Nothing gives a kitchen more style than backsplash. So if you’re looking for an easy DIY to transform your kitchen you’ve come to the right place. Installing backsplash is fairly easy and doesn’t even take much time. You’ll also save a great deal doing it yourself rather than hiring a professional to do it for you.
What you need:
- Tape measure
- Tile cutter
- Safety glasses
- Tile spacers (optional)
- Thin-set mortar
- Notched trowel/float (size depends on size of tile)
STEP 1: MEASURE YOUR WALL
Measure the length of the wall where you want to install the backsplash and make sure you purchase the correct amount of tile. To measure the wall, simply multiply the width and height of the wall to get square footage. Make sure to include an extra 10 percent of tile to cover any small gaps or to use as replacement for damaged pieces.
STEP 2: PREP THE WALL
Before installing the tiles check that the wall is clean and doesn’t have any damage. You can patch any holes with spackling compound and sand the wall lightly to ensure a smooth surface. Using mild soap detergent and water, clean your walls. Let the area dry completely before installing backsplash.
STEP 3: LAYOUT THE TILE
It’s important to plan your tile layout before actually installing it. Place the tile across the wall and mark you starting and end so you know how much tile you’ll be using and where you’ll be placing them. Start in the area that is most viewable and work your way out from there. A leveler can help you keep the tile even along the wall. You may need to cut tiles to ensure the area is properly filled. This can be done using a tile cutter. If you need to cut natural stone make sure you use a wet saw to prevent any chipping or breakage of the tile.
STEP 4: APPLY THIN-SET ADHESIVE
Mix the thin set mortar according to manufacturer’s directions. All you have to do is add the mortar to water a little at a time and mix it thoroughly. Wait about 10 minutes after the mortar is mixed before using it. Apply a thin layer of mortar to the wall using a notched trowel in smooth, even strokes. Hold the trowel at a 45 degree angle as this will ensure that the mortar fully adheres to the wall. Thin-set stays workable for about 45 minutes so work in small sections to prevent the mortar from drying out as you apply the tile. Clean any excess mortar off the tile with a sponge and water.
STEP 5: LAY THE TILE
Place the tile sheets along the wall, adding spacers if you need to keep the tile pieces lined up. Press and wiggle each tile to set into the mortar, keeping each tile flat and leveled. You can pull out the spacers when the mortar starts to dry.
STEP 6: APPLY GROUT
Wait 24 hours for the mortar and tile to dry completely. Mix grout with appropriate amount of water and mix thoroughly. Grout dries quickly so work in sections that can be completed in 30 minutes. Apply the grout with a grout float at a 45 degree angle, working diagonally. Make sure to scrape off excess grout before proceeding. Ten minutes after grouting, remove the grout off tiles in a circular motion using a damp sponge. Rinse the sponge in clean water frequently. Repeat this cleaning process several times, limiting the amount of water to avoid washing out the grout joints. After a couple hours (2-3) wipe the haze off the tiles with a damp sponge.
STEP 7: SEAL THE TILE
Once the grout is fully dry, usually 1-3 days later, apply a grout sealant to protect your backsplash from staining. After the sealer is dry, you can add latex caulk to the base of your backsplash where it rests against your countertop. To maintain backsplash, wipe it down occasionally with a kitchen cleaner.
That’s it. Invite your friends and family over to show off your hard work and your gorgeous, modern kitchen!