DIY Tiled Backsplash

DIY Tiled Backsplash

Learn how to install a decorative tiled backsplash in your kitchen.


5 col

Give your kitchen an upgraded look with the addition of a simple, decorative tile backsplash.

Materials
Tile setting mat
Pre-mixed, non-sanded grout
Grout float
Sponge
Scissors (or a utility knife)
Tile snips
Putty
Putty knife
Damp rag

Instructions 

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  1. Patch the walls as needed by applying putty to holes and wiping away the excess putty with a putty knife and a damp rag
  2. Wipe down the walls with a damp rag to clean away dirt, dust or grime. Let the walls fully dry before continuing. Make sure to remove all the excess dust to ensure that the tile mat will have a secure bond
  3. Take a tile setting mat, which is sticky on both sides, and peel back just one side of the contact paper to reveal the adhesive. Apply the adhesive side of the tile mat directly to the wall. Make sure to line up the tile mat flush with the top of the counter. Continue applying the tiling mats around, covering the entire area of your back splash. This mat will act as the mortar base between the tile and the wall, holding the tiles in place.
  4. If and when you reach an electrical outlet, measure the distance between the last tile mat and the outlet. Transfer the measurements, and cut a recess out of the adhesive mat to fit around the outlet. Repeat this step for each outlet/switch you have to work around
  5. Once the entire back splash area is covered in tile matting, peel the clear backing off each mat to reveal the adhesive. Take your first sheet of tile and line it up with the top of the counter and adjacent cabinet. (Once you put the tile down, you cannot move it or adjust it. Make sure the tile is lined up level with the counter so it runs level along the entire back splash.) Press the tile sheet into the tile matting
  6. Take a second sheet of tiles and line it up so the tile pieces lineup square with the first sheet you put down. Work your way horizontally (from left to right, or right to left) across the countertop
  7. When you come across an outlet or windowsill, use your tape measure to measure the distance between the edge of the outlet and the end of the previous tile sheet. Hold up your next tile sheet, dry-fitting it in place. Mark on each tile where you need to trim or break. Remove the tile from the sheet by cutting the mesh backing that holds each tile in place with a utility knife
  8. Take tile snips and line a tile up so the snips break the tile on your mark. Snip off the end you don’t need

Tip: If you need to cut the tile only a short amount, move the snips further in on the tile. This is because the snips will actually shatter the end of the tile if there isn’t enough of a piece to break off. It leaves a jagged edge rather than a smooth line. 

  1. Reposition the tile sheet in place against the tile mat backing. Press each tile piece into the tile mat as were originally laid out
  2. Continue applying sheets to the tile matting, and cut individual tiles to fit as needed
  3. Use a clean putty knife to scoop small amounts of the premixed grout on to the tile. Use a grout float to push the grout around the backsplash, working it into the spaces so there are no holes or air pockets between the tiles
  4. When all the crevices and cracks are filled with grout, run a sponge over the tile surface to clean off the excess grout. Do not push down or pull hard on the tiles as you may accidently shift the tiles in place
  5. Leave the backsplash alone, allowing the grout 24 hours to dry and set

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