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Tiling a Vanity

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to install and grout tile on a vanity.

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Step 1: Create a Guide for the Tile and Remove Grout

Hold the tile on the front apron of the vanity top (Image 1). Place a 1x4 board over the tile and 1/2" above the cement board at countertop height (Image 2). This will be the guide for the countertop tile. You want the apron and countertop tile to meet with a very minimal grout line. Remove the tile from the front of the apron before beginning. Lay out the tile on the countertop to determine the sink cutouts.

Step 2: Cut and Apply the Tiles

Cut tiles for the sink area. To cut a curved line, cut small straight cuts close together up to the curved line, or try to match the curved line moving the tile on the curve (Image 1).

Spread thinset onto the tile with a trowel (Image 2).

Press tiles down firmly to secure into place (Image 3).

Step 3: Place Spacers and Apply Thinset

Place 1/8" spacers on the countertop to lift the first tile off the countertop. Mark the top and side.

Place the level on these lines and mark the lines with a pencil. Spread thinset on the back of the tile with a trowel.

place spacers on countertop tile

Step 4: Place the Tiles on the Guides

Place on the pre-marked lines (Image 1).

Push on tiles to distribute the thinset on the tiles and wall and set into place.

Note: The second row and all subsequent rows do not need spacers because the tile comes with 1/16" nubs built into them (Image 2).

Step 5: Prepare the Tiles for Grout

Prepare the tiles for grout by cleaning the tiles with the rough side of the sponge. This side will remove any thinset or grit from the surface.

spread grout on tiles at 45 degree angle

Step 6: Apply the Grout

Scoop the mixed grout from the bucket with a margin trowel. Spread the grout on the tiles with the margin trowel at a 45-degree angle.

Wipe the tiles with the soft side of a damp sponge at a 45-degree angle until the grout lines are filled. Try to keep the grout at the same level as the tiles.

To protect finished areas, cut cardboard to size and use blue painter's tape to attach the cardboard to the surface. The painter's tape holds the cardboard in place without sticking too much to the finished surface. Wrap wires with electrical tape to protect the wiring.

use cardboard to protect finished areas

Step 7: Follow These Tips for Grouting Ceramic Tile

Use Unsanded Grout
Use unsanded grout with ceramic tile. This type of grout will not scratch the glazed surface.

Use a Trowel Float
With larger surfaces, use a trowel float.

Apply Grout at Angle
Scoop grout out of bucket and apply to tiles at a 45-degree angle. Continue to work grout into the tiles with the soft side of a damp sponge (Image 1).

Remove Excess Grout
Remove excess grout off tiles with the same sponge and clean water (Image 2). Refill the bucket with clean water occasionally.

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Resources

  • Sonora two-handle wall-mount lavatory faucet (model: D316454); Sonora single-handle shower (model: D504554); Sonora wall-mount tub (model: D5500654); Sonora paper holder (model: D442231) and Sonora robe hooks (model: D442171); Sonora towel bar (model: D442421) from Danze Incorporated
    Imperial White honed Turkish stone (model: 12IWH/color: Imperial White); Bright Ice White 6x6 tile (American Olean/model: 6625); Bright Ice White 6x6 wall bullnose trim (American Olean/model: S466925); Silverado sanded grout (TEC HB Fuller/model: 3949F) and Standard White grout (TEC HB Fuller/model: 3931) from Rubber Tile Distributors
    Premier water closet (model: 6006.130.01); Martinique countertop lavatories (model: 1025.000.01) and Barrymore tilting mirrors (model: 2077.250.96) from St. Thomas Creations

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