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Tile Countertops: As Economical and Easy to Install as Carpet Tiles

It can be intimidating to consider a do-it-yourself tile project for your kitchen or bathroom countertop. It may feel a bit out of your league since Pinterest and magazines showcase the after photos so glamorously. Even though our expertise is in carpet tiles, we want to encourage you to stretch out of your comfort zone to cover a countertop with ceramic or glass tile. With a little encouragement from us, we know you can complete this relatively inexpensive design enhancement and be super pleased with the result.

Benefits of Tile
Certainly the durability of most tile is appealing, but the way it can transform your kitchen or bath into something magazine worthy for much less than other materials—most porcelain or ceramic tile can be installed for as little as $10 per square foot—is the major reason we’re a fan. Since tiles are available in all shapes and colors and materials, the design possibilities are almost endless.

Determine Design
The first step is to get inspired! Spend time thumbing through home and garden magazines, reviewing online photos of countertop tile projects and noting what styles, sizes and colors of tile you prefer when visiting restaurants and the homes of friends and family. If you don’t feel confident whittling down your choices, ask a friend with a design aesthetic you admire for advice or hire an interior decorator for a consultation.

Go Shopping!
Once you settle on a design, it’s time to go shopping! Here’s your shopping list:

  • Tile: Whether big or small, the tile is the centerpiece of this project.
  • Tile adhesive: Select adhesive formulated for the size of tile you purchase.
  • Tile spacers
  • Grout: Sanded (best for grout lines 1/8-inch and wider) and for most applications; unsanded (best for grout lines smaller than 1/8-inch)
  • Notched trowel: If you select a small tile size, you do not need a notched trowel. Small tiles require only a paper-thin amount of adhesive.
  • Grout float
  • Tile saw or tile nipper: The size of tile you select determines if you need a tile saw or tile nipper. Saws can be rented and you can find some stores that will cut tile for you.
  • Sponge or rag
  • Grout sealer
  • Bucket


Tile Away
Follow these steps to complete your tile project:

1.  Lay out the tiles on your countertop. Start from the middle of the countertop and extend outward.

2.  Check where your grout lines will fall and be sure you like the layout before moving on.

3.  Spread adhesive on a small portion of counter. Lay the tiles firmly on the adhesive and wiggle the tile slightly to ensure good contact. Place tile spacers in between tiles for a consistent-size area to fill with grout. Continue applying tile.

4.  Cut tile to fit using a tile saw or tile nipper.

5.  Once all tiles are down and firmly in place, remove the tile spacers.

6.  Mix grout according to package directions; it should be the consistency of toothpaste.

7.  Spread grout over tiles and ensure you press grout firmly into each space.

8.  Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

9.  Use a wet sponge to wipe the grout off the tiles. Let it stand for another 30 minutes, and then wipe the countertop again with the wet sponge to remove any remaining grout.

10.  Wipe a dry cloth over the tiles to remove dried on grout and to polish the tile.

11.  Apply grout sealer per package directions.

How to Use This Information
Take a deep breath and dig into this do-it-yourself project! Just like when installing carpet tiles, it’s easier than it looks! When you’re in need of new floor covering, we’d be happy to help you pick the type and colors that will suit your home best. Give us a call at 303-300-9555 or contact us online.

What tile projects have you completed before?