DIY Network

How to Install a Kitchen Backsplash

The Sweat Equity team shows how to install a kitchen backsplash.

More in Kitchen

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  • Time


  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Cover the Cabinets and Counters

The travertine tiles we are installing are pre-spaced on mesh sheets, eliminating the need to use spacers between each tile.
Use a 1/8" shim or spacers between the bottom tiles and the countertop to allow space for caulking.
Clean the face of the tile during the install process to save yourself the stress of trying to clean off the dried adhesive.

Cover the counters and any adjacent cabinets with tape and paper to keep them clean.

Step 2: Lay Out the Tile

Before starting, lay out the tile in the desired pattern to determine the cuts you will need to make and the obstacles like outlets and windowsills.

Step 3: Apply the Adhesive to the Wall

Using a pre-mixed tile adhesive makes the job go quicker, very smoothly and with a lot less mess. Apply the adhesive to the wall by holding the notched trowel at a 45-degree angle.

Step 4: Press the Tile Into the Adhesive

Firmly press the tile into the adhesive and give it a wiggle to make sure it creates the necessary suction to set properly.

Step 5: Continue Laying the Tile

Continue laying tile, cutting around any obstructions using the tile saw.

Step 6: Apply the Grout and Sealant

When finished, wait for the adhesive to dry and apply grout and sealant.

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