Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to tile a backsplash

I have had several questions about my back splash, so I thought I would post step-by-step instructions on how to tile, so that you too can tile your back splash.
This project only cost $115 and took less than an afternoon to do. So worth it!!!!

I purchased all my supplies (tile, thin set, grout, and tools) at Lowe's.

Step 1: Measure the surface area that you are going to tile

Multiply the length of your back splash area by the width of your back splash area to find the total square footage.

Step 2: Prepare your wall/ Cut Cement Board

Make sure to clean the wall that you are going to tile with an abrasive cleaner. Then, use your measurements to cut the cement board to size. This material is hard, but not too difficult to cut through. Use a razor knife to score one side, then turn the board over to finish the cut. Use caution when cutting to avoid pulling the mesh off the board.

Because my back splash is such a small area and the tiles are not heavy at all, I did use cement board. If you are planning on doing a bigger area, such as a back splash that goes all the way up to the ceiling, or if you are using heavy tiles then I recommend that you use cement board.

Once all the pieces of cement board are cut, lay them out to make sure it's a tight fit.
Secure the cement board to the floor using a drill with screwdriver attachment. Use special cement-board screws, and place them every 6 to 8 inches.

Step 3: Decide where to start

For my black splash, I thought it was most logical to start in the corner and work my way out.

Step 4: Spread Adhesive

Work in small sections. Spread the adhesive smoothly and evenly with a trowel. You'll want the adhesive to be about as thick as the tiles you're working with.
Lay all of the tiles that don't need to be cut first, and leave space for the tiles that are going to need to be cut. Then you can go back and tackle the tricky cuts toward the end. This really helped the job run quicker and smoother for me.

Step 5: Set Tiles in Place

Set the first tile into place and press it firmly into the adhesive. For the second tile, remember to line up the pattern and check the spacing before setting it into place.

Step 6: Cut Tile

The easiest way to cut individual tiles is with a wet saw. It uses water to keep the blade from getting too hot as it makes the cuts. Set the length wanted and guide the tile through the blade. You can rent a wet saw, or if you have just a few cuts to be made you can take it into Home Depot or Lowe's and they will cut it for you as long as you purchased it there.

Step 7: Grout

When mixing grout make sure it is creamy and easy to spread. Use "sanded"grout for larger spacing, "unsanded" grout for closer laid tiles. I used "unsanded" grout for this project.
Using a grout float, place a glob of grout on the tile and push it around the openings. Let it set for about 20 minutes then wipe the tiles with a damp sponge. Once the grout has hardened, buff the tile with a dry cloth.

Step 8: Seal grout

There are so many types of grout sealers. Some are a liquid that gets sponged on, and some are a spray. I used one that I sponged on. Make sure to seal the grout well to prevent staining.

Good Luck and Thanks for Reading!!!
Please click on the links on my "Favorite Places to Link" page to check out the linky parties that I have joined.

The DIY Showoff


  1. thank you..You did a great job!

  2. i have been so afraid of doing my tile backsplash, but now I will!!

  3. Hi Emily, you did a great job on your backsplash. Congratulations. I found and am now following you through My Romantic Home and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  4. Love this redo! Thanks for sharing, I love the white and decorative tile.


  5. Just beautiful Emily and a great tutorial! We just shared it on our Facebook page! :)



Thank you so very much for your sweet comment!!!