Installing a Tile Countertop

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

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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:

plywood
nails
tiles
mortar
grout
sealant
hammer
circular saw
pneumatic nail gun (optional)
tile cutter
trowel
sponge
wet tile saw

Steps:

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.

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