How To Tile A Backsplash

Materials You’ll Need:

  • New tiles
  • Tile spacers
  • Pre-mixed thin-set mortar
  • Pre-mixed grout
  • ⅛” V-notched trowel
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Ceramic tile cutter
  • Caulking gun
  • Dropcloth and rags
  • Wet tile saw or grinder with a smooth diamond blade

Step One

Clear the countertop and turn off the power to your kitchen. (We recommend consulting a qualified electrician before performing electrical work.) Plug in a small appliance to test that the power is off.

Step Two

Remove wall plates and old caulking.

​Step Three

Test fit your bottom row of tiles by laying them on the counter against the wall. Be sure to use your tile spacers in between each tile to get an even placement. Mark your end tile where it will need to be cut to fit.

Test fit bottom row

Test fit your bottom row of tiles.

measure end tile

Measure and cut the end tile to fit.

Step Four

Use a tile cutter to score and snap the end tile you just marked. 

Step Five

Apply thin-set mortar to the first section of your wall. Then press your bottom row of tiles into the mortar. Again, be sure to use your tile spacers as you place each tile.

apply mortar in small sections
Step Six

Continue adding tiles from the bottom up. Repeating steps 3 through 5 as needed. It’s best to work in small sections.

Step Seven

Once all tiles have been placed, clean up your workspace and let the freshly tiled wall set for 24 hours.​ 

continue adding tiles
Step Eight

Now that the tiles are set, you can remove the spacers and apply grout. Work in small sections, pressing the grout into the gaps between each tile.

apply grout
Step Nine

After 5-10 minutes, rinse the tiles with a damp sponge. Be sure to apply even pressure and rinse your sponge frequently. Remove any haze with a slightly damp sponge.  

Step Ten

Clean up your workspace and let the grout set for 24 hours. 

Step Eleven

Apply silicone caulk to tile edges. Smooth the caulk as you go with a moistened finger.

apply the silicone caulk
Step Twelve

Reinstall your cover plates and turn the power back on.