How to Tile Bathroom Countertops

Lead Image
What You'll Need
.75-inch plywood (1 sheet)
Wonder Board (1 sheet)
Thinset mortar (1 bag)
Grout (1 bag)
Silicone sealant (1 tube)
1-inch wood screws
Notch trowel
5-gallon bucket
Grouting float
Tile saw
Tile sealant

The tiles are cracking and breaking on your bathroom countertops, so it’s time to replace them. This article will list step by step procedures for installing a new bathroom countertop in a single afternoon.

Step 1 - Assemble the Countertop Underlayment

Cut the plywood to the desired size and shape. Secure it to the vanity with 1-inch wood screws. Securing blocks may be required if the vanity is older or there aren’t sufficiently sized places to properly secure the plywood. Cut the opening for the sink. Cut the Wonder Board to match the plywood. Cut an opening for the sink. Secure it to the plywood using wood screws.

Step 2 - Pre-Fit the Tiles

This step is easiest if you dry fit the tiles on the countertop. Mark any tiles for cutting. Make a drawing showing where each tile should go. Label the drawing in pencil and the tile backs with permanent marker. Cut all the tiles following the pre-assembly guide.

Step 3 - Mix the Mortar

Only mix as much mortar as you can use in 2 hours. Mix per package instructions. Leave no lumps or chunks.

Step 4 - Apply Thinset to the Countertop

Using the notch trowel, generously spread the thinset to the countertop. Grooves should go in the same direction. The bottom of the grooves should be 1/8-inch thick.

Step 5 - Apply the Tile

Starting at the back corner and working towards the front corner, apply the tile. Press firmly, but not enough to completely dislodge the thinset. Use the tabs at the sides of the tiles as alignment guides.

Step 6 - Create the Backsplash

Apply thinset to the walls, stopping approximately 1-inch from where the end of the tile. With the rounded bullnose facing up, start at the back corner and work out both ways along the countertop. The last piece on each section of back splash should be double bullnosed, with the rounded edge facing up and out. Allow it to dry for 2 hours.

Step 7 - Grout

Mix the grout per the package directions and give it 20 minutes to pre-set. Clean any excess thinset from the walls and tile tops.

Use the grout float to spread the grout across the whole countertop, pressing firmly to ensure proper spreading of grout in gaps between the tiles. Wipe any excess grout with damp sponge. Allow it to set for 2 hours.

Step 8 - Clean the Grout From the Tiles

Use a bucket of clean water and a grout sponge to clean the excess grout from the tiles. It can be a tedious process. Wipe the countertop twice and change the water. Wipe it down once again and let dry. Buff away remaining residue with cheesecloth.

Step 9 - Seal Tile

The following day, generously apply tile sealant with towel or sponge over whole countertop and backsplash. Allow it to dry and clean the excess.

Having followed these instructions carefully, you will have tiled your bathroom countertop in less than 2 days.”