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Get a new kitchen

Putting up tiles or moasic in the kitchen is not very hard, but it takes throughness and a bit of patience. Follow our practical guide and give your kitchen a face-lift!

04/05/2012Print article

By Moa Suominen Photo Viktoria Davidsson

Was the kitchen renovation heavy on your wallet? Then it might be nice not having to hire a carpenter to to the tiling. In contrast to in the bathroom, a sealing layer is not needed in the kitchen. This makes putting up tiles and mosaic over the sink a perfect job for the DIY interested person. The groundwork is as always essential, but if you’re somewhat handy the actual tiling is not going to be a problem. If there’s a plaster board behind the sink no groundwork is needed, but if there’s a concrete wall you need to use a primer before you put up the tiles in order to get a better adhesive capacity. The primer should be painted on using a brush or roller. The easiest way of doing it is usually by putting a thin board of renovation platser on top of the foundation. On beddings like chipboard tile adhesive can be used instead of fixing paste.


1 Cover
Start by covering eventual sockets with electrical tape. Then cover all surfaces which are not going to be tiled and tape the covering cardboard with masking tape, edge to edge with the countertop and the wall. If you’re tiling painted walls next to the sink you have to polish the surface first in order to get a good adhesiveness.

2 Mix the fixing paste
Mix the paste according to the instructions. Use the drilling-machine for mixing, but be careful, tile paste is thick, so put in a “lower” gear if possible. Rather do two batches if you notice that it’s hard to mix. Let the paste “settle” for about 10 minutes and then stir again.

3 Spread out the fixing paste
Spread the tiling paste evenly on the wall. Too much paste makes the surface”skin” and then the tiles will start sliding. Always spread the paste on a smaller part of the wall, which can be tiled in 10 minutes, in order for the paste not to dry. Use a trowel that is adapted after the size of the tiles. Big tiles require wider stripes of around 10 x 10 mm. When you work the trowel the stripes should stay in the same shape.

4 Put up the tiles
Always tile from the bottom up and start at a corner if possible in order to have a good starting point. Use an a few millimetres wide helping list if you’re putting up tiles, so that the tiles won’t fall down because of the paste and lie against the countertop. Always make sure that the sink counter plummets. The helping list should plummet, even if the countertop doesn’t. It’s better to hide an inclination with a bit of silicon than for the tiles to slant.
After placing out the first mosaic net you have around 20-30 minutes to do the work before tha paste has dried. If you want to be sure that the mosaic is straight you can use a tiling thread in between each net and measure every once in a while with a spirit level. Make sure to push each tile in properly and to the same depth. If you really want to be sure that they’re straight against the wall, you can use a sealing board. Sometimes mosaic tiles on a net might get askew. If that happens cut off the slanting tile and put it back separately. Then wait around 24 hours before you start sealing.

5 Cut out
Use the tile cutter and cut out the pieces that are close to sockets or need to be smaller for different reasons. Slanted edges can be cut with a tile pliers. Clip off small pieces and smoothen the edges using a whetstone if you feel like it’s needed.

6 Prepare the joints
Mix the joints sealant according to the product’s instructions with a stirring device and a drilling-machine.

7 Time to seal
Do the seals with a sealing plate. Work diagonally in order to seal all the joints properly. Spread the sealant a few times in the same place so that the paste gets to the bottom of each joint and all the air bubbes are gone;

8 Wash off
When the joint sealant has settled after about 30 minutes you have to remove excess paste. This is done the easiest way by using water and a sponge. Change water a few times in order to get all the paste off the tiles. Dry everything off using a damp rag once you’re done.

9 Apply silicon
Put masking tape on the tiles and countertop before you apply silicon if you’re unsure. Squeeze an even stripe of silicon along the sink and in all corners and then even it out with a rubber scrape. Let it dry for at least 24 hours.

10 A Tip!
"Clean the buckets and tools with water and a dish-brush straight away after using them. Never poor excess fixing paste or sealant down the drain!"
Christoffer Carlsson, Tiler


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