Update your home by learning how to install a new backsplash yourself.
Are you searching for a cost-effective way to spruce up your kitchen space? Look no further than a DIY tile kitchen backsplash! By following the step-by-step guide below, you'll have the confidence and skills to create a stunning new tile backsplash in no time – without breaking the bank.
Come learn how to transform your kitchen with a DIY backsplash and reap the rewards of a professional-looking kitchen at a fraction of the cost!
Picking a New Tile Backsplash
Before purchasing your own kitchen backsplash you will want to figure out how much tile you need and what kind. It's a good idea to add 10% of extra tile onto your total amount for waste or mistakes.
Here are several options for kitchen backsplashes:
- Faux brick
- Natural stone
- Glass tile
- Mosaic tile
- Porcelain tile
- White subway tiles
Supplies for a Ceramic Tile Backsplash
- White arabesque ceramic wall tile
- Tile spacers - 1/16th of an inch
- Tile adhesive or Mastic
- Tile wet saw
- Grout sponge
- Grout float
- Bucket for clean water
- Drop cloth or plastic to cover the surrounds areas
How to Start a New Backsplash
Before beginning your tile backsplash installation, you will want to first cover your counter top and flooring. Remove outlet covers from electrical outlets and anything else on your wall that might interfere.
Lay Out Tile
Next, lay out your tile before starting. This will give you an idea of a good starting point. As you can see from the picture above my first piece was half of a half.
Apply Adhesive on Individual Tiles
Now you are ready to apply the tile adhesive to the back of the tile. Use a notched trowel and make sure to have good grooves in the tile adhesive. This will create a suction to your wall and hold the tile in place until it is dry.
For this backsplash I applied the mastic, or adhesive to the back of the tiles because I was starting and stopping often. Once you have mastic on the wall you don't want to stop until it is all covered. If it dries before you place a tile on the mastic it will have to be chiseled off.
Apply adhesive, then place tile. Use spacers in between, before adding your next tile and continue this pattern. For spacing I am using 1/16" tile spacers. I didn't want the grout to be very noticeable so thinner grout lines are best.
Add a Temporary Support if Needed
I added temporary support to the area behind the stove for a straight edge. This just ensures the tile stays in a nice straight line and doesn't slide down.
Cutting with a Wet Saw
As you work your way down the wall you will come to items that need to be cut around. It may be an outlet or in my case the pipe for my pot filler.
Creating round cuts can be a little tricky with a wet tile saw. As you can see I accidentally broke the bottom of my tile. This was the 6th time I tried to make this cut without breaking it. However, I realized that the plate cover would hide it so I let it be. On some of these harder cuts with smaller tiles you can use tile snips.
Pro Tip: Run blue tape along the cut line. This will give you clean lines for your cut.
Ending Your Tile
When you don't have something to butt the end of the tile into like a cabinet, one of the easiest ways to create a finished look is using Schluter. This is the silver lining piece that runs from the bottom of the cabinets to the counter top. It allows for a very nice clean edge, and gives me something to frame the open edges of my tile with.
Continue Placing Tiles
A kitchen backsplash tile installation is a long repetitive process. Just keep placing tiles and working your way up the wall.
Take your time and keep checking your spacing. Even with spacers the spacing can get off. Mastic allows for some working time so make sure you are double checking and adjusting as you go.
DIY tile kitchen backsplash pro tip: Use a level to press the surface of the tile to the wall. This will keep your tiles flush with each other so they will be nice and smooth to run your hand across.
How to Grout a Ceramic Tile Backsplash
Pick a Grout Color
First, pick out your grout color. I am going with a white grout, in hopes that it will blend into the white tile.
Mapei is my favorite brand for grout. They have a lot of colors to choose from, it is easy to apply and holds up well.
Let Your Tile Dry Before Grouting
Let your tile dry for at least 24 hours before adding grout. When adding grout you will be using quite a bit of pressure to push the grout into the tile with the grout rubber float.
Grout at All Different Angles
When adding grout, spread your grout at all different angles: up, down, side to side. You want that grout in all of the nooks and crannies of this DIY kitchen tile backsplash.
Work in Small Sections as You Go
When adding grout it is important to work in small sections. Apply the grout and then wipe excess grout off with a damp sponge. To do this I fill up a 5 gallon bucket with warm water. I wash the grout out, wring the sponge out in the water and then wipe again.
It is VERY important to get ALL of the extra grout off. Once the grout dries it is very hard to get it off. So work in small areas and clean it well.
My DIY Kitchen Tile Backsplash
You may have noticed I don't have any outlets in my backsplash. Instead of putting them on the wall I opted to put strips of outlets just under the cabinets. It also serves as my under cabinet lighting. I love that it keeps my backsplash area nice and clean.
This backsplash has been the perfect focal point for our kitchen!
Whether you are renovating an old kitchen or sprucing up a new one, a DIY tile kitchen backsplash is an easy way to make a big impact. With a few simple steps, you can create a uniquely beautiful, modern, and timeless look! What are you waiting for? Get tiling!
Check out other bathroom tiling options here!
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