your spacers between them.
The dry-laying sample will tell you whether your front countertop tile should sit flush with the front edge of your tile substrate, or set back to the appropriate depth that will work with your chosen edging.
Continue dry-laying your countertop tiles around the front surface and
then snap caulk a line along each front edge of the kitchen counter top to represent the starting point for your first row of countertop tile.
Re-check the chalk line by laying the countertop tile, spacer and trim again,
If you have an L-shaped countertop, it requires a slightly different approach than the rectangular ones. To locate the positioning for your edge tiles, you'll need to snap a chalk a line on both legs of the kitchen countertops.You'll want the line to extend the full length of each leg.
Also snap lines for the rear edge tiles and the tile around the sink. Then dry-lay the countertop tile to make sure the lines are accurate.
Mix up a batch of Thinset Tile Adhesive and begin installing your countertop tiles at the intersection of the two legs.
Start on kitchen counter tops without the sink. Then work your way to the other countertops. Always set your edge tiles last to avoid the risk of damaging them if you need to lean over the countertop.
A batten board is one of the simplest tools, but it's worth its weight in gold. It helps to ensure that you lay your kitchen counter tile straight and also that it stays that way.
So install a 1x2 batten board along your chalk line and temporarily fasten it down with drywall screws.
If you are using wood trim for your countertop tile edge, install your batten board to the edge of the countertop substrate.
Mix up a batch of latex fortified Thinset tile adhesive. When tiling kitchen counter tops its best to start on one side of the countertop in a corner against the wall. Trowel the Thinset tile adhesive over the full depth of kitchen counter tops, and a few feet across it.
Press your first full countertop tile into the Thinset, while ensuring
that the tile is against the batten board and on the chalk line. Be sure
to place your spacers between the tiles.
Set a few more tiles and then stop and cut the tiles to fit the back row as needed.
Press your kitchen counter tile further into the Thinset tile adhesive
by Laying the beater board over the surface of your countertop tile and
striking the board with the mallet.
You'll need to mix more Thinset tile adhesive in small batches every thirty minutes or so. And continue applying more Thinset and laying tiles until you've tiled the entire countertop.
Cut your countertop tiles, for around the edges of the sink opening by dry laying them first. Insert spacers between each tile, then mark the cuts you will need.
Use your rod saw to make rough cuts for around the sink. Your cuts don't
need to be perfect, as the imperfections will be covered by your drop
Drop in sinks is recommended for any tiled countertops because the drop in sink overlaps the countertop tile edges.
When you have finished dry laying and cutting your tiles, Spread your Thinset and set the cut countertop tiles to the edges of your sink opening.
There's another way to do it!
Another way to cut your countertop tile for the edges of your sink cutout is to lay whole tiles around the rim of your sink cutout, without cutting them first. Just set the countertop tiles and let the tiles overhang the opening.
Once the Thinset has cured overnight, use a rotary cutter with a tile cutting bit to trace the perimeter of the sink, and cut all the countertop tiles at once.
Before grouting your kitchen counter tile, be sure to wait at least 12 hours to allow your Thinset to cure,
Grouting your countertop works just about the same as grouting any other surface.
For grouting your countertop tile you should consider an epoxy grout if you are using the type of countertop tiles that will allow for it.
If you are grouting your countertop tile with a standard grout, you will need to seal your grout, if you're using countertop tile that requires sealing, you will need to seal both your tile and grout together.