When I was panning our basement kitchen makeover I knew I wanted something modern and fun. I fell in love with vertical tile, So I decided to go for it. Let me take you step by step, on how to tile a backsplash. If you want to see all the makeover projects in this Kitchen here they are.
When your learning how to tile a backsplash the most important thing is to Measure and make sure you have enough room for the tile you choose. I had to have vertical tile, however we didn’t have enough space to make it look good. By moving our cupboard up 3 inches and putting a piece of molding at the top gave us the extra room to make the vertical the show stopping backsplash I wanted.
Gather the supplies. We used a wet saw, sticky backing (musselbound), grout, tile, spacers, tile sponge, sealer, tile float.
Measure your backsplash area and cut the sticky backing to the right size. Make sure that your wall is free of bumps that will make it uneven. Its pretty easy to cut off extra if you have to tile around a window or around a plug. Make sure it goes to the bottom of the counter and to the top of your cabinets. You want a firm grip on the tiles. We used Musselbound Adhesive backing you can find it on Amazon but it’s so much cheaper at Floor and Decor where we found ours. Best investment in our project and so easy to use. After getting it up and stuck to the wall, peel off only a small section so that when you put the tile on you don’t get dust on the sticky part from the saw.
Cut ONLY your base tiles before you start. I cut about 20 of them in half so that I could have my alternating pattern. You feel pretty good about yourself until you hit a plug! I used a sharpie to make a line on the back of the tile where I needed to cut. Yes I made lots of wrong cuts, but save those tiles because you can use them under the cupboards for ones that are super short. ( one reason to get extra tile!)
Set the tile, I used 1/8 inch spacers. I wanted to use no spacers but the sales guy at floor and decor said it is easy to make mistakes when you are eyeballing it. I listened to the expert and got the smallest spacers I could find. Be careful when you are putting up your tile, you don’t want to stick it to the backing until you have it perfectly spaced. Unlike mortar you can’t pry it off again, well you can and I did a few times, but it lessens the integrity of the sticky backing.
Now that you know how to tile your backsplash you need to mix your grout. I used unsanded black grout., and I mixed it in a bucket using this cool tool I attached to my drill. Just be prepared for a mess! I did my tile before concreting my counter tops and am so glad I did, black is messy. However black is dramatic and totally worth the mess. Don’t get me wrong grout is messy no matter what color it is. Scoop up a 1/2 cup or so of grout onto your tile float (I called it a padded trowel) and start pushing it into all the cracks. It’s kinda fun and relaxing if you can get into a groove. Again only do a small section at time so it doesn’t get too dry to wipe off.
Next you are going to scrap as much grout as you can off with your trowel it makes the wiping it off so much easier, which is the last step in grouting. I used a huge spong (I think it was in our car wash supplies sorry honey) to wipe up the rest of the grout. You can rinse your sponge in the sink just keep your water running for a few minutes after to make sure all the grit is washed away.
Sealing your grout is a must, especially in a kitchen and bathroom. And hello black grout!! I used a grout sealer product that had a built in brush and just squeezed the bottle and let it drip down the grout line. I did have to wipe it off some tiles but worked like a charm with little mess.
After you have your sealer on wait a day and do one more coat just to be safe. Now you can enjoy your backsplash for years and years. I can’t believe that I tiled a backsplash! On a scale from 1-10 10 being hard I’d give this project a 7 it was the cutting of the tile that slowed me down but hello it saved me $1,000 by doing it myself.