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A tile coun­ter­top in a kitchen can do more than just serve as a durable and hygien­ic work sur­face. The dec­o­ra­tive­ness of the mate­r­i­al allows you to get an unusu­al inte­ri­or detail, com­bine it with the dec­o­ra­tion of walls and a kitchen apron, or high­light the cook­ing area in con­trast.Kitchen tile countertop

Advantages and disadvantages of the material

The tile table­top has heat resis­tance and resis­tance to mechan­i­cal stress. In the kitchen, such prop­er­ties will pro­vide addi­tion­al com­fort dur­ing work, because hot dish­es can be safe­ly placed direct­ly on the table, and when clean­ing and cut­ting food, the knife blade does not threat­en the coat­ing.

A tile kitchen work­top does not absorb fat that stains the juice of veg­eta­bles, and almost no fumes stick to it. When clean­ing after cook­ing, dirt from the table can be eas­i­ly wiped off with a wet cloth. Clean­ing agents have to be resort­ed to only in dif­fi­cult cas­es (if the bot­tom sur­face of the dish­es is burnt). But even heavy dirt from the tile is easy to clean with soda and a hard sponge.

The strength and hygiene of the coat­ing is com­ple­ment­ed by an unusu­al dec­o­ra­tive effect. Choos­ing the col­or scheme of tiles for fin­ish­ing the kitchen dur­ing ren­o­va­tion, it is easy to cre­ate fash­ion­able and beau­ti­ful com­po­si­tions. The advan­tages that a tile work­top has include the ver­sa­til­i­ty of the mate­r­i­al: it is suit­able for dec­o­rat­ing a kitchen in any style.

If any ele­ment of the coat­ing is acci­den­tal­ly dam­aged, then its replace­ment will take no more than 1 hour. After 24 hours (this is the glue hard­en­ing time), the coun­ter­top can be used again.

There are prac­ti­cal­ly no draw­backs to the mate­r­i­al when used in the kitchen. When using tiles as a table cov­er, it is not pos­si­ble to achieve a smooth sur­face, because it con­sists of sep­a­rate ele­ments, between which there are gaps. But high-qual­i­ty pro­cess­ing (grout­ing) of seams dur­ing self-assem­bly eas­i­ly solves this prob­lem.

Choice of countertop tiles

Choice of countertop tiles

Choos­ing ceram­ic tiles for fin­ish­ing the table should be in accor­dance with its pur­pose. To cov­er the work­ing sur­face, vari­eties with an abun­dance of con­vex small details of the orna­ment are not suit­able: dirt will remain in the depres­sions. To lay the tiles on the coun­ter­top, it is bet­ter to pur­chase a tile or porce­lain tile with a flat or slight­ly embossed front side.

The own­er can choose the size of the tile accord­ing to his own taste. Large items (60x60 cm) will allow a rel­a­tive­ly uni­form sur­face on the cut­ting table, but they will require cut­ting where the built-in hob or sink is locat­ed. Mini-tile mosaics are handy in this regard, but on a desk­top, they will require care­ful grout­ing of numer­ous gaps.

The thick­ness of the tile does not real­ly mat­ter. On a fixed base, the strength of thin tiled ele­ments and thick floor ceram­ics is approx­i­mate­ly the same. You can choose the tile that you need for dec­o­ra­tion with­out tak­ing into account this indi­ca­tor.

Design ideas for decoration

With self-tiling the table top, you can give free rein to your own imag­i­na­tion. So that the coun­ter­top does not stand out from the gen­er­al style of the room, you need to choose the right pat­tern and col­or of the mate­r­i­al.

For strict styles that do not wel­come exces­sive var­ie­ga­tion (hi-tech, min­i­mal­ism, mod­ern), a plain table sur­face is best suit­ed. The col­or of the tile should be com­bined with the rest of the inte­ri­or details. When used in a shiny met­al fin­ish (high-tech style), it is advis­able not to choose a con­trast­ing shade of the coun­ter­top in rela­tion to the back­splash or walls.

