There are many different options for kitchen backsplash styles available nowadays. Choosing which backsplash is right for your kitchen depends on a few different factors. Your budget, countertops, cabinet colors, flooring, and wall color should all be taken into account when deciding the style of your backsplash. The most common types of backsplashes are tile, glass, and stones. There are other more unique options available as well, such as wood, chalkboard, stainless steel, and mirror tiles. Whatever type of backsplash you decide to use, always consult a tile installation professional if you feel overwhelmed by installing it yourself.
Step 1 - Gather Your Materials
Proper preparation will make your DIY kitchen backsplash much easier to install. Measure the area you want to tile before buying the tile. Always buy slightly more tile than necessary in case a cut goes wrong or a tile breaks. Depending on which backsplash you decide to use, your necessary materials will be different. For most tile backsplashes, you’ll need
- Tape Measure
- Tile Adhesive (either thinset mortar or pre-mixed)
- Grout Sealant
- Tile-Cutting Tools
- Grouting Sponge
- Tile Spacers
- Notched Trowel
- Caulk and Caulking Gun
Step 2 - Prepare the Space
Remove all appliances from your countertop before starting your DIY kitchen backsplash project. If you’re installing your backsplash behind your oven, move it slightly away from the wall so you can tile behind it more easily. For added safety, disconnect your oven and shut off the power to light switches and electrical outlets.
Inspect your walls before continuing with your project. Patch any holes in the wall and sand the area lightly. Use soap and water to clean your walls and allow them to dry completely before installing your backsplash.
Do a trial run with your tiles to figure out how to place the tiles, especially if you’re doing a checkerboard pattern or using different sized tiles. By laying out your tile beforehand, you’ll know exactly how they’ll fit with each other and how to cut the tiles to make an exact fit. This way, you won’t have any surprises come up during your backsplash installation.
Step 3 - Start Installing the Tile
Begin by using the flat side of your trowel to spread a thin layer of mortar in a two foot section on the wall. Be sure to press the trowel at a 45 degree angle. Then add a little more mortar to the trowel and use the notched edge of the trowel to create ridges in one direction. Place the tiles along the wall and use tile spacers to make sure the tiles sit evenly. Be sure to rock or wiggle the tiles up and down to collapse the mortar ridges. Continue spreading the mortar in small sections and putting up the tile until the wall is completely tiled.
Step 4 - Grout the Tile
Allow the mortar to dry completely. This usually takes about 24 hours, but be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for an exact time. Wipe down the tiles before applying the grout. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when mixing your grout. Once your grout is mixed, you’ll only have a limited amount of time to use it. Apply the grout at a 45 degree angle and work diagonally. After you’re finished applying the grout, wipe the excess off with a damp grout sponge.
Step 5 - Seal the Tile
When the grout is completely dry, apply grout sealant. The grout may take 24 hours to 3 days to dry completely depending on the type of grout you use. Once it’s dry, caulk the area between the base of your tiles and the countertop. Then you can put all of your appliances and cookware back and glory in your new, amazing backsplash.