How to Add Accent Tiles to Ceramic Tile Patterns

What You'll Need
Grout saw
Cold chisel
Stiff bladed putty knife
Decorative ceramic tiles
Tile adhesive
Small notched trowel
Tile spacers
Grout or silicone caulk
Caulking gun
Rotary tool

Your kitchen countertop, floor and backsplash can all be enhanced with ceramic tile patterns. The purpose of using ceramic tile patterns in the kitchen is to break up a repetitive tile job. You may think that it is difficult to take on this project, but it is actually easy and, in fact, easier than removing and replacing an entire tile job. The article that follows will show you not only how to remove individual tiles but how to install new ones to create ceramic tile patterns.

Step 1 – Determine the Pattern

You can add a ceramic tile in the center of a field of other tiles but can also create a design surrounding one tile. You can create intricate ceramic tile patterns or very elaborate ones. Once you’ve determined the pattern, use the marker to draw a line through the tiles that you are planning to remove.

Step 2 – Cut the Grout

This step usually worries people because they’re afraid that they’ll damage the tiles that are meant to stay behind. There is no cause to worry, though, because old tile is easy to remove. There are two ways in which it can be done: with a grout saw or with a hammer and chisel. Either way will get the job done, but a grout saw is much easier to use (and quicker). Use either of the two ways to cut through the grout or caulking surrounding any tile that needs to be removed.

Step 3 – Remove the Tile

With the grout cut, the tile can be removed. The tile is still essentially glued to the backing board or the wall, so it will require force to remove. Keep in mind that removing the tile will cause it to break, and you will not be able to save it. Place the cold chisel on the ceramic tile and strike it with a hammer. Pieces of tile will fall off if the adhesive has worked its way from it. Insert the stiff putty knife under the pieces of tile and pry them off. You may need to use the chisel and hammer to remove other pieces.

Step 4 – Clean the Area

Left over adhesive will cause the new tile not to set properly. Attach a sander to the rotary tool and use it to sand down the adhesive. Use it to remove the adhesive and grout from along the edges of the surrounding tile. Wipe the area down to remove dust particles.

Step 5 – Create the Design

Select the tiles that you are going to use and apply adhesive to the backs of them using a notched trowel. Press the tile in place. Insert grout spacers to ensure that the tiles are properly spaced. Remove the spacers and apply the grout or caulk. Dip a finger in water and rub it over the caulk to smooth and spread it out. Remove excess grout with a damp rag.