DIY Network

How to Install a Porcelain Tile Backsplash

Host Paul Ryan gives instructions on how to apply a custom concrete and porcelain backsplash.

More in Kitchen

  • Time

    Weekend

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

Highlights:

Step 1: Install the Concrete Backsplash

Apply dollops (not lines -- globs or dollops will ensure better adhesion) of 100-percent silicone to the middle of the concrete stone.

Note: Be sure not to apply the dollops of silicone too close to the edge of the concrete stone so none will spill out onto the countertop.

Press the pieces into place.

install concrete backsplash

Step 2: Find a Starting Point and Cut the Tiles

In this project, we wanted a smooth transition from the concrete backsplash up to the maple cabinets with this beautiful porcelain (Image 1) backsplash.

For installing the porcelain backsplash, Ryan demonstrates a great technique where instead of using a tile joint to adjoin the tiles, you use a "butt joint" (Image 2 -- where the tiles are joined right together). By not using the grout, you'll save time and money.

Find the center of the wall to determine the starting point. Mark a line where you'll begin to place a tile on either side.

Cut the tiles with a wet saw, which can be rented for approximately $40 to $50 a day.

Step 3: Set the Tiles

Before placing the tile, lay a piece of masking tape along the edge of the backsplash to protect the concrete surface. You always want to protect "exposed" concrete surfaces when installing a backsplash.

Apply mastic adhesion to the walls evenly at a 45-degree angle using a V-notch trowel. Use enough pressure to keep the trowel's tip pressed against the drywall. Note: You want to use a V-notch trowel because the adhesion will be more evenly distributed on the wall.

Press the tiles into the adhesive and give them a wiggle to set them into place.

protect exposed concrete surfaces with tape

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