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Tile Backsplash

May 3, 2011

For kitchens and bathrooms I really like a good tile backsplash. It can make a huge statement for a room and totally transform a space. We have done it for our kitchen and both bathrooms and its a super easy project! So easy in fact that I did it by myself, even cutting the tile this last time which I was always scared to do before!


To apply tile:

tile of your choice

putty knife

tile adhesive (also called mastic)

score and snap tile cutter

For grouting the next day:

premixed grout

tile float or putty knife

large tile sponge

bucket of clean water

Cut your tile to the desired height you want on the wall. Most tile comes in 12in x 12 in pieces but usually you will want your backsplash to be smaller than that. For our bathroom I did it 6 inches tall.

Take your first piece and apply a liberal amount of mastic to the wall, spread with the putty knife so that it covers the length that the tile will be. I also like to put a small amount on the back of the tile to ensure it will stick. Press tile to the wall and if any excess mastic squeezes through the space between the tile wipe it off, this will be a pain to get out if it dries all the way.

Continue doing this to cover the area you have chosen to tile. When it comes to making cuts make sure you measure exactly where to cut precisely, excess grout lines are usually pretty obvious and not appealing. Using a score and snap tile cutter simply press down on the line you want the tile to be cut along and move the blade back and forth to make an indentation, then press down hard with the metal piece and it will snap the tile off along the indentation line.

Corners and outlets are always kinda tricky when it comes to tiling but as long as you measure and line up the tile just right it will look fantastic.

Now once all the tile is up on the wall let it dry overnight to make sure it all sticks and seals good. Then you are ready to grout. I like to buy premixed grout for small projects like this. It is more expensive but well worth it, when you mix grout it makes a big mess and sucks to clean up.

Scoop large amount of grout onto a tile float of putty knife and simply spread it all over the tile making sure to press it into the gaps between the tile. If you use a putty knife just be careful and make sure you don’t scratch the tile.

You will end up with a big mess like this but don’t fret.

Now take your big huge tile sponge, get it nice and wet with clean water and start wiping away all the excess grout. This will give your grout lines a nice clean finish. Usually you have to go over the tile about 5-6 times to get it clean and perfect. If you accidentally wipe away to much grout just apply more and wipe again.

TA DA! All that’s left to do is apply a grout sealer a few days later after the grout is totally dry. You can buy this anywhere that sells tile and they usually have small bottles with little brushes on the end so its super easy, just make sure to get 2 good thick coats all over, especially when its an area that will get wet.

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