Building Your Ceramic Tile Kitchen Counter Top?
What’s a ceramic tile kitchen counter top? That’s the counter in your kitchen where you have your wash basins, water taps, gas or electric stove, etc. And you intend to install ceramic tiles on the surface of this counter top.
Referring to the diagram below, the kitchen counter can be L-shaped and colored blue. It is built against the walls. Effectively, this is your cooking counter.
The other blue rectangle is the kitchen island. You can have it built narrower and joined with the cooking counter - and only if you want it that way.
I’ve been constructing kitchen counter tops out of mortar and bricks. It’s real solid and hardy stuff that can withstand a couple of lifetimes of heavy chopping. Anytime you like, you can always re-tile the kitchen counter surface.
Here’s a diagram of the counter top construction details. The other diagram shows the ceramic tiles installed.
Area A is the width of the counter top from the wall.
Area B is the width of the brickwork support from the wall.
Area C is the layer of cement and sand screed, about 1” thick, to receive the ceramic tiles.
Area D is the layer of reinforced concrete slab, minimum 2” thick that forms the counter top.
Area E is the height of the brickwork support from the floor to the bottom of the concrete slab.
Area F are steel rods affixed into the wall by drilling a hole of similar diameter. These rods keep the brickwork support in place without keeling over.
You’ll need to measure the length of the counter top based on the available space in your own kitchen. You may want an L-shaped counter top if you have the space.
What if you don’t want? Then you may decide on a straight ceramic tile kitchen counter top against the wall for cooking, and another free standing counter top somewhere nearby. This is also called a kitchen island.
Under the counter top, the empty spaces are your custom-made cabinets. Have a carpenter fit in the shelves and doors. Carpentry requires a different set of tools. Therefore, a different set of skills.
But a beautiful ceramic counter top just won’t do. Why?
You need to have a wash basin and a water tap. Does the plumbing come from floor level direct to the faucet? Or did it go partway concealed in the wall before emerging just above the counter top? You need a plumber to deal with the plumbings.
The electric or gas stove can be the type that you just place on the counter. All of these fittings require a bit more planning before you can start with the brickwork support. Here’s a diagram that shows both the top and front view.
By now you’d realize that before you can install ceramic tiles on your kitchen counter top, you need to have several construction skills. You need form-work, masonry, plumbing, tiling skills and the necessary tools. If this sounds daunting – I agree.
But you can enlist the services of a contractor. He can organize the tradesman for you. You get a ceramic tile kitchen counter top with professional standard workmanship. It will be built just the way you want it.
You can choose the design of the counter top and let the contractor fix everything for you. From where do you get to see ready-made counter top kits? From your local tile dealers, of course!
On the other hand, if you’re planning to re-tile your existing ceramic tile kitchen counter top, browse around for more ideas on ceramic tile colors and texture before you decide. After all, once you’ve installed the tiles, it’s going to be a part of your kitchen for a long, long time!