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Upgrade Your Kitchen – How to Install a Tile Backsplash

kitchen tile backsplash installation example

Improving the look of your kitchen doesn’t have to feel like an overwhelming task. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and put in some work, you can install an attractive kitchen tile backsplash in this D.I.Y. project. It will not only look great and potentially increase your home’s value, but also be easy to clean. Here are is an overview of what is required to install a kitchen tile backsplash.

Choose Tiles

According to the Fireclay Tile company, there are a number of things to consider when choosing your kitchen backsplash tiles. Here is what you need to think about:

  • Tile color
  • Backsplash height
  • Tile material
  • Countertops
  • Shape and pattern
  • Budget

Prepare the Wall

Assuming you’ve picked out a great tile to use for your kitchen tile backsplash, it’s now time to prepare the wall for the tiles. To start, cut  off power to the kitchen. Then, remove outlet and switch covers and pull any appliances away from the wall. After this, you can begin taping around outlets and where the wall meets the countertop.

Continue by attaching a ledger board. This acts as a support for the tiles until the adhesive sets.

Degloss all glossy wall surfaces by using a trisodium phosphate wall prep solution.

Use a level to check for evenness in the wall. If there are dips or bulges, use joint compound to smooth out the surface. Once it’s dry, sand and prime.

Plan Your Tile Layout

Find where the tile center will be and mark it. Then, lay out the tiles on your counter horizontally in order to see how the ends look. You may need to cut tiles to fit perfectly – just make sure that you’re not using too small of tile pieces on the ends. If needed, adjust to one side slightly. Continue by measuring for vertical alignment. Keep an extra ⅛ inch gap on top and bottom for expansion.

Installing the Kitchen Tile Backsplash

Begin by applying the tile adhesive to the wall, working in small sections as you go. Now, take your trowel and comb over the adhesive. You’re now ready to begin attaching the tiles. Press the first tile section onto the wall with a rubber float. Leave a ⅛ inch gap above the counter height.

Continue with the next pieces by using spacers to keep an exact distance. To avoid the compound drying out too quickly, add more adhesive only when you’re ready to tile each area. Cut tile pieces as needed. Then, let your adhesive dry for 24 hours before going to the next step.


Now, you will apply your grout between the tiles. Use a rubber float to push the grout over and into the tile joints. After ten minutes, wipe any excess away using a wet sponge in a diagonal motion. After the grout has dried, apply a grout sealer to finish.

Finish installing your kitchen tile backsplash by caulking the ⅛ inch expansion gaps and adding outlet and switch box extenders so that they are level with the new tile. Replace the electrical covers and clean up! For a more in-depth guide to installing a kitchen tile backsplash, head on over here for Lowe’s kitchen improvement guide.

Installing a new kitchen tile backsplash is a great D.I.Y. project that can enhance your home’s appearance and value. Make sure your home and all the hard work you’ve put into it is protected by getting home warranty coverage. Have a look at everything our plans cover then choose the right one for your home today!

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