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9 Simple Steps for Tiling Your Backsplash

One of the best ways to brighten up your kitchen is by redoing the tile of your backsplash. We have the steps to spruce up your kitchen.

Man tiling a backsplash in kitchen

You can put a lot of effort into making your kitchen look nice. New appliances, modern cabinets, a fresh coat of paint…but what about that wall? You know the one – the backsplash area. From the countertop to the upper wall cabinets, this part of your kitchen is often overlooked but converting this boring wall space is easier than you think. Learn how to tile a backsplash properly with these 9 easy steps.

Step 1: Tile Selection

First things first, tiles create a grid-like pattern, so it is important to choose tiles that fit this space. Wall installations can look better when they are vertically even and symmetrical from end to end. To avoid the hassle of having tiles cut or fill gaps, try to pick tile sizes will allow for an even install.

Step 2: Wall Prep

Next, you will want to clear your wall. Think of it as preparing your canvas. You’re going to want to remove all wall art, switch plates and outlet covers from the backsplash area. Once your wall is clear, layout your tile pattern on the floor to make sure it will fit on the wall.

Step 3: Take Measurements

Carefully measure the available area. To ensure a symmetrical layout from end-to-end, measure and mark the center point of each area being tiled.

Step 4: Choose an Adhesive Option

The next step to tile your backsplash is to choose an adhesive to stick the tile to the wall. Let's take a look at the two different adhesive options.


An organic, plant-based adhesive used to stick tile to wall or floor surfaces before grouting. Super sticky and quick setting, mastic is a great choice for dry areas. It is usually used for porcelain, glass or ceramic tiles.


Generally more expensive and slower to set, thinset is used for both indoor and outdoor applications. It also provides a strong bond and is resistant to moisture and mold growth.

Step 5: Adhesive Application

Scoop your tile mastic or thinset out of the bucket with the edge of a V-notched trowel. Use a sweeping motion to apply the adhesive across the wall. Bare sure to cover the entire application area with adhesive.

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Step 6: Tile Application

Next, start setting the tile at the bottom of your center line. Leave just enough room for a bead of caulk. You’ll want to firmly press each tile onto the wall. Continue working your way outward in both directions.

Step 7: Cut Tile for Fit

You will have tiles that need to be notched for switch boxes or wall sockets, for this you’ll need a wet saw. Luckily, you can rent a motorized wet saw from your local hardware store. Lay the tile on the sliding table and push it forward to make your initial cut. You’ll want to pull back and adjust your tile for the second cut. After your pieces are cut and applied, let your adhesive dry overnight.

Step 8: Fill the Tile Joints With Grout

Once your placed tiles have had time to dry, mix a batch of unsanded tile grout, following the directions on the carton. Scoop a portion of the grout out of the bucket and smear it across the surface of the tile diagonally to the grout lines.

Related Article:  How to clean grout

Step 9: Finish

After grouting, you are going to want to clean the surface with water and a soft sponge. Wipe across the grout line and be sure not to pull any grout from the joints. Give your grout 45 minutes to set, then you’re ready to apply caulk. Apply a thin bead of tub-and-tile caulk into the joint at the bottom of your backsplash, in corners and between the tile and any cabinets. Voila! Youa have now successfully completed your diy backsplash. 

Ready for more DIY projects? We have plenty of ideas for sprucing up your kitchen. We can walk you through projects like deep cleaning your kitchen and unclogging that kitchen sink drain. That’s not all – you can be sure components of your appliancesand systems are covered with a home warranty plan from American Home Shield®. With a variety of plans priced to fit your budget, you can make sure your new appliances are covered, while also protecting your budget. 

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