Installing a Tile Countertop

Give your kitchen a whole new look with these step-by-step instructions.


Before beginning this project, you'll need to decide on the tile pattern for the finished countertop. Sketching the dimensions of the space may help to determine the best pattern. Here's how to install the countertop:

Materials and Tools:

circular saw
pneumatic nail gun (optional)
tile cutter
wet tile saw


1. Turning off all water-supply lines to the sink and bleed the faucet lines. Remove the fasteners holding the sink in place and lift the sink out. Remove the old countertop by striking with a hammer in an upward motion on the underside of the counter. Then pull the entire piece out by hand.

2. Trace the dimensions of the countertop onto plywood, including the correct space for the sink. Cut out the traced shape with a circular saw. Be sure to go slowly and make a smooth cut.

3. Nail the new countertop into place.

4. Cut all the tile pieces needed with the wet tile saw.

5. Spread mortar over the countertop, moving the trowel at 45-degree angles to the wood.

6. Place the tiles on the countertop in the desired pattern, working on the border first and then filling in the middle.

7. Allow tiles to set.

8. Mix the grout in a bucket, according to the manufacturer's instructions, and pour it onto the countertop.

9. Using the trowel, pull the grout at 45-degree angles to the tiles and make sure to fill in all the crevices.

10. Use a damp sponge to wipe off all excess grout before it dries completely.

11. If installing a sink in the countertop, place sealant around the opening and put the sink back in place. Re-connect the water lines and turn on the water.

Next Up

How to Install a Level Countertop

Here's how to remove a slanted countertop, cut a replacement and install it so the counter is nice and level.

Do-It-Yourself Butcher-Block Kitchen Countertop

Swap dated laminate for a classic butcher-block countertop. Unlike stone or solid surface, butcher block can be fabricated in a basement or garage workshop, making it the perfect DIY project to totally transform your kitchen on a budget.

Kitchen Countertop Options

From stainless steel and copper to recycled glass, reclaimed wood, bamboo or concrete, your kitchen countertop options have never been so varied and diverse.

Installing Kitchen Tile Backsplash

Add color to your kitchen with a tile backsplash.

Installing a Tile Backsplash in Your Kitchen

Steve Watson and the Don't Sweat It crew take on a kitchen makeover for a busy family of three. The third project in this kitchen remodel: adding a unique tile backsplash.

Installing a Tile Floor

A stone or ceramic tile floor in the kitchen is durable and adds visual drama.

Quartz: The New Countertop Contender

With low maintenance, high durability and endless color choices, engineered quartz offers a tempting alternative to natural stone countertops.

How to Install a Kitchen Tile Backsplash

Learn how easy it is to install a kitchen tile backsplash with these step-by-step instructions.

Prepare and Install a Tile Floor

Getting the subfloor properly prepared will make the tile go down smooth and easy.

How to Install Ceiling Tiles as a Backsplash

Use metallic ceiling tiles to create an attention-grabbing backsplash in the kitchen.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.