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How to Install a Kitchen Backsplash

kitchen backsplash

You can update the look of your kitchen with a new backsplash. This design trend is very modern and sophisticated and popular in 2017. The good new is that it is pretty easy to install a kitchen backsplash and we can tell you just how to do it!

There are many colors and styles of backsplash to choose from. Two of the most popular styles are white or gray subway tile and mosaic tiles arranged in various shades of colors.

One of the reasons that installing a backsplash in your kitchen is so easy is because you can layer the backsplash directly over drywall. This avoids the need for any major reconstruction of the wall or your kitchen. This is an easy aesthetic project that makes a huge difference in the style of your kitchen.

To prepare for the installation, turn off all of the power in your kitchen. This is so you can safely remove the electrical outlet covers on outlets in the area you will be installing the backsplash. You should also tape over the outlets to protect them during the project.

Be sure to tape underneath the countertops and along the top of the countertop too. You can lay down a protective sheet of plastic over your countertop as well to ensure it isn’t damaged at all during the installation.

Slide out your stove, dishwasher and other appliances that the backsplash will need to be installed behind or above.

Then you should wipe down your drywall to ensure it is 100% clean and smooth. Glossy walls will need to be sanded to create a smooth surface for the backsplash tiles.

You should also use a level to ensure the wall is flat. You will need to use joint compound to flatten and smooth out any surfaces that are uneven. You don’t want the backsplash tile to be uneven after it is installed.

Now you can plan the layout of the backsplash. Tile backsplash needs a 1/8 inch expansion gap around the perimeter. Some patterns look best if they are centered.

Find your center and mark a vertical line. Use the line as a reference point and dry lay the tiles along the wall for an idea of what the design will look like when complete. You should check both the horizontal and vertical layout to ensure the size of the tiles on the end are as big or small as you want them to be in your design. The excess will need to be cut off of the exterior tiles.

You want the cut pieces of tile to be on the edges, just below the cabinets or just above the countertop if the countertop is uneven at all. You can use a level again to test if the countertop is even or not.

You will need to continue to adjust the layout of the tiles until the appearance is exactly how you want it. This includes the length and width of exterior and cut tiles and how even the surfaces around the backsplash are.

Once the layout is correct it is time to install. Mix thinset ceramic tile mortar following the directions. The consistency should be similar to peanut butter. You should purchase white ceramic tile mortar if possible so that it isn’t noticeable under glass tiles or lighter color patterns.

Spread the ceramic tile mortar on the drywall in an even fashion using a trowel. Be sure to trowel correctly. Once the mortar is applied correctly you can start placing the backsplash tiles against it. You should push the tiles on the thinset and twist to ensure they’re firmly in place.

Add one set of tiles at a time and continue in small sections. Continue to pause periodically to double check the layout and ensure all surfaces and patterns are level. Don’t forget about the 1/8th inch gap either.

Let the mortar dry for 24 hours or more after the installation is complete. You can use adhesive paper instead of mortar if you are more comfortable with it. The process is similar but you do not need to wait 24 hours since the paper is ready for immediate use.

Now mix the grout for the tiles in a cake batter consistency. Apply the grout over the tiles in a diagonal motion. Let the grout dry according to the instructions on the product label. Then apply grout sealant to finish the installation.

Now you can replace your appliances and outlet covers and turn on the power in your kitchen again. The project is complete.

Congratulations on your new kitchen backsplash!

September 2017
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