If you are into home restoration and repairs, you probably want to know how to build kitchen countertops. Kitchen countertops can be built with ceramic tile, granite tile or other tiles of your choice. With the right steps, you can have a brand new countertop in a single day. Don’t be fooled; it will take some hard work and precision to accomplish this.
To build a kitchen countertop, you will need:
- Wood blocks
- Tile backer
- Tile mortar
- Mesh and masking tape
- A notched trowel
- A saw
- Remove your old countertop. Of course, you will need to remove your old kitchen countertop in order to build a new one. Most countertops are screwed in at the corners. You can simply unscrew them. If your countertop is glued on, you will have to pry it off. A crowbar works great for this.
- Install the plywood. To install the plywood, you will need to install blocks. To do this, install two by four blocks around the backs, edges and ends that the plywood will be installed on. Cut the plywood so that it fits compared to your kitchen cabinets. Place it to where the cut side is against the wall.
- Overlay the plywood. Apply the tile backer to overlay the plywood. Apply a notched trowel and nail it. Use mesh tape to the splices, inside and outside corners. Cover these sections with a layer of mortar and then smooth it out. Before continuing to build the countertop, let it dry overnight or for about eight hours.
- Lay your tile out. When laying your kitchen countertop tiles, start with the inside corners. Lay them out in a pattern that looks neat and attractive. Between each tile you will need to allow 1/8 inch of space. If you can do this with your naked eye, use plastic spacers. These spaces will be your grout lines.
- Cut your front and end tiles. The end and front tiles will need to be cut with a tile saw. Cut miters on all of the front and end tiles. You will then need to cut nosing tiles two inches wide. Use the saw to cut miters into the nosing tiles as well. After cutting it is important to smooth out the edges with a honing stone.
- Set your countertop. To begin setting your tile, spread mortar on the tile backer. Then set your tiles. Be sure that the space is still there for the grout. When completing this step it is best to start at the front and work to the back. At this time you also need to apply mortar to the nosing tiles with a margin trowel. Hold these in place with masking tape while they set. Your tiles will need to set overnight or for at least eight hours.
Grout your spaces. To grout your countertop you need to use unsanded grout. It should be mixed and have the consistency of peanut butter. Use a grout float to work the grout in. This step is easier if applied diagonally. If you need to clean off any extra grout, use a sponge. Rinse the sponge often to clean the grout out of it. You will need to allow the grout to dry overnight or for eight hours.
- Clean and shine. Wipe off any remaining haze with a soft, clean towel. Once a week has passed by, it is safe to apply sealer to your countertop. Use the sealer that is specifically designed for your tile of choice. In one week you will need to apply another coat. The kitchen countertop is ready for use after this step.