Tags: Categories: DIY Projects

2 Incredible Guides to DIY Tile Kitchen Backsplashes


Two Do It Yourself guides on how to install a kitchen backsplash in your home in one day, using adhesive tile matting and the tile style of your choice.

How to Tile a Kitchen Backsplash: an Illustrated DIY Guide

Source: Fix.com

Welcome to our guides to DIYing your kitchen backsplash. We’re going to check out two methods, the first of which will have your tile up and (basically) done in 24 hours, while the other is a more traditional method that will have your backsplash done in just 2 days.

Want to see more backsplash ideas to pick out the perfect style? Check out our kitchen backsplash design gallery!

24 Hour Backsplash

This first section of the guide will have you tiling your new kitchen backsplash in just one day!

Kitchen renovations, even the smallest ones, can stretch out into eternity if you’re doing it on your own. Whether it’s lack of time, inspiration, or sanity that keeps you from finishing what you’ve started right away, this guide can help you find the energy and confidence to finish up one of the smaller, simpler projects you can tackle to update your kitchen: the backsplash.

A backsplash not only helps deflect any stray water droplets or messes you make in the kitchen, it also acts as a decorative element. An old, ugly backsplash that’s been updated can make your kitchen instantly, eye-poppingly more stylish.

So save the big kitchen renovations for another day!

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Tackle that ugly old or damaged backsplash. Add subway tile. Or go with a trendy glass mosaic tile. Just get it done. We’re here to help.

Based on Lee Wallender’s article (used with permission.)

Why Backsplashes Stand Out

Options for your new backsplash: pick from glass, ceramic, porcelain, or stone.

Source: Fix.com

If you were to spend your entire weekend painting and resurfacing a ceiling, the next time you had a visitor, they wouldn’t even notice. You could spend a few thousand dollars on brand-new windows and get nothing more than a “oh, those are nice.” Aggravating.

But replacing a backsplash in your kitchen will attract immediate and gratifying attention. More importantly, you’ll feel more like you’ve made significant progress towards your dream kitchen. And for less than you’d spend going on a weekend getaway.

So why do backsplashes attract so much attention?

They’re close to eye level, so you see them first when you walk into a kitchen.

They’re decorative. Even a small section of glass mosaic tile or travertine stone can have the same effect as a grand work of art. In a large area, these colors, patterns, and textures would overload the area, so you wouldn’t want to use them on a floor or a whole wall.

In a limited area, however, they hold a ton of visual appeal. They sparkle, add a splash of color to a neutral color palette, and add polish to a design the way a perfect tie or necklace adds polish to an outfit.

Traditional Method of Tiling Backsplashes

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When you tile a backsplash, you’ll be using three materials: the tiles, the wall, and the adhesive used to join the two together. Pretty simple list, right?

Now, when you use a traditional wet adhesive, your project will actually take several days to dry so that the tiles are properly set. But we told you that it’d be done in one day. That’s right. There’s an innovative material called adhesive tile that allows you to do exactly that.

Your Ticket to Instant Grouting

Adhesive tile mats are thick, double-sided, gummy rolls that are generally available in widths of nine inches and lengths ranging from 18 to 40 feet. These mats do the exact same job as traditional wet adhesives like thinset with no mess or curing time.

And it’s nearly as easy as applying contact paper to a shelf.

Instead of troweling on the thinset and hurrying to lay on the tiles before it dries, you can cut your mat to size and unroll it on the wall. Take as long as you need to get it just right; you don’t have to worry about it drying and ruining your project. When you’ve got it right and are ready to lay your tile, just peel off the plastic from the mat and press your tiles in.

Next, once you’ve got your tile set in the right spot, you can immediately press grout between the tiles with a rubber float. Quick, easy, and no curing time needed.

Tools and Materials

Tile: You might want to use ceramic, porcelain, glass, or stone. Tile without any mesh backing tends to stick the best. If cutting the tiles gives you anxiety, you can purchase one-inch square mosaic tiles. You’ll have less chance of having to cut your tiles to fit.

Keep in mind that tile matting, should you choose to use it, will hold natural stone, the mat’s holding power maxes out at seven pounds per square foot.

Adhesive Tile Mat: SimpleMat, Bondera, and MusselBound are the three best-known brands on the market.

Grout: Once you’ve picked out the mat you’re going with, consult the instructions to find the correct type of grout.

Grout Float

Tape Measure

Utility Knife or Scissors

Non-Stick Cooking Spray

Sandpaper

Plastic Tile Spacers: Inexpensive spacers are very helpful for new DIY tilers who want to ensure their individual tiles are evenly spaced. You won’t need them, however, if you’re installing a sheet of mesh-backed mosaic tiles.

Grout Sponge: This is a large, thick sponge available for purchase at home improvement stores. Do not use a household sponge.

