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Install a Kitchen Backsplash

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Kitchen Backsplash DIY?

The kitchen is one of the most used spaces in the home. It is often one of the first remodels that get done in a home, as the kitchen needs to be able to stand up to the daily abuse and use that the typical household requires. There will be accidents, spills, broken kitchenware etc. One way you can add a touch of DIY home improvement is to add a backsplash around the sink and countertops.

What Material to Use?

Backsplash being finished out.

There are lots of tile materials you can use to DIY install a backsplash in for your kitchen home improvement. The choice of the material will ultimately be up to you and your budget. Let’s look at some common choices for a backsplash.

  • Tile – Probably the most common backsplash material. It stands up to the abuse and is resistant to water intrusion, as tile does not rot. It is easy to clean, and requires little maintenance. The grout will need to be cleaned from time to time as it tends to trap food particles and dust. Overall this is an excellent choice for a kitchen backsplash.
  •  Paint – You can simply use water resistant paint, and create a design with painters tape to create the illusion of a tile backsplash.
  • Glass – Mirrors have been commonly used for backsplash material. Glass can look very nice when the décor is appropriate.
  • Metal – You can use stainless steel or other material such as tin or bark siding for a unique backsplash creation.

There are many other options and materials you can recycle to create a backsplash for your kitchen. Keep in mind its purpose, and what you need to get out of it for it to achieve your goal. It should be water resistant, and not allow water to seep between the backsplash and the countertop surface to trap water. Water is your biggest antagonist when it comes to anything wood in the kitchen, especially getting trapped ender the countertop or around the sink. It can cause mold growth and end up turning into a big problem if not taken care of promptly. Be sure your backsplash serves to minimize and help prevent water intrusion.



What Tools You Need

To install your own DIY backsplash from tile, you will need a few tools.

  • Tile – There are several shapes and sizes of tile you can use, be sure to get a smooth surface that does not soak up water or moisture.
  • Tile grout – You need to use tile grout designed for kitchen use.
  • Tape measure – You need to measure the area you are installing a backsplash, and use your measurements to know how much material you will need for your DIY project.
  • Level – You need to use a level to ensure your tile rows are lined up and level. You do not want a slope in your backsplash. The level can act as a straight edge as well.
  • Tile nippers – You may need to cut some tile to fit the wall. Be sure to make straight even cuts and keep the tile flush and squared up.
  • Hand trowel – You will need a trowel to spread your grout and set the tiles.
  • Rubber grout float – This will make it easier to keep the tile level and square when setting it in place.
  • Caulking gun – You will need a caulking gun to seal up where the tile backsplash meets the countertop, and up the corners.
  • Silicone sealant – You will want to use a silicone sealant, it is water proof and will help stand up to the water and abuse.

You project may require other tools; these are the essentials to make your project go smoothly.

Install Your Backsplash

Spreading grout across tile with adhesive mesh behind.

We all know the first thing you will need to do is prep the work area. Lay out drop cloths to keep tools, and materials from scratching or getting grout on your countertops while you’re installing your backsplash.

  1. When installing your own DIY backsplash you will need to prep the surface, remove old wallpapering or any textured area that will cause your backsplash to have bumps or imperfections. It is similar to prepping the sub floor before installing any type of flooring, you want the subsurface to be ready to receive the new material.
  2. Lay out your tiles starting from a given point, typically the corner or edge. Work it from the bottom up, laying grout in a couple feet area. This way you do not spread to much grout and not have time to set the tiles in place.
  3. Use your float and trowel to get the grout even and thick enough to hold the tiles properly. Keep a clean rag to wipe away excess grout on the tile. Work across the bottom row, and when you get to the end start back at the beginning. It is a good idea to nip a half tile to offset the pattern and give it a better pattern. Continue adding tile in this manner, starting with a half tile every other row. Finish your pattern of tiles taking your time to space them evenly and keep the rows even and level.
  4. Once the tiles are set and you have allowed some time to dry, then you can go back with your caulking and seal up with a bead of silicone to finish up the project.
  5. Clean up the work area, and enjoy your new backsplash!

Diying your own backsplash is a great DIY home improvement you can tackle over a weekend and really get some great function out of, as well as increase the value of the home and up the curb appeal. Remember, if you ever find yourself in need of professional assistance with any of your home improvements that your friends at Tenlist.com will always connect you with trusted local contractors. As always, good luck and happy DIYing!

Images Credit – Pinterest