Con­trast­ing com­bi­na­tions can also be used in the design of a min­i­mal­ist kitchen, and the style solu­tion of a room in the Art Nou­veau style will be suc­cess­ful with con­trast­ing accents of the plane or end of the tile work­top, island, and chair seats. You can sup­port them with dec­o­ra­tive inserts if you tile areas on plain walls or fur­ni­ture facades.

For less strict rus­tic styles (coun­try, rus­tic, Provence), you need to choose not only the col­or, but also the tex­ture of the tile. The rough details of the rus­tic inte­ri­or are suc­cess­ful­ly empha­sized by floor tiles with a nat­ur­al stone fin­ish. For lighter coun­try and provence, you can use flo­ral tiles or cre­ate mosa­ic pan­els from small plain details.

Mosaic tiles

A vari­ety of dec­o­ra­tive fin­ish­es made of ceram­ics is a mosa­ic. To dec­o­rate the coun­ter­top, you can use a vari­ety of its options:

  1. lay out a sin­gle-col­or cen­tral field and com­ple­ment it with a mul­ti-col­ored or con­trast­ing bor­der;
  2. ran­dom­ly arrange col­ored ele­ments over the entire sur­face;
  3. make themed inserts from col­ored tiles on a plain sur­face (you can buy ready-made fac­to­ry pan­els of a small size);
  4. use frag­ments of col­ored ceram­ics (tiles, plates, vas­es) for mosaics and cre­ate com­plex type­set com­po­si­tions.

A tile mosa­ic is made accord­ing to prin­ci­ples sim­i­lar to installing tiles on a coun­ter­top, and requires only the selec­tion of dec­o­ra­tive ele­ments in accor­dance with the sketch. In a mosa­ic coun­ter­top, you can use the remains of a tile: the size of the tiles does not play a deci­sive role. It is per­mis­si­ble to cov­er part of the coun­ter­top with small details or waste from wall repairs in the bath­room and kitchen. When cre­at­ing a mosa­ic, you only need to take care that the sur­face of the table is even.

How to do it yourself?

Mak­ing a coun­ter­top is not a dif­fi­cult task even for a per­son who does not pro­fes­sion­al­ly lay tiles. The main stages of work are:

  • from the prepara­to­ry activ­i­ties;
  • from the instal­la­tion of tiles and end parts;
  • from fin­ish­ing seams.

When self-fin­ish­ing kitchen coun­ter­tops from tiles, you need to mon­i­tor the obser­vance of the hor­i­zon­tal sur­face and try to place the tiles with the same gaps.

Foundation preparation

If you plan to make a com­mon coun­ter­top that will cov­er the top of sev­er­al cab­i­nets and sinks, then before start­ing work, you need to remove the old cov­ers from these items. Then you should align the cab­i­nets in height, focus­ing on the loca­tion of the upper sec­tions of their walls, on which the base of the kitchen tile coun­ter­top will rest. In con­clu­sion, adja­cent cab­i­nets must be rigid­ly con­nect­ed with met­al plates.

After that, dimen­sions are tak­en from them to cal­cu­late the width and length of the prod­uct. Accord­ing to the sketch, a table­top pat­tern is made, giv­en that its out­er edge should pro­trude for­ward by 7–10 cm in rela­tion to the ver­ti­cal pan­els. When cal­cu­lat­ing, you need to take into account the thick­ness of the edg­ing mate­r­i­al: pro­filed tiles, curbs or tiles.

For the man­u­fac­ture of the base used:

  • ply­wood brand FSF (mois­ture resis­tant);
  • Chip­board.

Hav­ing cut out the base mate­r­i­al accord­ing to the pre­pared pat­tern, it is required to try on the coun­ter­top and elim­i­nate the exist­ing defects. Cut holes for the sink and hob, sand the edges. Fix the base on the pedestals with self-tap­ping screws. The fas­ten­er pitch is 7–10 cm, the hats must be com­plete­ly immersed in the wood.

After installing the base of the coun­ter­top, care­ful­ly prime the ends and sur­face of the mate­r­i­al. Sat­u­rate the sec­tions of the recess for wash­ing with a mois­ture-proof­ing agent.