Tool to Cut Tile: a wet tile saw is an electric circular table saw that has water continually running to wash away any debris and keep the work piece and blade cool. Low-end saws will cost you around $100.

A rail tile cutter works like a glass cutter and is a manual device that runs a metal wheel over the tile’s face to score it and then snap it in half. These are less expensive, about $30 to $40. If you’re installing mosaic tiles, you should buy the manual mosaic tile cutter. These are about $20.

How to Build a Backsplash

Step One: Estimate Square Footage and Amount of Materials Needed- Run your tape measure along the length of the wall and write down the measurement. Then run it vertically from the counter to the bottom of the cabinets (the usual vertical stopping point) and write down that measurement too.

Multiply the length by the width to determine the square footage. For example, a 14-foot long wall that is two feet high is 28 square feet.

Use this number to purchase tile mat and tiles, adding around five to 10 percent for wastage. Continuing on with the previous example, we’d buy about 30 square feet each of mat and tile.

Step Two: Plan Your Layout- Before you go crazy with the adhesive mats, dry-fit a few tiles on the wall to get a feel for your vertical layout. If you’re using individual tiles, put your spacers between them to allow for seams.

Step Three: Clean and Prep Your Surface- Turn off all the power to any and all electric outlets and switches in the area you’re tiling. Take off the outlet and switch covers.

Scuff the surface lightly with your sandpaper, then clean with a damp sponge and let it dry.

Prepping your surface before tiling.

Source: Fix.com

Step Four:  Cut and Install the Tile Mat- transfer all your layout measurements to the tile mat. We recommend that you install the mat vertically, the way you would with wallpaper. Remember to leave the protective liner on the mat until you’re ready to lay your tile.

Cut the mat to size with the utility knife or scissors. If you are using scissors and finding it difficult to cut, try coating the blades of the scissors with cooking spray to keep them from sticking to the mat.

Once you’ve got the matting on the wall in the right place, go ahead and peel of the liner, beginning at one of the corners.

Step Five: Install the Tile- You’ll want a small gap between the bottom row of your tile and the countertop, so find something to lay on top of the counter. A yardstick with the flat-side down works wonderfully. You won’t want anything more than 1/8th inch high. Beyond just helping you create that space, the stick will help support the lower row of tiles while you place them.

Lightly press each tile onto the mat, starting with the bottom row and moving upwards. If you’re using individual tiles, use the spacers to set the width of the tile seams.

If your tiles don’t quite fit the space or you need to tile around switches or outlets, you’ll need to cut the tiles. This is where using the small one-inch tiles are most useful; unlike larger tiles, you can score and snap these smaller tiles with the handheld cutter rather than cut them with the wet tile saw or rail cutter.

The tile mat will allow you to reposition the tiles as many times as you need to before you’re satisfied with the results. When you are, press the tiles firmly into place with your dry tile float.

Installing individual tiles by using spacers.

Source: Fix.com

Step Six: Grout the Tile- Apply a golf ball-sized amount of grout to your float. Hold the float at a 45-degree angle and sweep firmly across the face of the tile to spread the grout. Make sure each seam is completely filled with grout. With your float held at the same angle as before, lightly scrape across the tile to remove excess grouting. Put any extra back in the container.

Next, you’ll moisten your grout sponge. Get as much water out of it as possible before you start. Sweep the sponge across the tile to remove any grout from the face of the tile. Be very careful that you don’t end up scraping grout out of your seams.

Now here’s the fun part: let your new grout dry for 24 hours and start enjoying the fruits of your labor!

Get Grouting! Tips for applying grout.

Source: Fix.com

Get Splashing!

With minimal effort and a bit of material cost, your backsplash tiling efforts will result in an updated, beautiful kitchen. In the realm of kitchen renovation, even conventional tiling using thinset mortar is pretty fast, but the use of adhesive tile matting lowers your installation time from a few days to just one day. Not bad for an easy weekend project, right?

Images and Content used with Permission by Fix.com


 

Install Tile Backsplash in 16 Steps

DIY tile backsplash in 48 hours.

Our second guide is slightly different and shows the steps one by one. While the previous guide focused on a 24 hour method, some tiles need about 48 hours to be completely finished, and this guide will focus on the method for installing these.

Materials:

  • Fiberglass tape
  • Unsanded epoxy grout
  • Tile adhesive
  • Tile
  • Spacers
  • 3″ drywall screws

Tools:

  • Square
  • 6″ putty knife
  • Grease pencil
  • Drywall knife
  • Tiling float
  • Square notched trowel
  • Screwdriver
  • Towel
  • Sponges
  • Margin trowel
  • Water bucket
  • Measuring tape
  • Wet saw
  • Electric drill

Related: 55 Types of Tools

Step 1: Turn Power Off

Before you get started with your tiling project, be completely sure you’ve shut off the power to all the outlets in your kitchen.

Before you get started with your tiling project, be completely sure you've shut off the power to all the outlets in your kitchen.

