Ceramic tiles offer durability, variety in texture and finish, and flexibility in matching and mixing, all precious assets in interior design and decorating. Ceramic tiles are also well suited to work surfaces and walls that are subjected to on-going wear and tear. When people consider installing ceramic tile backsplashes within their homes, they immediately think of the kitchen. The backsplash keeps water and debris from hitting the wall area near the sink, resulting in less frequent repainting of the walls.
Do you want to give your kitchen a boost without spending excessive amounts of money and time? Installing a ceramic tile backsplash is an excellent option.
Advantages of a Ceramic Tile Backsplash:
• Ceramic tile is easy to clean and when it is treated properly, it should last for years.
• Ceramic tile is also durable and able to withstand pots and pans that knock against it.
• Ceramic tile resists fire and heat. Installing the backsplash behind a stove in the kitchen keeps the wall from becoming too hot. The backsplash surface may become warm but the under-surface of the tile stays cool.
Before Purchasing Tiles, Take in Consideration:
• What color are Kitchen cabinets? If your cabinets are dark, maybe you need a light color backsplash.
• What colors are the walls, counter top, and floor? You need a backsplash in color contrast (but in harmony) with them.
• What color are your appliances? You need the color of appliances to match with the backsplash color.
• Do you have under cabinets lighting? If you have under cabinets lighting a medium tone color backsplash would look great.
• Measure the area you want to cover and determine the total surface area for your project. You will want to order about 10% more than the area to cover so you have enough pieces for any cuts and accidental breakages.
• Calculate for any trim tile at borders, accents, and edges to ensure you get all the types of tile you need. Our subway tile has companion bull nose pieces with a rounded edge that we’ll use for a nice finish at the exposed edges.
• Consider the wall surface to which you’ll be attaching the tile as well. For typical application over standard drywall, such as in our kitchen project, pre-mixed acrylic mastic can be used.
• The final material decision you’ll need to make is the grout selection. Grout is used to fill the voids between the tiles and is available in different types and many colors.
Tools and Materials:
Tiles; Grout; Adhesive; Trowel; Wet saw; Tile cutter; Bucket; Rubber gloves; Sponge; Spacers; Level; Measure tape; Protection paper; Carborundum stone.
Ceramic Tile Backsplash Installation:
You need to protect any countertop, surfaces and fixtures with a protection paper or with a drop cloth.
Check with your supplier to see if the tile you have chosen requires a specific substrate.
Kitchen Backsplash Ideas (video)
Tile can be installed over most structurally sound substrates if they are clean, smooth and dry. Scrap down any rough or high spots on the wall. The wall surface doesn’t have to be perfectly. smooth, but you want to remove any high spots to prevent wobbly tiles.
Before beginning the installation of your ceramic tile kitchen backsplash, make certain your countertop or countertop return is level. If necessary, insert shims between the lower cabinets and the countertop material to make it level.
Turn the power off to any electrical outlets within or near your work space.
Installation begins with the application of the mastic to the wall surface. Select the right adhesive for the substrate you’re using. Carefully read and follow all instructions and precautions on the adhesive or mortar package. Mix only enough to be used within 30 minutes.
• Use the trowel with 1/4” teeth to evenly spread a bed of mastic.
• Work in small areas (approx. 10 sq. ft. at a time) to allow for time to set the tiles before the mastic dries.
• Do not spread the mastic on too thick or it will fill the grout lines.
• Excess adhesive can be removed from joints with a utility knife.
1. Start by installing the tiles on the bottom row.
• Use 1/4″ spacers to hold the tile off the countertop for a good caulking joint.
• In setting the tile, press each piece firmly into the mastic, twisting the tile slightly to get the best coverage with the mastic.
• Remove any excess mastic from the joints so you’ll have room for grout.
2. Cutting ceramic tile:
• To start the second row, we need a half tile. Measure tiles to be cut carefully and mark with a pencil or felt-tip pen.
• Make straight or diagonal cuts with a tile cutter and curved cuts with a nipper. For best results on curved cuts, only chip small pieces at a time.
• For more complicated cuts and notches, such as around outlets and window sills, use a wet saw.
• Smooth sharp edges with a carborundum stone.
3. Most tile backsplashes will require some sort of transition to a different wall finish surface. You can use, for example, bull nose tiles along the open edges.
4. Grouting joints: After allowing for sufficient drying/setting up time you can begin grouting. Once the tile is set, it is a good idea to double-check the joints to be sure they are clean enough for the grouting process. Typically, letting the tile set overnight gives the tile enough time to achieve proper adhesion to the wall.
• Mix in small batches – only enough to be used within 30 minutes.
• Remove tile spacers and using a rubber grout float, spread grout over the tile surface, forcing it down into the joints.
• Tilt the float at a 45-degree angle. Remove excess grout from wall surface immediately with the edge of float.
• Tilt it at a 90-degree angle and scrape it diagonally across tiles.
• After approximately 15 minutes the grout will have set slightly and you can use a damp sponge to clean residue from tile surfaces and smooth the grout joints. Rinse your sponge and change water frequently.
• Apply sealer as required and recommended by the tile manufacturer.
With a ceramic tile backsplash you can add an inexpensive good look to your kitchen.