Are you tired of the dull the wall space between your counters & upper in the kitchen? Here are 6 Steps to Installing a Tile Backsplash in Your Kitchen.
Why add a kitchen backsplash? It will convert the dull wall space between your counters and upper cabinet to an attention-grabber. When you see any well-designed kitchen, your attention will likely be drawn to the finely custom cabinetry or shiny appliances. You’ll probably do not even notice the kitchen’s backsplash.
In the design of a kitchen, rarely is enough care is given to the narrow strip of wall that runs between the counters and upper cabinets. The backsplash is usually just painted a neutral color and forgotten about.
If only we knew how easy a backsplash could be if you install it yourself! It just a few boxes of tile and a free weekend to bring this seemingly dead space to life.
For visual interest, including decorative field tiles and fanciful border tiles will result in an attractive, easy-to-clean surface that enhances the overall look and functionality of the kitchen. There are many options, such as an array of beautiful ceramic tiles, mosaics on a mesh backing, or peel-and-stick tile.
Prepare the Walls
- Measure your wall to determine the amount of tile you will need.
- Clean the wall thoroughly with the mild soap to remove any grease or other debris. Glossy painted walls can be wiped down with tri-sodium phosphate and sanded gently.
- Turn off power to the kitchen, remove outlet, and switchplates covers in the backsplash area.
- Tape off outlets, cabinets, countertops, and any other surface you do not was to tile.
- Move freestanding appliances away from the walls, such as the stove.
- Cover the countertops with a drop cloth.
- Patch any holes you find with spackling compound and sand in the backsplash area to a smooth surface.
- Attach a sturdy piece of lumber for support.
- Mark the two sides of the wall using the painter’s tape where the backsplash should start and stop.
- Find the center of the wall for your tile design selection and mark a vertical line.
- If using mesh backing tile, lay tiles on the countertop along the wall using spacers to check the ends.
- To prepare the mortar for natural stone and mosaic tile according to directions.
- Begin with a 2-foot section to spread a thin layer of adhesive on the wall, starting at the centerline.
- If using Peel-and-stick tile, adhesive mats are also available that bond instantly to wall surfaces. Then pressed firmly with a grout float, which allows you to tile and grout the same day, replacing traditional thin-set and simplifying tile installation.
- Place plastic tile spacers on the lumber for support and countertop, so the tiles don’t sit directly on them.
Set the tiles
- Press your tile piece into the wall with a twist, leaving a 1/8-inch expansion gap at the countertop and lumbar support. Press the rubber float to set it in the adhesive.
- Working in small sections, repeat the procedure.
- If tiles fall off the sheets, apply a little adhesive on the back, and stick them right back in place.
- Allow the mortar and tile to dry completely following the manufacturer’s recommendations, this usually takes 24 hours.
Cut tiles for exact fits
- If you have mesh backing tile sheets, you custom fit the sheets around outlets by cutting the mesh backing.
- If you are regular tile, then you’ll have to cut the tile with a wet saw for a custom fit.
Grout and clean the tile
- Apply grout diagonally across the tiles using a rubber float.
- Wait 10 minutes before wiping away excess grout with a sponge.
- Rinse your sponge often. You may see a slight haze forming on the tiles. Clean away the hash later with a haze remover.
- Allow grout to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Then apply grout sealer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually takes between 24 hours to 3 days later.
- Fill the expansion gaps with caulk or a silicone sealant.
- Replace your appliances and cookware, and restore the power to your electrical outlets.
Add life to your kitchen with a NEW tile backsplash. Tiling a backsplash above the counter is one of the easiest ways to upgrade an old, tired kitchen on a tight budget. Need Help or have questions about 6 Steps to Installing a Tile Backsplash in Your Kitchen? Contact Us online at or give Us a call at 1 (503) 3357-8810. From concept to completion, we provide full remodeling services. Let’s Build It!
Kurt Kopp is a dedicated professional with a commitment to excellence. He is a master builder of over 35 years of experience that strives to deliver the highest quality product to his valued customer.