Tiling a countertop

When we were buying the material for our new counter we had to consider the financial aspect as well. We decided to buy laminated plywood only for the exterior (doors and the two sides), and simple sanded plywood for the back, top and bottom, as for the shelves. This choice was much more cost-efficient and gave me the option to tile my own countertop rather than have a boring “wood” finish.

Here’s how I did it :)

page tiling countertop

page tiled countertop

Tiling a countertop

mounting adhesive
grout gun
small amount of tiling grout
grout scraper

*it’s most cost-efficient if you buy second hand tiles; or from a construction site (friends who are renovating, etc.) you might even be able to get tile pieces for free which you can then make a puzzle-style countertop with*

Lay the tiles onto your countertop to check how well they’ll fit.

Work turning over a couple of tiles at a time and start mounting them onto the countertop, using your mounting adhesive, as close to each other as possible.

Let it set for a little while (the kind I used dried in ten minutes so be careful, you won’t have much time to correct mistakes if you happen to mount a piece incorrectly).

Prepare a small amount of tiling grout in a recipient, and with a grout scraper (I used an ice cream stick) start filling the gaps between the tiles. Add a generous amount until the gaps are filled well, don’t worry about making a mess, it will come off the tiles.

Leave it all to set and return about 10-15 minutes later with a moist cloth to clean off the excess tiling grout from the tiles themselves. Go over it again with a dry cloth.

Since it’s not a large amount of tiling grout, it will set quickly and you’ll be able to use your new countertop in a couple of hours.

PS: all the way in the background you can see my highly practical shelves ;)


11 Comments to “Tiling a countertop”

  1. BRAVO for doing this on your own….I’d’ve had it done. I have NO home do-it-yourself sense whatsoever!

    • Thank you, Ann! *blush* I love doing this kind of stuff.

      Plus, when I told people what I had in mind, everyone’s reaction was:
      a) too hard, you won’t be able to do that on your own
      b) it won’t look good
      c) you have no skills for that, hire someone to do it
      –> all of the above only made me want to prove them wrong! ;)

  2. Nice look! I did a tiling project early this year, as practice for a bathroom remodel. http://www.tonynoland.com/2011/06/instead-of-working-on-my-novel-i-was.html

  3. I love to tile! I have all the tools, including a wet saw. It’s so much fun, and once you’ve finished all those home projects, you can start making art with those tiles. Smash them and do mosaics. Wrap them around mirrors and picture frames. Lay them over concrete for pavers. Tile your backsplashes in the kitchen. Hand-paint small tiles for coasters and hotplates and house numbers. Make big art mosaics on your kitchen floor.

    Your work is beautiful. Your kitchen is gorgeous. Now don’t stop. There much more to do with tile, and I have no doubt you will be phenomenal – as always.

    • Thanks, Patsye *blush* I already have a few other little projects on my mind for the left-over tile :)
      And thank you for all the ideas, you’re such a wonderful craftswoman!

  4. p.s. Buy and apply some grout sealer. This will seep into the grout on the first application, and then in an hour seal it tight on the second application. That way the grout will not stain. Otherwise, it will stain, even if the manufacturer says it is self-sealing, you must seal again. Also sealing will keep the moisture out of the grout, and subsequently from getting under the tile, which will ruin your project. About every few years, lightly sand these joints and reseal, because the seal will eventually break down. I learned this the hard way. It’s worth the extra 20 minutes of time and $5 of sealer. Stripping old grout is a nasty job I’ve done more than once. So all my projects, even the ART ones, get sealed twice before I consider them done. This Old Woman Knows! Patsye

    • Mine was self-sealing, but thank you so much for this advice! It’s always good to know these things.
      I also knew about resealing every few years, found out the hard way myself :P

  5. That looks wonderful. I tried something similar and even with a level it didn’t come out right…

  6. Not hard at all, your countertop looks amazing!

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