How to Make a Mosaic Countertop

tile mosaic with bright colors
  • 4-12 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 75-250
What You'll Need
Wood filler
Tile spacers
Grout float
Grout sealer

Add color and artistry to your countertop by creating a mosaic of tiles with your own unique colors and design. By planning and pre-designing your mosaic you'll not only save time and money, but you'll be more likely to create a unique work of art. When creating your mosaic, be sure to reserve plenty of time. Don't rush things. Creativity often takes more time. Try several designs and color combinations, then choose the one that suits you best.

Step 1 - Prepare Your Countertop

With mosaic tiles you can install them onto an existing countertop surface or onto a newly created surface. Applying your mosaics to old tile will be less successful, and you must be sure your surface is completely smooth. Whichever type of surface you have you must prepare it properly before you attach your tile to it. Clean the surface. If there are grease spots, remove them to give your cement a better gripping surface. Fill any large cracks or chips. Remove everything from around the counter that will get in your way. If you plan to attach your mosaic tile pattern to your backsplash, you'll need to prepare the backsplash also.

Step 2 - Desig Your Mosaic

Before acquiring your tiles, decide the colors you'll want to use to be more compatible with colors in the kitchen or bathroom where you'll be creating your new countertop. Create a practice working surface with the same dimensions as your counter on which you'll be installing your mosaic tiles. Move this practice surface as close as possible to your countertop. You'll be transferring these tiles from the practice surface to your countertop, so having them close to each other will save you time. Move the tiles around in different patterns on your practice surface until you have created the pattern you like best.

Step 3 - Mix and Apply Mortar

Some mortars come ready to use, others have to be mixed. If you're mixing your mortar, be sure it is the consistency of peanut butter. If it is thinner than this, add more dry mortar mix. Make small amounts that will allow you to use it before it dries. With your trowel, spread mortal over a small area of your countertop.

Step 4 - Apply Your Tiles

Press each tile into place, beginning at one edge of your countertop. When you reach the far edge, you may need to cut your tiles to fit. If so, use a wetsaw to cut these pieces. If any of the mortar seeps onto the tile surface, wipe it away before it dries using a damp cloth or sponge. If your tiles are a uniform size and shape, use spacers between them to create uniform spaces.

Step 5 - Apply Grout

With a grout float or trowel, spread grout over the entire surface of your tiles, working it into the spaces between the tiles. After the grout has set (20 minutes) wipe it off the tile surfaces with a damp cloth. Finally, apply a grout sealer and allow it to dry.