Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kitchen Countertop Project: Part 6 "Laying the Tiles"

If you haven't been following along with our Granite Tile Kitchen Countertop Project, you can catch up on Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 here before reading this update.

We left off on Sunday night when we just finished wrapping up the cutting and dry-laying of the tiles to make sure everything looks okay and fits right, and our kitchen looked like this:

We double-checked the sink opening by setting the sink inside to make sure it would fit. Everything was good to go.

So after a dinner break, we whipped out a bucket, measuring cup, hose, wooden pole, and Granite Mortar powder. We mixed it according to the directions, and stirred for 10 minutes (the bag said 5 minutes, but we wanted to make doubly sure it was mixed well). Then we grabbed a couple 1/4" notched trowels and headed inside to lay some tile!

We picked up a row of tiles and spread some mortar on the cement backerboard.

Making sure to get it as even as possible, and creating little rows with the notched sides of the trowel.

Then we set our tile down, making sure it was where we wanted it.

Then we "set" the tile, meaning we sort of wriggled it around and applied pressure on the tile, pushing it down and squishing all the air out from underneath it for a good bond.

Then we made sure it was level with all the tiles around it, and also that the tile itself was level.

If everything looked good, then we would wipe up the mortar that squished out between the sides (if it did) and between the tiles as best we could (we used the spacers to get it out of the gaps, too) then we set the spacers in between the tiles and we were good to go!

Projects always take much longer than we think they will. I don't know why, but that is usually the case for us, and this project was no different.

Tom: "So, how long will this take, do you think?"
Me: "Oh, it's not that hard, cutting the tiles is what takes so long. This'll probably only take us a couple hours to do."
Tom: "So we could get it done tonight?"
Me: "Yeah, no problem!"

From now on, we've decided that we're actually going to at least double the amount of time I say something will take to get done. We began laying the tiles at 6:30, and finished at around 11. It took alot longer to get the tiles level than we thought it would. I'm pretty sure that even the dreaded grouting will be tons easier than that was! Even though it was hard and took forever, it's super important to make sure all the tiles are level since this will be a cooking and serving surface.

When we were done setting the tiles, we carefully took out all the spacers, cleaned off the tiles (making sure to wipe away as much mortar that showed as possible for easier grouting later), and did the happy dance!

Next we have to do the same thing all over again with the edges, then we can proceed to grouting and sealing! The end is in sight!

Next Phase: Kitchen Countertop Project: Part 7 "Edging It"


  1. Wow Chelsea that looks great! I can't wait to see it with the grout. I love the black granite, so pretty!!!

  2. Oooooooooooo, Chelsea, you guys did an amazing job! I'd been watching for your thumbnail on my blog to change so I wouldn't miss out on this. Just beautiful!

  3. That black granite is looking SHARP - great job!

  4. It is going to look great when all done.


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