Tile Installation for Counter Top and Kitchen Projects
While there are many home improvement projects that can make a DIYer feel out of their depth, installing tile in your kitchen is a project that is actually far simpler than you would think when you see the beautiful results. It’s well-known that putting in a ceramic floor is one of the simplest tile projects you can take on. What many people do not realize is that, as long as you spend time preparing, make a plan, and have all of the necessary materials and tools on hand, laying tile in your kitchen or bath is an extremely easy project.
There are three basic tile installation projects that are popularly used in kitchens. Installing tile as a back splash behind the counter and around the room’s plumbing fixtures is one popular project.
Another is making a kitchen counter top with inset tile. Marble or granite slates are a more common counter top surface in modern homes. However, many owners of older houses have chosen to restore and update their home’s current style by replacing an existing tile counter. This is especially desirable in the restoration of art deco style homes.
Tile floors are a popular option for kitchens. Few would be surprised to learn that the kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in the house for a tile floor installation.
Kitchen Counter Tops and Back Splashes
A kitchen’s back splash generally runs behind the sink and/or the stove, but can actually appear anywhere in the room. Because of the small area that a tile back splash takes up, you will need to be sure that you have the correct tiles, measure carefully, and be scrupulous in your accuracy and neatness when cutting and trimming the tile. Work slowly and cautiously.
The first step is to strip off the old tile, and determine the condition of the wall underneath the area. If the wall is in good condition, you may be able to just clean the area and install the new tiles without much further preparation. If there is damage to the wall beneath, it may be necessary to replace the drywall in the area before you are able to lay the tile. For an area that is near or behind the kitchen sink, you will want to install green drywall beneath the back splash. For other kitchen areas, standard drywall is fine.
Use an industrial strength cleaning agent to prep the area where you will be installing the new tile. Ensure that all debris and loose material is removed from the area.
You will need to measure the back splash’s area, buy the tiles that you want, cut them to fit using a rented wet saw tile cutter, and then arrange them in your desired pattern. Make a note of any serious gaps or overlaps, and make sure that you tiles are cut to fit. You will need to cut and trim to make everything fit perfectly.
Next, you will apply tile cement to the back of each of the tiles, and arrange them on the area according to your plan. Begin applying tiles in the bottom corner of one side of the area, and work upward and out as you apply new tiles. Remove and clean off any excess adhesive from the tiles as you install them in the area.
Once the tiles are attached, apply grout to the gaps between the tiles, and let dry for 24 hours.
The process for laying a kitchen floor is not all that different. You will need to clean and prep the whole floor area, and you will work from the center of the room out, making sure that the tiles fit together securely as you install.