Ceramic Tile Counter

Using Mosaic Tile in the Kitchen

Kitchen countertops and backsplashes are ideal areas for the use of mosaic tile. They offer modern colours, outstanding patterns and a lifetime of good looks. The tile may be used on the wood of a new counter or directly over existing Arborite. The Arborite top must be sound and not bubbling or coming away at any point. If it is loose, then we recommend that you remove it. The surface must also be clean and free of dust.


Step #1 – Starting

Calculate the square footage of the area to be covered as well as the lineal footage of the nosing. If the backsplash is being covered, you will also need to determine the lineal footage of the cove base (the cove is the tile that blends to the back of the countertop).

Once you have your tile, the next step is to lay it out dry. Start in the middle of the counter and work out to each side, adjusting to minimize cutting and/or reduce small piece cutting. Start with the nosing and work back with cuts at the back if necessary.

Step #2 – Laying the Tile

Once you have your layout settled, remove the tile and spread adhesive over a small area at the front edge and back corner of the countertop. Apply the nosing and cove base, pressing firmly into place. Complete the nosing and cove base and then spread approximately 10 square feet of adhesive for a regular field tile. Apply the tile, starting at the front. Work to both sides and back, making sure all cuts are at the back and sides.

When working around the sink, you should remove the sink and taps to avoid getting adhesive on them. Cut tile around these openings.

Step #3 – Grouting Tiles

After the tile has been allowed to set firmly for approximately 24 hours, apply a mixture of grout to the joints using a grouting float and working diagonally across the tiles. Make sure there are no visible voids, pack joints fully and remove excess grout. Be sure to use rubber gloves throughout this procedure. Now, using a sponge, wipe the tiles diagonally, smoothing down joints to the desired depth. A thin film will form over the tiles. After 50-60 minutes of drying time, the tiles may be polished with a clean, soft cloth.

Step #4 – Sealing the Grout

After the grout has cured for at least 72 hours, apply a grout sealer. This will keep the joints clean and stain resistant.

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