How to Add Tiling Around Your Existing Kitchen Cabinets

How to add tiling around existing kitchen cabinets in Sydney

Are you looking to update your kitchen’s look and feel?

New tiles can transform your kitchen with a cost-effective upgrade that won’t break the bank or leave you dealing with months of construction disruptions.

So, how do you add tiling around existing kitchen cabinets? And should you do the job yourself or pick up the phone and call your local team?

We’ll answer those questions (and plenty more) in this guide.

If you’re looking to be part of the trend towards customisation and personalisation, read on to redefine your kitchen. 

Kitchen Tiles: A Brief Overview

Tiling around your existing kitchen cabinets allows you to upgrade your kitchen’s aesthetics and functionality without the need for a full renovation. 

This process involves carefully selecting tiles that complement the existing cabinetry and layout and then expertly installing them to create a seamless and polished look.

One of the primary benefits of adding tiling around existing kitchen cabinets is the ability to enhance the visual appeal of the space. 

Whether you opt for sleek subway tiles, rustic terracotta, or modern mosaic patterns, the right choice of tiles can instantly elevate the overall design of your kitchen.

Tiling also provides a durable and easy-to-clean surface, making it a practical choice for busy kitchens.

Additionally, tiling around existing kitchen cabinets can help tie together various design elements within the kitchen. By extending the tiles from the backsplash to the area around the cabinets, you create a cohesive look that enhances the sense of unity and flow in the space. 

This cohesive design can make the kitchen feel more inviting and harmonious, enhancing the overall ambience of the room.

NHK Tiling Tip: Tiling around existing kitchen cabinets can offer a cost-effective alternative to a full kitchen renovation. Rather than replacing all the cabinetry, countertops, and flooring, focusing on adding tiles around the cabinets allows you to achieve a significant transformation with less time, effort, and expense. 

Whether you’re looking to modernise a dated kitchen or simply add a touch of elegance to your culinary haven, this service offers a versatile and effective way to achieve your desired look.

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Environmental Considerations and Regulatory Requirements

There are several eco-friendly options available that can help minimise your carbon footprint while still achieving stunning results.

One consideration is the type of tiles you choose. Opting for tiles made from recycled materials or sustainably sourced natural stone can significantly reduce the environmental impact of your project. 

These eco-friendly tile options not only look beautiful but also help conserve natural resources and reduce waste.

Another environmental consideration is the adhesive and grout used during installation. Look for low-VOC (volatile organic compound) or eco-friendly adhesives and grouts to minimise air pollution and promote indoor air quality. 

These environmentally friendly products are becoming increasingly available and offer a safer and more sustainable alternative to traditional adhesives and grouts.

It’s important to be aware of any necessary permits and inspections required for your project. 

While adding tiling around existing kitchen cabinets may not always require a permit, it’s always best to check with your local council or regulatory authority to ensure compliance with building codes and regulations.

Depending on the scope of your project and local regulations, you may also need to schedule inspections at various stages of the installation process. 

These inspections help ensure that the work is being done safely and up to code, providing peace of mind for homeowners and ensuring a high-quality result.

The Importance of Selecting Quality Components

When it comes to adding tiling around existing kitchen cabinets, your choice of components can significantly impact the outcome of your project. 

From tiles to adhesives and grouts, each component plays a crucial role in achieving a flawless finish. 


The first step in selecting tiles is to consider the material, size, and style that best suit your kitchen’s aesthetic. For a timeless look, consider classic ceramic subway tiles or sleek porcelain options. 

If you prefer a more rustic vibe, natural stone tiles like travertine or slate can add warmth and character to your space. For a modern twist, mosaic tiles offer endless design possibilities.

How to Choose the Best Tiles for Your Home in Sydney: A Comprehensive Guide


Choosing the right adhesive is crucial for ensuring your tiles adhere properly to the surface. Opt for a high-quality, flexible adhesive suitable for the type of tiles you’ve selected. 

Different brands offer a range of adhesives designed specifically for different tile materials and applications. Consider factors such as drying time, water resistance, and ease of application when making your selection.


Grout not only fills the gaps between tiles but also plays a role in enhancing the overall look of your project. 

Choose a grout colour that complements your tiles and desired aesthetic, whether it’s a contrasting shade for a bold statement or a subtle match for a seamless finish. 

