Installing Tile Around a Kitchen Sink

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Tiling around the kitchen sink prevents damage to your fixtures and creates a beautiful surface. Install tile with the help of a professional contractor in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Kitchen Tile Basics
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Hi, my name is Chris Wade, and I'm a contractor from the city of Los Angeles, and today I'm going to show you how to tile around a kitchen sink. Okay we're here at our mock-up kitchen and you can see we have our sink and we have what's called a rough top. This particular sink is an under mount which is going to enable us to use these types of tile which are going to be corner tiles and the quarter rounds which go in between the corners obviously. There is another kind of sink that we can use but it's called a self a self rimming which sits on top but it's a totally two different applications. So, now I'm going to start off with our products that we're using. What we have here are our four corners that obviously go in each of the one corners, our quarter round which are going to go in between. This is going to be our countertop tile right here and a little thing of spacers and our already pre-mixed thinset. Okay this particular product right here is called Hardibacker and it's just a soft concrete surface which this thinset adheres to in between the tiles and the Hardibacker. Basically it goes down on top of your rough top which is going to be a wood surface, plywood surface on top of your finished cabinets and then you just cut your pieces accordingly and screw them down. We're going to start off with the corner pieces and since they're such a small piece I usually just use my finger to just get, you know, just an ample amount of the thinset on it so when you press it down it squeezes out from the sides. Basically you just want to fit this in there, get the tip of it right on the sink and up against your Hardibacker and then let that set up. Now we're going to take a quarter round and you can either use your too or you could use as spade or a margin trowel, whatever suits you best, put it on the back and you just want to lay it down, grab your spacers, just kind of adjust it there, get it in there nice and tight, press down on it firmly and let the stuff just ooze out. There's one there. You don't want to wait too long because this stuff will set up and grab a spacer, drop it in there, make your adjustments and there's a corner. Then you can just keep rolling along. At some point eventually you're going to have to cut one and this is what you do all the way around the sink from corner to corner but as you're coming down your sink, you can see that we're not going to get full pieces in and once you get your corners in, you're just going to want to be cutting little pieces or however you feel it's going to look best on your kitchen. Sometimes you can center it, start with the one in the center and work your way that way and have two little cut pieces or you could have full pieces from the front all the way to the back and that's where you can put your little piece, just however you think it's going to look best on your kitchen. These tiles can be cut with either a four inch diamond blade or if you can get a tile saw that would be good too but if it's on a small job, just a diamond blade would be fine on a grinder. Alright now that we've got your surrounding sink all done, the next step would be the front and these tile are called a V-Cap. It's a special tile that's just specifically designed for the front edge of a countertop and basically it's pretty much the same application except that you're going to be just doing the one side here and like I said before you just get an ample amount on there and just set it on, give it a little push and you can see how it's spurting out a little bit and boom, that's about it. We'll do one more, grab your spacer, put it in and you're going to do this all along the front. Any border or any edges is going to get a V-cap. So now we've got our edges around the sink, our V-caps all the way down now we're ready to do some field tile. Here I've selected a six inch tile and the first thing you want to do is just get some of your thinset, just get it down, dab it on and then we're going to take this trowel which is a quarter inch notched trowel, you can see that there's notches in it, what that does is after you get it plopped down, you just pretty much just want to spread it around the areas that you are going to be laying tile, just kind of firmly press down at about a 45 degree angle. Spread it around and you just pretty much just take your spacers, lay your tile down, firmly press on it. Spacers all the way around. I'm using 3/16th spacers right here which gives it a nice grout line, just keep pressing down. You'll feel it starting to touch and it just kind of sits down on the thinset there. Just make sure everything is lined up and looks good the way you like it. Once you do this, you just want to do this on your whole countertop but when you get to the pieces around the sink, these are going to have to be cut into place. The best way to do it is to grab your pencil, mark it, taking into consideration your spacer, make a line, take it to your tile saw, cut it. Basically there it is, just make your cuts, cut around the sink, V-cap, quarter round, quarter pieces and that's it.

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