Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How to Install a Backsplash for a Bathroom Countertop.

Take time to make your tile selection. Tile lasts for years and is time consuming to replace, so make sure the tile you select is at least somewhat timeless and reflects your style and taste. As with many home improvement projects, the preparation is more than half the project. The effort spent preparing the wall for the tile will result in a long-lasting design.
1.Dry fit your tile on the floor to make sure it will fit in the space you've selected for the backsplash. Lay out the tile in an area the same size as the wall area, complete with spacers. This will give you an idea of how many tiles you'll need to cut.
2.Remove all light switch plates and outlet covers, and sand the wall with 80-grit sandpaper. Wipe off the dust.
3.Center the backsplash on the countertop if it isn't bordered by walls. If there are walls, then find the center of that area. Mark vertical and horizontal center lines with a level and sharp pencil.
4.Apply the mastic to the wall. Cover one small area at a time, about eight tiles' worth. According to This Old House, certain mastics require a trowel with specific-sized notches, and the thickness of the grooves will determine how well the tiles adhere, so check with the manufacturer to make sure you have the right size trowel. Apply the mastic with long, sweeping motions.
5.Set the first row of tile along the bottom of the vertical center line. The bottom of the tiles should line up with the center. Leave 1/16-inch between the bottom row of tile and the top of the counter, as Tim Carter of AsktheBuilder.com recommends.
6.Press tile into the mastic. Insert plastic spacers between the tiles if you're using them. Continue to set tile, working in both directions from the center line.
7.Use a motorized wet saw to cut notches in tiles that have to fit around cabinet corners or electrical outlets. Remove hard-to-reach material with tile nippers.
8.Install bullnosed tiles along edges that aren't bordered by walls.
9.Let the mastic set overnight and apply the mortar the following day. Use unsanded tile grout for grout lines 1/8 inch or less, and use sanded grout for lines 1/8 inch wide or more. Move the float across tiles diagonally. Do not grout the line between the countertop and the tile.
10.Wipe the tile clean with a large wet sponge. Rinse it frequently. Wipe in the same direction you applied the grout. After 30 to 45 minutes, buff the tiles with a clean dry cloth to remove the remainder of the milky haze.
11.Caulk the bottom line with a specialty caulk that matches the grout. According to Tim Carter, these tinted caulks are available at specialty tile supply stores. Run your finger along the caulk line to smooth it, and let it dry. Wipe away any excess.

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