Source: Home Click

Step 2: Prepare the Wall Surface

Prepare your wall surface by removing all loose debris, like paper or old glue cleaned off the wall. If you are tiling on a painted surface, rough up the paint a little with sandpaper.

Prepare your wall surface by removing all loose debris, like paper or old glue cleaned off the wall. If you are tiling on a painted surface, rough up the paint a little with sandpaper.

Source: Home Click

Step 3: Find Wall Studs

Locate all wall studs and use your drill to drill in the 3″ drywall screws. There should be about one every 4″. This should help tighten up your drywall and support the new tile work.

Locate all wall studs and use your drill to drill in the 3" drywall screws. There should be about one every 4". This should help tighten up your drywall and support the new tile work.

Source: Home Click

Step 4: Reinforce Corners

Use your fiberglass tape to reinforce your kitchen corners, along with any damaged areas of drywall.

Use your fiberglass tape to reinforce your kitchen corners, along with any damaged areas of drywall.

Source: Home Click

Step 5: Apply First Layer of Adhesive

Start by spreading a very thin layer of your tile adhesive to the wall and letting it dry. Try to keep your adhesive as uniformly thick as possible. The adhesive will penetrate the drywall and help make it more rigid.

Start by spreading a very thin layer of your tile adhesive to the wall and letting it dry. Try to keep your adhesive as uniformly thick as possible. The adhesive will penetrate the drywall and help make it more rigid.

Source: Home Click

Step 6: Tile the Vertical Border

Begin with your vertical border edge, using a single row of tile to create the straight edge. Use two individual tiles for the very top and the very bottom.

Begin with your vertical border edge, using a single row of tile to create the straight edge. Use two individual tiles for the very top and the very bottom.

Source: Home Click

Step 7: Use Trowel to Spread Adhesive

Using your square-edge trowel, spread the tile adhesive evenly over the wall. If you are using thin tile, use an 1/8th” notched trowel. If you’re using thick glass or tile, use a 3/16″ notch trowel instead.

Using your square-edge trowel, spread the tile adhesive evenly over the wall. If you are using thin tile, use an 1/8th" notched trowel. If you're using thick glass or tile, use a 3/16" notch trowel instead.

Source: Home Click

Step 8: Press Tile into the Adhesive

Take your tile sheets and press into the wet adhesive from the bottom up.

Take your tile sheets and press into the wet adhesive from the bottom up.

Source: Home Click

Step 9: Tamp the Tile

Use your rubber float to “tamp” the tile into the adhesive securely and evenly.

Use your rubber float to "tamp" the tile into the adhesive securely and evenly.

Source: Home Click

Step 10: Cut Tile Around Outlets and Windows

You’ll need to carefully measure and mark the areas you’ll need to cut out using the drywall knife and wet saw to fit around light switches and outlets.

Be sure your tile has dried thoroughly after using the wet saw before you apply it to the wall.

Tip: Always wear your eye protection when using a wet saw, and keep your fingers as far away from the blade as possible.

You'll need to carefully measure and mark the areas you'll need to cut out using the drywall knife and wet saw to fit around light switches and outlets.

Source: Home Click

Step 11: Apply Individual Tiles

Whenever using individual tiles, spread a small amount of your adhesive to the back of the tile and use your spacers to maintain even spacing and grout lines.

Tip: to keep a clean edge, wash your tools frequently in clean water.

Whenever using individual tiles, spread a small amount of your adhesive to the back of the tile and use your spacers to maintain even spacing and grout lines.

Source: Home Click

Step 12: Inspect Your Work

When you’ve completely tiled your backsplash, inspect  your work very carefully. Clean away any access adhesive and use spacers to fix any uneven grout lines.

When you've completely tiled your backsplash, inspect your work very carefully. Clean away any access adhesive and use spacers to fix any uneven grout lines.

Source: Home Click

Step 13: Wait for Adhesive to Set

Once you’ve inspected and okay’d your work, you’ll need to let the adhesive set overnight.

Once you've inspected and okay'd your work, you'll need to let the adhesive set overnight.

Source: Home Click

Step 14: Mix Your Grout

After your adhesive has completely set, it’s time for grout. Mix your grout according the the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to wear gloves!

15-home-click

Source: Home Click

Step 15: Apply Grout

Press the grout into the joints using the rubber float. Use the edge of the float to sweep away any excess grout. Do this at a 45° angle.

Press the grout into the joints using the rubber float. Use the edge of the float to sweep away any excess grout. Do this at a 45° angle.

Source: Home Click

Step 16: Clean Up

Wipe the surface of your new tile backsplash clean with a thick, damp sponge.

Wipe the surface of your new tile backsplash clean with a thick, damp sponge.

Source: Home Click

Check out the full DIY tutorial video:

Images and Content used with Permission by Home Click

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Backsplash design software

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