Updating your kitchen’s countertop is a good way to give your kitchen a face lift and improve your home’s value. If you’re paying a contractor to do it for you, it can get pricey fast. Fortunately, there are a number of DIY options to fit your budget. In this article, you may not get a full step-by-step accounting of the process, but you’ll gain enough information to decide whether you want to tackle the project yourself or hire an expert.

Installing a Tile Countertop

2011-03-07 08.21.07Updating your kitchen’s countertop is a good way to give your kitchen a face lift and improve your home’s value. If you’re paying a contractor to do it for you, it can get pricey fast. Fortunately, there are a number of DIY options to fit your budget. In this article, you may not get a full step-by-step accounting of the process, but you’ll gain enough information to decide whether you want to tackle the project yourself or hire an expert.

Planning

You’ve probably heard the saying, “measure twice, cut once.” The planning stage is the most important part of a remodeling project. Measure your countertops, sinks and stove area carefully and jot down the numbers. To generate a layout, either sketch it by hand on graph paper, or use a computer program. Then, select a tile that works well with it.

Clearing and Prep Work

You’ll need to remove your stove, sink top and disposal or dishwasher to get started. If you’re overlaying an existing countertop, square off any rounded edges and use a palm or orbital sander with 50-grit paper to scuff the surface. If you’re replacing the entire counter, first lay down 3/4-inch plywood, and then bond a cement board to it with latex-fortified, thin-set mortar. The concrete board is impervious to water and will make your work last longer.

Check the Layout

Before you start slathering mortar onto your prepped surface, take the time to double check your layout. It’s best to work either from the counter edge in front of the sink back towards the back splash, or outward from a corner.

Lay the Tile

Mix small batches of mortar and work in 6- to 8-foot sections. Doing this will prevent your mortar from getting dry. You’ll also be able to evaluate your work as you go and make corrections where necessary. Don’t forget to account for grout lines, as your tiles won’t be directly butted up against each other.

Fit In Edge Pieces

Edge pieces can be heavier and may fall if not supported. You can either clamp 2×2 boards to the edge as a guide, or use tile shims and masking tape to hold them in place until the grout dries.

Tile the Back splash

Now that your countertop is done, it’s time to tile the back splash. Either line up the back splash tiles exactly with your countertop layout, or offset them by half a tile to give the job professional polish.

Finishing Your Work

Give the grout a few hours to set, and then use a chisel to clear up any oozing soft-set grout. It will be harder to remove once it’s fully set, so diligence pays off. If you’re using porous tile, allow the grout to set overnight, and then seal the surface with a sealant designed for your chosen type of tile. You’ll need to wait about an hour before applying grout to the spaces.

Mix the grout to the consistency of toothpaste and use a grout float to work it into the spaces between tiles. Again, work in approximately 6-foot sections. Wipe down the surface as you finish each section to avoid the excess grout from hardening on top of your tile.

Once you’ve finished, give your counters about three days to fully cure, and then seal the countertop again before reinstalling the sink and appliances.

As you can see, tiling your countertop isn’t extremely difficult, but it is time consuming. But there is an easier way — call me today and let’s what other options available – like having it done professionally and heading to the links instead!!

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**all information provided by wingwire.