Installing Your Stone Or Ceramic Tile Backsplash

You will be laying your stone or ceramic tile backsplash to that special section of your wall located between your counter and your upper kitchen cabinets.  Kitchen backsplashes are typically 18 inches long and 12 to 20 feet wide, giving you just enough space to create your backsplash masterpiece!

Installing your kitchen backsplash tiles is much the same as tiling a wall, except you can be a lot more creative with choosing your Kitchen backsplash tiles.

And Since  kitchen backsplashes are a much smaller space to tile than a whole wall tile installation,  makes it much more affordable to choose the more expensive bathroom and kitchen backsplash tiles, because you will be using a lot less of them.

Preparing For  Your Stone Or Ceramic Tile Backsplash Wall Tile Installation

* Before you begin installing your kitchen backsplash tiles, If you have free-standing appliances, you'll want to pull your stove and refrigerator out from the wall.

* Then you'll want to remove the old backsplash tiles. Some folks may have wallpaper or other wall coverings, which will also need to be stripped down, and chipped paint scraped or for a glossy paint finish primed. Last, of all you'll need to repair any damaged drywall or plaster.

* If you have any wall switches or electrical receptacles, the covers will need to be removed.

To remove receptacle and switch covers, make sure the electricity is turned off at the central panel. Then back out the screws that are holding the receptacles and switches. Then remove the screws holding each receptacle and switch in its box.

If you find any connections with wires that are exposed, wrap them with electrical tape before you turn the power back on. To reattach the switches and receptacles you'll need to purchase longer screws at home goods or electrical supply because the flange will now sit on top of your new kitchen backsplash tiles.

* You'll want to start by installing a whole kitchen backsplash tile at an open end of the kitchen cabinets. Meaning the place where your kitchen cabinets end, but the wall continues. 

*Some kitchens have two free ends to their kitchen cabinets. But In a lot of cases, the Refrigerator covers one end of the kitchen tile backsplash, So If this is the style of kitchen design you have, Then start at the open end that's most visual when entering the kitchen. 

*Other kitchen designs may have a door at an open end, and the upper kitchen cabinets butt up against the door molding, If this is your style of kitchen, you can simply install your kitchen backsplash tiles up to the molding as well. 

Otherwise, you can use bullnose tiles for your first verticle row, but align them with the upper kitchen cabinets rather than the kitchen counter which most likely extends further along the wall.

* The Tile adhesive you use for installing your Stone kitchen  backsplash tiles  would be Thinset. For Ceramic wall tile designs you will be using Tile Mastic.

* If you want to add something unique to your kitchen tile backsplash, How about an eye-catching decorative tile mural on the wall behind your range? Or if your sink falls in the center of your kitchen tile backsplash You can even install a decorative tile mural right to the wall behind.

You can either purchase your decorative tile mural from a tile supplier and choose from the huge array of selections available. Or you can even create your own. But you'll need to either remove some of your existing kitchen backsplash tiles or install it before your new backsplash wall tile installation. 

Step 1- Start Your Stone Or Ceramic Tile Backsplash at an open end 

 To start your stone tile or ceramic tile backsplash  installation Use a pencil and your bubble level, to draw a line from the outer edge of the upper cabinets to the countertop. 

Step 2-Spread Your Tile Adhesive To Your Stone Or Ceramic Tile Backsplash And Set Your First Row Of Tiles

Spread your tile adhesive to about a 2 to 3-foot section of the wall, from the open end line. Then install a row of kitchen backsplash tiles to this area. Start at the point where the end line and the kitchen countertop meet. 

If you're not using self-spacing tiles, use plastic spacers between each tile and also between the tiles and the adjacent surfaces, such as the top of the kitchen countertop and the bottom of the kitchen cabinets. 

Also, place 1/8 spacers between your tiles and the adjacent surfaces, such as the joints between your kitchen backsplash tiles and your kitchen countertop and the top of your kitchen cabinets. The joint between your tiles and the kitchen countertop will be caulked later on.

Lay about 2 feet of tiles across the countertop, And then add a row of tiles on top of that. Press the tiles into the adhesive with your hands, and stop one tile short of the end. Move up the wall with tiles in this same way

Step 3- Cutting Your Tiles For Your Stone Or Ceramic Tile Backsplash

Your tile cutting tool Depends on the type of tiles your using. For Stone Tiles and thick ceramic tiles use a wet saw. For thin Ceramic tile designs use a snap cutter.

If needed Cut your backsplash tiles on the top edge, so they fit neatly up under your upper kitchen cabinet.  

If your backsplash turns a corner, you'll  need first to cut your last row of vertical kitchen backsplash tiles to fit. Then save the scrap tiles from each cut and use them as your first vertical row, for finishing up the corner on the adjacent wall. When you do It this way, you create the illusion that the kitchen tile backsplash is turning the corner. 

If you run into switches and receptacles Use a tape measure and a pencil to mark your tiles for cuts, you'll need to surround these switches and receptacles with tile, and the tile should extend to the edge of the box.

Don't forget to leave room for the screws at the center of the top and bottom of the boxes.

Step 4- Finish Up Your Stone Or Ceramic Tile Backsplash

Once you've run out of your first batch of tile adhesive on the wall, use a beater board and rubber mallet to set the tiles you've already laid into place. And if you're using powder Thinset, you'll need to mix up another batch of tile adhesive. Either way, apply your tile adhesive and lay another 2 feet of kitchen backsplash tiles. And continue in this way until you complete the entire wall tile installation.

You don't have to tile very far behind your range and refrigerator, but you do want to install enough tiles to give the illusion that the wall is completely tiled behind them. So For your refrigerator, you only need to extend your tiles about one foot beyond the edge of your fridge. 

Ranges are taller than countertops, so you can simply continue your backsplash tiles along the level of the countertop to the range.

Step 5- Grouting Your New Stone Or Ceramic Tile Backsplash

Allow your tile adhesive to cure for at least 12 hours; Then it's safe to grout your new kitchen tile backsplash.

You could grout your new kitchen tile backsplash in the joint where the kitchen backsplash tiles and kitchen countertop meet.

It goes unnoticeable, but kitchen countertops tend to move. And if not given enough flexibility can cause not only the grout to chip and crack but also your beautiful new kitchen backsplash tiles. 

it's better to leave the joint open, allow the grout to dry, and then fill it with a silicone caulk that matches your grout color.

If you have used an epoxy grout, you will not need to seal your grout, but any other type of grout is porous and always needs to be sealed.

If your kitchen backsplash tiles require sealing, simply seal the grout and the tiles together.

Leaving Ceramic Tile Backsplash - Go To Kitchen Tile Ideas