Ceramic tile counter tops will upgrade any kitchen or bathroom. Few home improvement projects can improve the interior of your home more than ceramic counter top installation. Tile counter tops are not only beautiful, they are very practicaltoo. You can spend much money to have ceramic tile installed or you can do it yourself.

In this article see the steps to install a ceramic tile counter top.

First choose your tile. This is tough, since there are so many choices of ceramic tile for kitchen counter top or bathroom counters. You must choose between an endless variety of sizes, colors, textures, grades, finishes. Prices vary but many tiles are available in 2007 for about $2 per 12 inch square tile.

If you find a good deal on tile, be aware that cheap tiles often vary in size quite a bit. That variation makes installation more challenging. Decide how you will trim the tile too. If the edges will be exposed, choose tile with finished glazed edges. Some floor tiles have glazed edges and look great as counter top tiles.

Part of the art to installing ceramic tile counter tops is deciding how to arrange tiles. Where do you start? Where will the cuts be? Which layout looks most attractive? After your base is installed, try laying some tiles, without adhesive, on the counter and see what looks best. Try different arrangements to see what you like. Move the dry tile around and save yourself a lot of grief later.

For remodeling, the sink must come up and maybe your range top. Possible these can just be propped up without removing them. Be sure the power is off before working around electrical outlets.

The base for the tile is important. Ceramic tile counter top can be installed over many materials. Formica is a good base. Just check with your dealer to choose the adhesive suited for your surface. A favorite base is Hardi-Backer cement board. With cement board you can use ready mixed latex glue as an adhesive for ceramic tile counter tops.

When you’re ready to lay your ceramic tile, it’s much like laying a floor. Except you get to stand up! Spread the adhesive over an area with your tile trowel. Spread the adhesive with the notched side of your trowel to get the right amount of adhesive. The right amount is enough to stick the tile, but not so much that it oozes out of the joints. The size of the trowel notches and the angle of the trowel determines how much adhesive you apply.

Lay your tile following your plan. Use spacers to get the gaps between tiles consistent. Cut tile at edges and around any obstacles. You cut using a cutter board or a wet saw. Finish trimming with tile nippers.

Install edge trim before grouting. An excellent trim is a stained hardwood piece nailed to the edge of the cabinet to cover the tile ends.

After the tile adhesive is set, prepare to grout. Choose sanded grout if the joints are 1/8 inch or larger. Another alternative is epoxy grout, which is excellent for kitchens. Epoxy grout doesn’t stain and is completely waterproof.

There you have the basic steps to completely update your home with ceramic tile counter tops. You’ll have a beautiful, practical surface that can last for decades with minimum maintenance!

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