How to Tile a Kitchen Backsplash
- Measure the backsplash area and select your tile: Designate exactly where you will be installing your backsplash and measure the area. Based on your measurements, select your backsplash tile style and purchase the correct amount to cover the area measured. We recommend purchasing extra tile, as you may need additional pieces for gaps.
- Prepare to install: Remove all items from your countertops and protect your countertops with a plastic covering or cardboard. Make sure to unplug all countertop appliances and turn off the electricity that goes to the area you will be working on. Remove all the outlet covers and clean the walls with a mild soap.
- Mark where you will be placing the tile: Make sure the tile is level and even. Depending on where you are starting, you may need to cut the tile to make it fit.
- Apply the backsplash mortar and install the tile: Mix your mortar in a bucket based on the directions and apply a thin layer to the wall(s). After you mix the mortar, you will have a limited time (approximately four hours) before it hardens. Apply and press the tile to the surface. Don’t apply mortar to the entire wall; work in small sections to prevent it from drying out before tile is installed.
- Dry and pre-seal the tile: After successfully placing all of the tile, let it dry completely over 24 hours. Once it has dried, to prevent staining, apply a tile sealer if the manufacture requires it. Let it dry and wipe it down with water and a sponge a few hours before grouting.
How to Grout a Kitchen Backsplash
After the tile has been prepared, laid, cleaned, sealed and wiped down, the next step is to grout the kitchen backsplash:
- Mix the grout: After you do one last clean of the of the tile with a sponge, you will need to prepare your grout. There are a few varieties of grout you can select. For thicker tile consider a sanded grout and for thin tile consider a non-sanded grout. Follow the directions to mix your grout, however most mixes are blended with water and then need 10 or so minutes to thicken.
- Grout the tile: Use a grout float to apply the grout to the tile wiping off any excess grout that didn’t fill the grout lines as you go; work in smaller sections like you did with the mortar. Apply it at a 45-degree angle with the float. Since grout cure times vary by manufacture, always refer to their instructions. Generally. wait a few hours after application and wipe off any grout that got on the tile with a wet sponge. This gives grout between the tiles time to dry. Make sure to constantly re-wet and wash the cloth to get rid of excess grout that has gathered on the sponge.
- Seal and clean the tile: Once the grout has dried (drying time varies on type of grout and tile used and will take 24 hours minimum), apply a sealant to the grout to protect it from future staining. Give the tile one last clean with a non-acidic cleaner. Put your appliances and outlet covers back and turn the electricity back on.
Your Local Tile & Backsplash Pros
You did it, well done! Or maybe you got halfway and realized you need some professional help — no worries, that’s why we’re here. When you need tile or kitchen backsplash installation or repair services, the pros at your local Mr. Handyman are here to help. Give us a call or request service online to get started today.