Fix-It Friday: How To Easily Turn A Boring Windowsill Into A Beautiful Focal Point With Tile

Norma_sill (4)
Fix-It FridayHome Improvement 1 Comment

Happy Fix-It Friday friends! Today, I’m excited to share a simple and lovely tile project I recently did on my own kitchen windowsill. While most tile jobs require special tools for cutting tile, I’ve tweaked this project so that any inspired individual can turn boring into beautiful!

Because a windowsill pretty much lives on its own, tile color, shape, spacing, etc. gives you free reign to lay them out as you like. Here’s my step by step “fix”…

Find the Right Tile

The right tile is the secret, my friends… and with the vast shapes and sizes of tile today, choosing will be fun and easy. Mix and match, make a mosaic, or keep it uniform–the trick is to find tile that already fits the surface. So for example, my sill is 4 1/2″ deep, so I found 4 1/4″ tiles. Know your sill dimension’s depth and width when tile shopping. Also, depending on your sill, you may want to choose bull-nose or edge tiles to finish the sill edge.

Prepare the Surface

Clean then lightly sand the entire sill to create a “tooth” for the adhesive. Wipe it down with a damp rag. On my sill, I had to scrape and smooth the old drywall to create a stable surface (I replaced the old leaking window that caused water damage to the sill first!).

Norma_sill_b (1)

Prepare the Layout

Do a dry run first, laying out the tile in the design and spacing that fits. Because you have no rules to follow, you can spread the joints (to be grouted) as small or as wide as you like! You can outline pencil marks around the tiles to know where each one goes.

Lay the Tile

Use a construction adhesive suitable for tiles and a caulking gun to back-butter each tile, then press them into place. Work at keeping them flush with one another. Back-buttering is pretty forgiving, so if you need to add or remove the adhesive to lift or lower the tile, pull the tile up and adjust as needed.

Norma_sill_c (2)

Let Set then Grout

Allow the tiles to set according to the adhesive manufacturer’s drying time. As a rule, I give it overnight. Buy a pre-mixed grout. Use a grout float (available at any hardware store) to press the grout into the joints of the tile lines. It’s best to hold the float at an angle and pass over the area firmly in a diagonal direction. Then with a large damp sponge gently wipe away the grout that remains on the face of the tile. As the grout dries a powdery residue will form–gently wipe it away with a soft clean rag, being careful not to wipe out any of the grout. Let the grout dry overnight. Once the grout is completely dry and dust free, seal the tile with a grout sealer according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

Norma_sill (1)

You’re going to love this project so much… it will inspire you to tile a coffee table top or shelf next!

Norma sig

Got A DIY Question? Ask-The-Expert!

If you have a DIY home repair, maintenance or improvement question for Norma, now is your chance to ask-the-expert and have her answer. Your burning question may just be the “star” of an upcoming Fix-It Friday column.

Add your question to the comments section below or email it to Women You Should Know.

Fix-It Friday is an exclusive Women You Should Know® editorial series authored by seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally, the former host of Discovery Home Channel’s series “Toolbelt Diva” and a show on Sirius Satellite Radio by the same name. The weekly column is designed to inspire women – weekend warriors, aspiring handywomen, and even seasoned DIYers – to take on home repairs and maintenance projects with confidence and gusto.