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How to fix decorative tile borders in your kitchen

A kitchen would look better instantly with beautiful ceramic tiles on the countertops, kitchen walls and backsplashes. These decorative ceramic tiles are available in several sizes, patterns, shapes, textures and colors to suit individual kitchen types as well as individual decorating schemes. Fortunately, there is no need for you to call a professional to install these tiles for you. You can do the job yourself by following a few simple steps mentioned below.

Measure the Kitchen

Measure the area where you want to install the tile first. In the case of the backsplash, you would need to measure all the way from the top of the counter right to the cabinet’s underside. In the case of the floor, you would need to measure the area up to the point where the border will be laid. Use a pencil to mark the place where the borders will be laid and measure accordingly.

Do a Sample Layout

Before actually installing the kitchen tiles, do a sample layout; i.e. place the tiles on the specific area sans any mortar. This would help you determine border placements, cuts and grout lines. Place the tiles exactly as you would want them to look once they are properly installed. If certain tiles need to be cut, mark them with the a pencil, cut them with a tile saw and then place them back in the arrangement to see if they fit in. Check if the border tiles are thinner than the field tiles. If this happens, then chances are high the border tiles would sink lower than the field tiles after installation.

Apply Tiles

Start applying a layer of thinset in the area that needs to be tiled. Use a grooved edge trowel and spread the thinset evenly over the surface so that the ridges are equal in height. Place a piece of wood in place of the border (same width). Now install the first tile by slowly placing it on the thinset and pressing firmly. Start from the border and place the tiles in the thinset in the same design as the sample layout.

Apply Border

Apply some thinset on the back of the border tile and carefully place it in the area designated for the border. If you find the border tile to be smaller or thinner than the field tiles, apply some thinset into the leftover spaces in order to thicken the adhesive quickly. This would prevent the border tile from moving and would enable the border tiles to lie in flush with the other tiles.

Wait for 24 Hours

After applying the thinset, border tiles and field tiles, you would need to wait for 24 hours to let the thinset cure. Afterwards, use a grout float to grout the entire layout, packing the spaces and joints wit grout and the wiping away excess grout. Wait for the grout to cure for another 24 hours and you will have your brand new looking kitchen ready.


Installing decorative tiles in the kitchen does not warrant a professional’s visit, provided you know what you are doing and how you are going to do it. If you are thinking of installing these kitchen tiles in your kitchen, here are some simple steps to finish the job as quickly and as effectively as possible.


Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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