Different brands offer a variety of grout options, including stain-resistant and mould-resistant formulas. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and application to achieve the best results.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Step 1: Prepare the Surface

Before beginning, ensure the surface around the cabinets is clean, dry, and free of any debris or grease. Use a degreaser or cleaning solution to thoroughly clean the area, then allow it to dry completely.

Step 2: Measure and Plan

Measure the area around the cabinets carefully and plan the layout of your tiles. Use spacers to ensure even spacing between tiles and create a uniform look. Dry-fit the tiles to ensure they fit properly and make any necessary adjustments before proceeding.

Step 3: Apply Adhesive

Mix the adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it to the back of the tiles using a notched trowel. Work in small sections to prevent the adhesive from drying out before you can lay the tiles.

Step 4: Install Tiles

Carefully press the tiles into place, starting from the bottom and working your way up. Use tile spacers to maintain consistent spacing between tiles, and periodically check the level to ensure the tiles are straight and even.

Step 5: Cut Tiles as Needed

Use a tile cutter or wet saw to cut tiles to fit around obstacles such as cabinets, outlets, or corners. Measure twice and cut once to ensure a precise fit, and wear safety glasses when cutting tiles to protect your eyes from flying debris.

Step 6: Allow the Adhesive to Cure

Allow the adhesive to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions before proceeding to grout. This typically takes 24 to 48 hours, depending on the type of adhesive used and environmental conditions.

Step 7: Apply Grout

Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it to the gaps between tiles using a grout float. Work the grout into the joints, ensuring they are filled, then wipe away any excess grout with a damp sponge.

Step 8: Clean and Seal

Once the grout has dried to a haze, buff away any remaining residue with a clean, dry cloth. Apply a grout sealer to protect the grout from stains and moisture, following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

When to Call in a Professional Installer

If you encounter any challenges during the installation process, such as uneven surfaces, difficult cuts, or plumbing or electrical obstacles, it may be time to call in a professional installer. 

If you lack the necessary tools, skills, or confidence to complete the project yourself, hiring a professional can ensure a high-quality result and peace of mind.

Or, if you simply want to save time and enjoy a guaranteed high-quality finish, a call to Sydney’s local experts can be the smart choice.

How Much Does a Kitchen Tiling Job Cost?

Component Cost Range
Tiles $10 – $50 per sqm
Adhesive $20 – $50 per bag
Grout $15 – $30 per bag
Tools (e.g., tile cutter) $50 – $200
Sealant $10 – $20 per tube
Safety Gear $10 – $50
Total $115 – $400+

How Much Does a Tiler Cost in Sydney? Quick Price Guide

Tips for Budgeting and Cost Saving

  1. Plan Ahead: Take the time to research and plan your project carefully to avoid unexpected expenses or last-minute purchases.
  2. Comparison Shop: Compare prices from different suppliers to find the best deals on tiles, adhesives, and other materials. Look for sales, discounts, or clearance offers to save money.
  3. DIY vs. Hiring a Professional: Consider whether you have the skills and experience to tackle the project yourself or if it’s worth investing in professional installation. While DIY can save money on labour costs, hiring a professional may ensure a higher-quality result and reduce the risk of costly mistakes.
  4. Reuse and Recycle: If possible, consider reusing or repurposing materials from your existing kitchen to reduce waste and save money. For example, you may be able to salvage tiles or cabinets for use in your project.
  5. Opt for Cost-Effective Options: Choose cost-effective materials and products without compromising on quality. Look for budget-friendly alternatives or consider purchasing in bulk to save on per-unit costs.

By careful budgeting and exploring cost-saving opportunities, you can manage the financial aspects of your project to add tiling around existing kitchen cabinets effectively. 

With smart planning and resourcefulness, you can achieve your desired outcome while staying within your budget.

Ready to Transform Your Kitchen? Contact NHK Tiling Today!

Take the first step towards turning your vision into reality by contacting NHK Tiling. 

Our team of experts is here to provide personalised advice, answer any questions you may have, and offer a competitive quote tailored to your specific needs.

Whether you’re ready to start your project or simply exploring your options, NHK Tiling is committed to helping you achieve the kitchen of your dreams. 

Contact us today to claim a fast and FREE quote.

Request a free quote on 0402 462 570, or simply enquire online.