Things You Will Need
- Thinset tile mortar
- Notched trowel
- 1/4-inch granite tiles
- 1/4-inch granite counter edge pieces
- Circular saw with carbide tip or diamond tip blade
- Masking tape
- Measuring tape
- Rubber grout float
Granite countertops are not usually cheap to have installed, and installing them yourself is normally ruled out due to the weight of the material as well as the difficulty of finding the material for sale just by themselves. If you do find the material, the cost is generally still fairly high.
To avoid all this and install granite counters cheaply, you can use granite tiles instead. These usually come in 12 inch or larger squares, which are easier to handle, and for low cost, the 1/4-inch tiles work just as well without hurting your bank account.
- Spread thinset mortar along the edge of the counter trim. Spread on only a little at a time so that it doesn't dry before you put tile over it. Place the 1/4-inch counter trim pieces on the edge of the counter. Set them so that the top edge of the trim tile is in line with the top of the counter. Continue spreading mortar and tiles to complete the trim. Each tile should butt up against the next with no spaces. This will give the tile a more solid appearance.
- Cut the trim pieces if needed. Measure the space it is supposed to fit and mark the back of the tile. Cut along the mark with a circular saw using a carbide tip or diamond tip blade. If this was a thick, more expensive granite tile, you would have needed to spend extra money to rent a wet saw with a diamond tip blade in order to cut through it. The thin tiles can be cut easier, and in one pass-through. Cut slowly so you don't chip the tile.
- Tape the trim pieces to the top of the counter to keep them from sliding, and let them dry for a day.
- Spread thinset on the surface of the counter, starting in one corner. Use enough thinset for a few tiles at a time. Follow the outside edge first, overlapping the top of the trim pieces. Set the tiles right next to each other. Continue placing tiles in rows across the surface until it is completely covered. If the tiles need cutting, make marks on the tiles according to the measurements you take, and cut them as you did the trim pieces. Let it dry for a day.
- Float grout over the top of the tile. Even through you put the tiles next to each other, they have a small hairline crack and a slight dip where the tiles meet. The grout will cover this. Let the grout and counters set up for two more days before using. To make the grout less noticeable, use a tinted grout to match the tiles.