A tile backsplash can add a touch of elegance and style to any kitchen or bathroom. However, installing one can seem like a daunting task for those who have never attempted it before. Luckily, installing a tile backsplash can be a relatively simple and rewarding DIY project with the right tools and guidance.
In this blog, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to install a tile backsplash, from preparing the surface to grouting and sealing. We will also offer tips and tricks throughout the steps to help you achieve a professional-looking finish that will enhance the beauty and functionality of your space.
If you are looking for inspiration or a professional backsplash installation near you, contact us today to begin.
The first step to installing a backsplash is measuring the square footage. It will help you determine the quantity of tile required for your project, and proper measurements can help maintain the costs to a minimum.
Every kitchen area is different and so will yours. Mark each area in an alphabet, such as “A” for the left space, “B” for the right and “C” for the middle. Normally, these places will be rectangular and therefore, separate them accordingly. If you only have one section to cover, there’s no reason to make markings.
Simply multiply the width by the height to get the square footage. And in the case of multiple sections, measure these areas separately and add them together. Add another 10% to the value, to fill in any gaps or account for replacements.
Using an online calculator for this process can make the job much easier, and this is one tip we suggest.
Before you begin preparing the wall, remove appliances and cookware from the countertop. Also, move the stove away from the countertop to easily place the tile. If you can, disconnecting the stove would be ideal.
Place a cardboard or cloth over your countertop to protect it from debris. Shut off any power outlets in the region, to ensure a safe operation.
Preparing the wall properly is crucial to having a successful backsplash project. Patch holes on the walls with a spackling paste and use sandpaper to make your work surface smoother. Use soap and water to clean the walls, and use a primer to get rid of tough stains such as oil stains. If your wall is painted, use tri-sodium phosphate to wipe it down and sand it gently.
If your wall already has a tile, scrape the surface between the tiles and remove the grout. Wear safety glasses and use a hammer to free tile pieces and remove the tile.
When it comes to installing a kitchen backsplash, one of the most important steps is to ensure that the tiles are properly placed and securely fixed in place. Pre-laying a tile is a technique that is commonly used to achieve this.
Place the tile across the wall and mark the start and end points. Use the most visible area as a starting point and work your way upwards from there. Use a straightedge to level your tiles and mark their positions accordingly.
You may also need to cut tiles to fill the backsplash area. Use a tile cutter for porcelain or ceramic tiles, and a wet tile saw if you’re cutting natural stone.
To prepare mortar for a kitchen backsplash, start by mixing dry mortar mix with water in a bucket according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Mix until it reaches a smooth, lump-free consistency.
Remember the mixed mortar stays good for a limited time, and you can consider using a tile setting mat to tile immediately before you move to grout.
Once the mortar has been applied to the kitchen backsplash, tiles can be placed along the wall. Tile spacers should be added to keep the tiles lined up, and then the sheet should be slightly moved up and down to collapse any ridges and help the tile settle into place. If necessary, flatten the tile with a grout float.
When laying the tile, it’s important to maintain an inch or less of space between the top row of tiles and cabinetry. If the gap is greater than an inch, cut extra tile pieces to fit the space. If the gap is smaller, consider installing molding to hide it. Allow the mortar and tile to dry completely, which can take up to 24 hours depending on the mortar used and the temperature of your home.
When grouting and sealing tiles for a kitchen backsplash, choosing the right type of grout is crucial based on the size of the joints. While a poly-blend sanded grout is ideal for joints 1/8-inch or greater, a poly-blend unsanded grout is more suitable for smaller joints.
Firstly, ensure that the tiles are clean and free from spacers before mixing the grout with water. It’s important to work in sections and apply the grout with a grout float at a 45-degree angle. After removing the excess grout with a 90-degree angle float, use a damp sponge to shape the grout joints and remove excess grout from the face of the tiles.
Remember to limit the amount of water used to avoid washing out the grout joints. Finally, wait for the grout to dry for about three hours before removing the last haze with a dampened cheesecloth or sponge. To protect against stains and spills, apply a sealant to the grout and tiles.
Once you’re done applying the grout, you’ll have to wait for up to three days for it to dry. Apply a sealer to ensure your backsplash isn’t straining. You can also consider adding latex caulk in spaces between the backsplash and countertop.
After all of this is done, get your kitchen to its previous state. Replace your appliances and cookware as well as the disassembled electrical outlets. To ensure that your backsplash stays in optimal condition, one tip we recommend is to use a glass clear to wipe it down occasionally.
Installing a kitchen backsplash can not only be a fun DIY task but can also save costs if you’re already on a tight budget. Plus, it refreshes your home by giving your kitchen a new look. We hope this guide was helpful and wish you luck with your DIY project. If you haven’t already begun, well find your tape measure and get started.