Tile Your Backsplash in Four Easy Steps

A kitchen is a great place to install home improvement materials like tile. A tile backsplash can instantly transform your kitchen space into a work of art using your favorite tile design. This simple and easy kitchen home improvement project costs very little, can be easily done by the inexperienced, and can instantly add value to your home. And because the kitchen is one of the best places in the home to remodel, you’ll be sure to get a great return on your investment while increasing the overall value of your home.


Removing the old tile backsplash may be necessary. If you don’t have a tile backsplash, you can simply fill in any drywall damages with joint compound and then paint the drywall with a coat of Kilz primer and skip to the next step. If you need to remove the old tile backsplash, use a drywall knife to peel away the old tile. A bit of sandpaper may be needed to remove any excess tile mastic and get the surface smooth. Once you’ve got a flat surface to work with, use a heavy duty primer paint to coat the surface in preparation for the tile mastic.


Next, a coat of thinset or tile mastic should be applied to the wall. Don’t apply any more mastic than you can use in five minutes. Spread the thinset/mastic using a 3/16″ notched trowel. Hold the trowel at a 45 degree angle and spread the mastic. Use the notched end to create the comb marks and ensure the tile mastic is applied to the proper depth. If you are using glass tile, you’ll need to remove any comb marks in the thinset/mastic; otherwise it will show through after the tile is finished. Attach the tiles and allow them to dry overnight.


Mix a bucket of grout with the appropriate amount of water until you reach a thick and heavy pancake batter-like consistency. Allow the bucket of grout to set for 10 minutes prior to use. Once you’re ready, smear the grout in between the tiles using a grout or sponge float. Allow the grout to set between the tiles for five to 10 minutes, and then wipe away the excess grout using a damp and clean sponge.


Using a series of clean and wet sponges, remove the excess grout on the tiles until a smooth and consistent grout line appears. Alternating buckets of clean water and sponges can really help to clean the grout efficiently; otherwise you will get a film left over on the tiles. Once dry, wipe it down with a soft cloth and enjoy your new tile.

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