DIY Network

How to Create A Colorful Glass Tile Backsplash

Create a custom kitchen backsplash with inexpensive glass tiles and marbles. This colorful, geometric design will give your kitchen a bright, fresh look.

More in Kitchen

  • Time


  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Create the Pattern Template

Measure the dimensions of the backsplash. Using a large sheet of paper or cardboard, transfer the measurements to the paper, then use scissors to cut a template. Set the template in place and tweak it until it fits the backsplash area perfectly. Be sure to mark the spaces where the outlets will go.

Lay the template on a horizontal surface. Place the tiles and marbles on the template, arranging them until you get the pattern you want. If the tiles are mounted on paper, cut the paper to free up individual tiles or smaller groups of tiles to create the pattern.

Step 2: Adhere the Tile to the Wall

Get the thinset, 3/16" V-notched trowel, grout and grout float. Use the trowel to spread the thinset onto the wall. Cover only as much area as you can handle within 10 to 15 minutes, or for as long as the thinset remains tacky.

"Back butter" the tiles (spread adhesive directly on them), then set the tile sheets with the paper side facing out. Add the marbles as you work until the whole pattern is on the wall.

Wait 15 to 20 minutes for the thinset to bond. Begin wiping down the paper with a damp sponge and warm water. Rub lightly to avoid disturbing the tile placement. The paper facing will begin to darken as the water is absorbed.

After two to three minutes, test a corner of the paper sheet. Pull lightly downward at an angle instead of straight out. If the sheet does not easily pull away, sponge it again until the paper releases.

Wait 24 hours for the adhesive to fully bond.

Step 3: Grout and Clean the Tile

Use the drill and mixing bit to mix the grout in the bucket according to the manufacturer's specifications. It should be approximately the consistency of cake batter when you're done.

Use the hard rubber grout float to spread the prepared grout at a 45 degree angle (on a diagonal) across the tile field. After grouting the area, wait 20 minutes before you start to clean off the excess.

Wipe the excess grout off, first with a dry cloth, such as cheesecloth or any other lint-free cloth, to remove excess grout on the tile surface. Follow up with a sponge and warm water. The less water used, the better; too much water can weaken the grout before it sets.