How to Tile Kitchen Cabinets

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Things You'll Need

  • Tiles

  • Tile on Wood Adhesive

  • Cloth

  • Pencil

  • Tape Measure

  • Tile Cutter

  • Grout (Optional)

Altering the look of your cabinets can be done in several ways. Cabinet refacing is putting new faces to old cabinets. Your kitchen cabinets look brand new without the hassle of structural work. Adding tile to cabinets is a rare process. Most people add tile to the countertops. But actually tiling the cabinet can add a beautiful decor to any cabinet face. In just a few simple steps you will be on your way to becoming a kitchen cabinet, decorating, genious.


Tile Kitchen Cabinets

Step 1

Pick out your desired tiles. They should be smaller, no bigger than 6 in. for 2 tiles wide; 4 in. for 3 tiles wide. The smaller the tile, the daintier. If you can't decide on a size, borrow some samples from your local tile store. Local retailers are usually flexible in lending tile samples to customers.


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Step 2

Purchase a strong, water resistant, ready mix, tile-on-wood adhesive. Dunlop makes an easy to use tile-on-wood glue. Check with a supply house for additional manufacturers. Because the tiles will be applied upright on the kitchen cabinets and not lying down, the tile adhesive must be a very strong adhering brand.


Step 3

Make sure your kitchen cabinets are clean and dry before placing the adhesive. Start with one tile at a time, applying tile-on-wood adhesive to the back, and then applying the tile to the cabinet.

Step 4

Most cabinets have some type of bevel edge you can use for your straight line. If your cabinet doesn't, line the tiles up with the edge of the cabinets. Or better yet, apply the tile an inch or two away from the edges and use 1 in. by 1 in. tiles as a border.


Step 5

Try not to apply to much tile on wood adhesive. The less oozing out the better. But for any additional adhesive, take a warm cloth or towel and wipe it up. Always try to get any additional glue wiped before it dries.

Step 6

Gaps between tiles are not necessary unless you will be adding grout. Tiles on kitchen cabinets do not require grout, but you can certainly add it if you desire.


Choose the size tile that fits the area on your kitchen cabinets to be tiled. Having the right sized tiles means there is no tile cutting required. But if you do need to cut your tiles, cut them one at a time using a tile cutter. Make sure you measure them correctly so your cuts are accurate.


Always pre-measure your tiles to your cabinets before you start your project. Use a sharp pencil and mark your lines clearly. Once you start to apply your tile to the cabinets you will not be able to change them once they dry. It is easy to place them wrong, causing your whole tile layout to be off, if you do not measure properly beforehand.


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