Making Decorative Tile Murals to Create Eye Catching Focal Points Above the Range!


Creating decorative tile murals for your kitchen can be very rewarding, from beginning to end. You're creating something special for your friends, family and visitors to enjoy the beauty and warmth it generates with every visit to your kitchen.

There's no need to feel limited to this Mural tile pattern; you can choose from a wide variety of decorative ceramic tiles, Stone tiles or even glass wall tile designs. You also have the choice of using any number of the Mosaic Tile patterns to create your decorative tile murals. It's all about what you like.

The example here is using standard Ceramic kitchen backsplash tiles turned on the diagonal for making decorative tile murals. But this is just enough of a tease to get your creative juices flowing.

Standard kitchen backsplashes are about eighteen inches high except for over the range or cooktop. There may be a range hood top or microwave that's installed higher up the wall than the surrounding kitchen cabinets.

You have the choice of laying standard kitchen backsplash tiles to this area over the range and between the kitchen cabinets, or you can create focal points to kitchen backsplashes by installing decorative tile murals.

You can create these eye-catching focal points to kitchen backsplashes in the area underneath kitchen cabinets over the sink or in between kitchen cabinets over the range. And because your tiling such a small area, the cost will be reasonable, even if you use the most expensive of stone or glass tiles!

You can use your choice from any number of Stone or decorative ceramic tiles, or you can use standard kitchen backsplash tiles and install them diagonally with a frame as in the example below.

Creating Decorative Tile Murals

Before you begin creating your tile mural you'll want to make sure your walls are in good condition, And if needed, patch up any holes or dings to your dry-wall or plaster. This way your tiling job will be durable, lasting and look more professional. 

If you're installing your tile mural to the back of your range, And if you can, move the range of the way. If you can't,  just cover it with a drop cloth. Then create a workplace on the floor with either a sheet of plywood or sturdy cardboard.

Step 1- Dry-Lay Your Mural Frame

Begin by dry-laying your mural tiles on the surface of your plywood or cardboard. By dry-laying your tiles, you're just creating the image of your decorative tile murals, so you can create the look you want before permanently installing it to the wall. 

It should be a few inches smaller than the space where you'll be installing it, so you'll have enough space to surround the tile mural with your regular kitchen backsplash tiles. 

Plan it so you'll have room to lay a full row of your kitchen backsplash tiles above and below the tile mural.

Start your dry-layout at the center of the bottom of your tile mural, and use your choice of picture frame tiles for framing. Complete your bottom line in both directions, and cut the ends at forty-five-degree angles, as if you were making a picture frame.

Step 2- Finish Up On Dry-laying Decorative Tile Murals

While still working on the floor dry-lay your first row of mural tiles inside of your frame. In this case, they are your standard kitchen backsplash tiles turned 45 degrees, creating a diagonal tile installation.

Whenever you install tiles diagonally, it's written in stone that you'll run into gaps on the ends where a full tile won't fit. To fill in these empty triangle spaces, You'll simply need to cut some full tiles in half, diagonally. 

Depending on the type of tiles you're using you can either make the cuts with a wet saw or a snap cutter. After cutting all the tiles, you need, Proceed up the tile mural by adding a picture frame and your mural tiles, one row at a time.

Step 3- Measure, Draw And Snap Chalk Your Reference Lines

Find your mid point between the two upper kitchen cabinets on each side of your range., or below the kitchen cabinets over the sink. 

If you do not have upper cabinets, simply find the mid point above your range or sink. And use a bubble level to draw a vertical reference line at that point.

Using a tape measure and level mark off the perimeter of your kitchen mural so that it's centered. Then snap chalk diagonal chalk lines to the wall that represent the same tile grid you earlier dry-laid on the floor.

Step 4- Dry-lay Your First Row Of Your Regular Kitchen Backsplash Tiles

Typically you would lay your first row of regular kitchen backsplash tiles straight up from your countertop because the first row of tiles would be supported by the upper lip or the back edge of the countertop surface, and if you're creating your tile mural for over the sink that's just where you'll start.

But there is no countertop behind the range to hold that first row of tiles, so you'll need to install a horizontal batten board on the wall. To work as a shelf to support not only the regular kitchen backsplash tiles that will be surrounding your tile mural but also the decorative tile mural itself. 

You'll want to install the batten so that the top is level with the surrounding countertop.

Dry lay your bottom row of the kitchen backsplash tiles you will be using to surround your tile mural on the batten.  Extend your tiles all the way to the ends of the wall, and place spacers between each tile as you go.

Check for the cuts you'll need to make for the end tiles. If the end tiles result in needing half cuts or more, Great! You're ready to install your tiles. If your end tiles need to be cut more than half a tile, you'll need to rearrange the tiles so you'll end up with half tiles or better for the end cuts.

The reason you're doing this is that less than half tile cuts look unprofessional. And we're in it to create a look that's professional.

Step 5- Install Your First Row And Your Tile Mural

If you are installing natural stone tiles or glass tiles and don't have the already mixed kind, Mix up a batch of Thinset tile adhesive. If you are using, Ceramic backsplash tiles use already mixed tile mastic tile adhesive.

Apply your tile adhesive to the area and install the first row of your regular kitchen backsplash tiles. You'll complete the full course of these kitchen backsplash tiles after finishing the tile mural.

Now that you have your first row of field tiles installed, it's time for installing your tile mural. The mural tiles go up just like any other wall tiles, from the bottom upward.

Transfer your dry laid mural tiles from the floor to the wall.Then move up to the next course of mural tiles, and tile your way all the way up.

Step 6- Finish Up On Installing Your Regular Kitchen Backsplash Tiles

Once you're done installing your decorative tile mural, the next step is in completing the installation of your regular kitchen backsplash tiles.

Work your way up the wall while maintaining your grout lines. Cut your half tiles or better for the ends, and continue to lay your kitchen backsplash tiles around the perimeter of the tile mural.

Once your mastic or Thinset tile adhesive has cured overnight, you can grout your kitchen backsplash tiles and your decorative tile mural together.

Leaving Decorative Tile Mural< >Going To Tile Backsplash

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