Under the tile lay a sub­strate of gyp­sum fiber sheets. It is cut out accord­ing to the pat­terns of the base, and it will be pos­si­ble to con­nect the mate­ri­als with the help of glue for mount­ing tiles.

Laying tiles

If the coun­ter­top does not have holes for built-in ele­ments, then you can lay tiles from the edge, from the wall or cor­ner of the table. With this method, it is impor­tant to make sure that the trimmed parts are against the wall or at the end of the coun­ter­top.

When using built-in appli­ances or doing mosa­ic work, mark the sur­face:

  1. draw a cen­ter line hor­i­zon­tal­ly (along the length of the table);
  2. deter­mine the cen­ter of the coun­ter­top on this line;
  3. if you need to make dec­o­ra­tive con­trast­ing inserts, deter­mine their loca­tion and draw per­pen­dic­u­lars to the cen­ter line.

In this case, the mason­ry is led from the cen­ter (the inter­sec­tion of the lines) to the edges, and the cut tiles for the coun­ter­top in the kitchen are placed near the sink or stove. When insert­ing dec­o­ra­tive sec­tions, the pan­els are first mount­ed, focus­ing on the marked cen­ter of each of them, and then the back­ground rows are laid out.

On the marked sur­face with a notched trow­el, apply a lay­er of tile adhe­sive 0.8 cm thick. Each part must be placed on the greased sur­face and pressed light­ly, align­ing in height with the neigh­bor­ing ones. To make the seams neat, use divid­ing cross­es. The stan­dard gap width is 2–4 mm.

A mosa­ic of frag­ments is assem­bled accord­ing to the prin­ci­ple of com­pat­i­bil­i­ty of the con­tours of parts, and, if nec­es­sary, pieces are cut. It is desir­able to leave min­i­mal gaps between the ele­ments.

How to close the end of the countertop?

To fin­ish the edges, spe­cial bor­ders with a pro­filed sur­face are used. When choos­ing a tile, you need to choose a bor­der with cor­ner ele­ments that is suit­able in col­or and tex­ture. In the store you can also find spe­cial pro­filed tiles with an edge ele­ment. Such prod­ucts are installed along the edge of the coun­ter­top.

On the end of a tile coun­ter­top, you can install strips of cut pieces of a sim­ple tile. In this case, the edge ele­ments on the table plane must be mount­ed with a slight off­set above the edges. It is nec­es­sary to fas­ten the strips of tiles to the end so that they are under the pro­trud­ing part of the upper parts.



They pro­ceed to the fin­ish­ing stage of fin­ish­ing only after the glue has dried. This peri­od is indi­cat­ed in the instruc­tions for the com­po­si­tion, but does not exceed 24 hours. Grout mix­tures are pur­chased sep­a­rate­ly. When choos­ing, it is worth giv­ing pref­er­ence to mois­ture-resis­tant com­pounds (for exam­ple, epoxy-based).

The grout may be col­ored or white. It is con­ve­nient to choose the col­or of the mass to match the main range of the coun­ter­top, but you can con­trast the seams between the tiles.

The com­po­si­tion is care­ful­ly rubbed into the seams between the mason­ry ele­ments, try­ing to fill all the gaps. With­out wait­ing for the grout to set, it is nec­es­sary to wipe the excess mix­ture from the sur­face of the coun­ter­top, while smooth­ing the seams. After the grout has dried, it will be dif­fi­cult to remove traces. After dry­ing, the table­top is ready for use.

Necessary tools and materials

To work, you will need the fol­low­ing:

  • spat­u­las for solu­tions (plain, rub­ber, with teeth);
  • jig­saw;
  • tile cut­ter;
  • con­struc­tion lev­el;
  • tile adhe­sive;
  • grout mois­ture resis­tant com­po­si­tion.

Operation of ceramics in the kitchen

The ceram­ic tile coun­ter­top can be washed with any clean­ing and dis­in­fec­tion prod­ucts used in the kitchen. It eas­i­ly with­stands con­tact with house­hold chem­i­cals, hot water and abra­sive sub­stances. The strength of this fin­ish allows the coun­ter­top to remain intact when exposed to high or low tem­per­a­tures, as well as mechan­i­cal stress.