Want to add a bit of excitement or glamour to your kitchen? How about installing a backsplash! This project is great for the do it yourselfer, who also has a little bit of patience too. This overall project would be a great weekend project and would take a moderate skill level to achieve. I have included a list below of tools and materials needed for the job, which can vary depending on the tile you, purchase and your kitchen layout.
All my materials were purchased from Rona. The tile used in this project was 12×12 Bamboo Glass Stripes in Camel.
First you will need to measure your work area, in order to know how much tile is needed for the project. The kitchen that was used was from a fairly new build, which required 23 square feet of tile. This is pretty standard size backsplash, but make sure you measure and pick up a few extra sheets of tile to use as fillers. Most hardware stores allow you to return full sheets.
Next step is to make sure the wall you are tiling is in good condition. Repair any issues and sand the wall if it is a painted surface, to get rid of any sheen. Make sure you turn off the electrical power to the area you are working in and then proceed to remove the wall plates to any electrical outlets.
Find the center of the wall for your backsplash and with a level, draw a vertical line. This will be your starting point. You want to make sure the tile is installed level, so continue to check your tile with the level as it gets installed. This is also a good time to install the tile edge if you need one. The tile edge would be installed where the tile ends, if there is no cupboard in that spot in order to give your backsplash a finished look.
Laying your tile out along your counter is a good way to visualize this project (Fig.1). You will be able to see what tiles will need to be cut and how many tile sheets you will need along the backsplash.
Apply the mortar with your 3/16” notched trowel with the lines always running in the same direction (Fig.2). This will give you an even coat of mortar on your wall. Work in 2-3 foot sections at a time. Cut the sheet of tile if needed and adhere to the wall. Push firmly or tap with a rubber mallet, making sure no mortar seeps between the tiles. If mortar does seep through, remove the tile, trowel the mortar again and reapply tile. Use tile spacers between each sheet of tile for even spacing if you wish. Continue down the wall, applying mortar and adhering tile sheets. Use a wet saw, grinder or tile nips to work around outlets and cupboards. If you need to adhere individual tile pieces, apply a small amount of mortar to the back of the tile and press firmly in place.
Once all the tile is in place, wait 24-48 hours before grouting. When mixing your grout, make sure your colour is consistent and the texture of toothpaste. At Rona, they had colour stick samples of the grout and I was able to hold them right up against my tile to pick the perfect match I wanted. Apply the grout in sections with a tile float, working at a 45 degree angle as you work the grout into the joints (Fig.3). Do not put grout in areas between your tile and other surfaces such as the counter or cabinets. Clean off excess grout with a damp sponge and rinsing out the sponge often.
Wait 24 hours and seal grout if it is required. After 10 days, caulk the joints between the backsplash and your counters and cabinets. Now sit back and admire the new addition to your kitchen!