How To Install Your Kitchen Tile Backsplash

A Fun Do It Yourself Project For You & The Family

What is a great curb appeal without a beautiful interior. In many cases it is like taking care of your body. You can look good and fancy on the outside but if you don’t maintain you health and your hygiene you could be in for a rude awakening. Maybe your teeth start to decay and fall off, maybe something else could happen due to poor maintenance and management.

Now, when you try to sell yourself to a lovely potential partner, the tooth decay is part of the package so why not do something early in the game to remedy the situation? What I am saying is that your home can also be visualized as your temple. After all, it is one of the largest — if not THEE largest — purchase you will ever make. Maintaining a good interior is just as important as the beautiful curb appeal.

How to improve on the interior of your home by maintaining and managing the property?

There are many projects you can do for home improvement purposes and in this article, our purpose is to walk you through one of them that will increase the value of your home. It’ll create a clean modern look that will be perfect for a permanent home or one that you are putting up for sale.

Installing Tile Back Splash takes a few tools and a few measuring tips and tricks. First we need to calculate the space of the wall. You are going to (multiply the width and the height of the wall) in order to get the area of the space. This is measured in sq ft and it will also determine how much tile you will need for the project. It would be really safe to also include an additional 10% of tile as you may need to use it to remove or replace broken ones or any other scenario.

Some walls have disproportionate sections and in these cases, it may also take a little more calculation involvement to get the job done. We will be working on one that is disproportionate and when working with multiple sections like this, we will want to make sure that we measure both the width and the height of each section. Then you can multiply each section to get the total number of square feet of splash tile that will be needed to get the job completed.

Special Tips: Don’t forget that you still need to add 10% more tile in case of any broken ones or others that may need to be replaced.
Prepping Your Wall For Tile Back Splash Installation

Now this next section is basic but necessary. You need to PREP your space! Yes, that’s right, Get the cleaning and move everything out of your way because hard hats are going to be hard at work real soon! If the stove is in your way, unplug it and either remove it completely or just shift it out of the way. When you install tile back splash, it is going to take a little more room. This may take a little while so you want to be comfortable.

Next you want to place a cover over your counter tops. Add some painters tap to the edges to make sure that when debris falls it will be there to protect your counter tops. You will also want to shut off the power to any electrical components that are near your work space area and remove any protective plates that are covering your wall sockets.

Remember to inspect & repair your wall before you begin to install tile back splash. If your walls aren’t smooth, you need to begin the repair process so that your kitchen wall is ready for installation. First you need to use a product like an all purpose joint compound for repairing holes in drywalls. Once you plug the holes you sand them off to create a smooth surface. Now you can wash the wall where you will install the tile back splash. You should use mild soap, detergent and water.You will want to wait a little for the wall to dry.

If your wall is painted you could use a chemical compound called trisodium phosphate — otherwise known as TSP — and then sand the wall very gently. If your wall has the glossy paint, you will want to remove the gloss and the paint can get wiped down with a gentle sponge. For tough stains make sure you use the proper tools to remove them properly.

One of the tricks of the trade that you will learn during this article is to outline the end of the tile on your wall. Think of this as your blueprint. You are mapping out the tile on the wall in order to know how many tiles you will use and their respective positions. You can do this with a simple pencil, place the first tile at the corner of the wall and mark the end points. Then repeat the process all the way to the end of the wall. You can work your way sideways and upwards so always start at the bottom if possible. Use a leveler in order to stay on a straight line across the wall.

If you tile has uneven corners, remember to cut the ends evenly so that it fits perfectly along the edge of the wall.
You can use:

A tile cutter for ceramic and porcelain
Use a Tile nipper for any circular incisions
Use a wet saw if you’re cutting natural stone

Special Tips: The wet saw will stop the tile from chipping or breaking.

Special Tips: When planning out the process above, use different tiles from different boxes.Often you can get slight differences in shades between boxes. This will help you keep a uniformed look across the full design.
Preparing the Mortar

We are going to use powder thin set mortar for this example. Keep this in mind when you are looking for the items to use. You want to use this for natural stone mosaic tile. Fill a bucket with water following the manufacturers instructions. Now you can gradually add the thin set powder and mix the compounds thoroughly. You’ll want to wait for 5 to 10 minutes approximately and mix the compounds again but do not ad extra water this time around, only what was already there. You should be mixing this thin set mortar with a giant whisking tool.

