Here's everything you need to know to tile a backsplash in your home.
Tiling a backsplash adds style to any kitchen - and often color and value! Plus, it's project that is more simple than you think. Follow the videos below to get a beautiful new backsplash this weekend!
Add color and pattern to your kitchen with a tile backsplash. Follow these simple steps to complete this project in a weekend. You'll need mosaic tiles, a box cutter, mastic or thinset mortar, a notched trowel, spacers and the tile cutter or tile nipper. Dry fit your tiles by laying them out on a flat surface. If your tile is multicolored, make sure light colors do not touch. This will save you time as you put tiles on the wall. If you only need to use part of a sheet, use a box cutter to cut through the mesh backing starting from the bottom of the wall and working your way up. Apply a layer of mastic or thinset mortar spreading evenly. Hold the edge of the notched trowel at a 45-degree angle to the wall dragging it to make ridges in the thinset. This help the tiles stick securely to the wall. Working small sections so your mastic or thinset mortar doesn't get too dry before you can apply the tile. Position and press the tile sheet to the wall, working your way up from the counter. Apply firm and even pressure with your hands to ensure a solid bond. Use plastic spacers between the tile sheets and the countertop to keep the spacing even as you press adjacent tile sheets into place. Continue placing tile on the wall based on the dry fit pattern. Use a tile cutter to make clean, straight cuts for custom fit pieces around the window or outlet boxes. Continue until the backsplash is covered. After your mortar has cured for the recommended time, you're ready for grout.
-Once you've installed new tile and the mastic is cured, the next step is grout. For this job, you need plastic sheeting, masking or painter's tape, grout, two clean buckets, a grout float, putty knife, a sponge, a couple of soft cloths, grout sealer, and caulk. Before you begin, protect your countertop with plastic sheeting using tape to hold it in place. First, mix the grout with water using a putty knife according to package directions. Mix until the consistency resembles creamy peanut butter. Let the grout stand for five minutes. Next, spread the grout onto the tile, hold the float at a 45-degree angle and firmly push the grout into the spaces between the tiles using a diagonal motion. If you are grouting a large area, work in small manageable sections. Avoid grouting where the tile meets the countertop, window, or wall. This area will be caulked. After the grout has cured for 10 to 15 minutes, use a barely damped sponge and warm water to wipe the excess grout off the face of the tile. Rinse the sponge often and repeat until the tiles are clean and the haze is gone. It's important to have a barely damped sponge so as not to disturb the grout lines. Once the grout has set for a few hours or even overnight, use a soft cloth to buff any remaining hazy film off of the tiles. Allow the grout to cure and harden for at least 24 hours. After the grout has dried completely, seal the grout to prevent stains. Then, caulk where the backsplash meets the countertop and to any corners. Apply an even bead of caulk and wipe the line with a barely damped sponge. Next, run your fingertip across the wet caulk and follow again with a barely damped sponge until you have a crisp line. When the caulk is dried, you're ready to enjoy your new backsplash.
-If your grout looks dull and dingy, a good cleaning will have it looking fresh and new. Cleaning options range from the commercial, to the completely natural. Before beginning to clean with any product, prep the area by wiping it down with a wet cloth. One natural cleaning solution is a simple paste of two parts baking soda and one part water. Use a grout brush or old toothbrush to apply the paste to the grout lines. To get twice the scrubbing power, use an old electric toothbrush. Clean all of the grout lines then rinse the area with water. If your grout is stained or discolored, replace the water with vinegar and the baking soda paste. Careful it doesn't bubble over. Apply the paste to the grout and allow it to set a few minutes before scrubbing. Then rinse well. If you have coarse tiles, such as marble, test this method in an inconspicuous area since the acidic vinegar could stain the tile. Hydrogen peroxide is a less acidic option than vinegar. Mix one part peroxide with two parts baking soda. Apply this paste to the grout, scrub, and rinse. There are also plenty of commercial grout cleaners designed to do the job. Just follow the manufacturer's directions to clean your grout when using these products. No matter which cleaning option you choose, allow the grout to dry for 24 hours then use a sealer to preserve all of your hard work. Whether you use store-bought cleaners, or go with natural option, clean grout improves the look and extends the life of your tile.