Flexbond as shown in the image to the top right, can be used for up to 4 hours. However, on an usual basis, once your mortar is mixed, you will only have about 2 to 4 hours as it will dry fairly quickly. If you’d like to skip the mortar part then we recommend buying Simple Mat. This product adheres to the wall and allows you to install instantly so that you may prepare for the grout. You really can’t get it any easier then that! lol.
Applying the Mortar

If you went with the mortar option your want to select a 2 foot section at a time. This will help you manage the project better. Add a thin skimmed layer of the mortar with the flat side of the trall. Press at a 45 degree angle so that the mortar can fully adhere to the wall. Now you can use the notched edge to add more mortar and create even ridges along the wall in one direction. Make sure the trall is the right type for the project. For natural stone, you will want to use a trall that is a quarter inch by a quarter inch in size.

In order to prevent the mortar from drying or forming a skin as you apply the tiles, you will want to work in sections. Then you can simply clean any excess mortar from the tile by wiping it down with a slightly wet sponge. At this point you can continue to place the tile across the wall with the spacers so that you keep your uniformed look. Always follow the line made when the tile was dry fit to the wall.

Special Tips: Slightly shift the tile up and down to help the mortar fit between the edges of the tile and flatten the tile with a grout float when necessary.

Now that you’ve gone across the wall with the tile, you will need to let it sit and dry for around 24 hrs. This time frame may differ depending on the temperature of your home and the type of tile you are using. The next step is applying the grout however, before this we’ll want to use pre—sealer to pre—seal the natural stone 3 hours before the grout is layered. Do this for natural stone only, it will help the stone from staining. After this, you will want to wipe down the natural stone mosaic tile with a sponge and water. Now we can add the poly—blend sanded grout to the stone tile.
Applying the Poly—Blend Sanded Grout

Keep in mind that we are a simple guidance on your DIY quest for the installation of your tile back splash. You will want to focus on specifics in your products instruction manual. So as we mix the grout, you will focus on the measurement provided by the manufacturer.

Add the appropriate amount of water in a bucket
Gradually add the grout powder
Mix it thoroughly and let the mix stand for 5 to ten minutes
Then remix it without additional water
Mix the grout periodically to hold that consistent form

Once this is completed you’ll be on the clock. On average the poly—blend compound can be used for up to 2 hours. Just as earlier you’ll need to work in sections in order to do this correctly. The purpose of this portion is to fill in the gaps between the tile pieces with grout so as to keep a clean uniformed face to the natural stone. You will select a section in put a thin layer of sanded grout over the whole section, even the natural stone. This should help you keep each section down to 30 minutes per piece.

You can now use the grout float at a 45 degree angle in order to spread the compound across all tiles. You want to do this diagonally. Then you wipe all excess grout with the float at a 90 degree angle. Now for a little cleaning, using a damp sponge you want to wipe out the excess grout in a circular motion… CIRCULAR!! Keep an eye on the grout joints, you want to shape them fully. Make sure you can see those corners but don’t dig in too deep into the grout. Rinse out the sponge in clean water consistently and use very little water while wiping it down so you don’t get to much of it into the grout.

After 3 hours you can come back and wipe down the last remnant of grout with a damped soft cloth to wipe down the face of the tile. You can then sit back for 24 hours to 3 days later when the grout should be dried and apply some grout sealant to protect the back splash from staining. We’re almost to home plate readers!! Now we can add a small amount of latex caulk to the base of the tile back splash to seal the deal! This is the section at the base where it is resting on the counter top.

Now you can put your appliances back where they were, the electrical outlets the way they were and remember to wipe down your back splash from time to time to keep it looking great. Try to use non acidic product. After all, this is natural stone we’re talking about here.

Hope you enjoyed this project with your family and friends and we look forward to seeing you for the next one. Comment on the box below but please no back linking or we will have to delete your comments. Leave us a message for a request to be a guest blog writer if you want to back link as a community.

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