How to install a tiled backsplash

We’re finally shopping for tile for behind our stove area so I wanted to revisit how our kitchen has evolved and the tile we chose for our back splash as well as review the steps we took to install the tile. Our kitchen when we bought the house was outdated…

When we moved we only paint the walls green, inserted new SS appliances and range hood. We lived with it for 3 years then painted the cabinets and finally replaced the countertop with granite (Virginia Jet Mist). Working as time and budget allow sometimes mean waiting for the things we want.
tile-backsplash-tutorial
We had a savings to get started on our dream kitchen (the dream where we have savings but the dream without winning the lottery.
The back splash:

Materials:
Venatino Polished Marble Tiles 12×12 mosaic, 5 Venatino Pencil Borders
OmniGrip Maximum Strength Adhesive
Tile Guard Natural Stone Penetrating Sealer
QuartzLock Grout – silver
FrogTape
Caulk

Tools:
Tile saw
Trowel
Float
Putty knife
Bucket
Sponge
Bucket
Paper towels
Rags
Caulk gun
DAP Pro Caulk Tool Kit

Back Splash Tutorial:

1.  Apply caulk to gap where countertop meets the wall.

2.  We used a DAP Pro Caulk Tools to make an even/straight line, but a using your finger (and water) works just as well.

3.  Prep area.  Cover countertop or clean as you go to protect the counter top.

4.  Upper cabinets sit back further than the edge of the countertop. We wanted out backsplash to cover the entire area. We started at the edge of the counter for our backsplash. Decide how your tile edge will be finished.  We used a matching border from the countertop’s edge vertically and ended at the bottom of the end of the wall cabinet.  We mitered the joint where vertical meets horizontal.
5.  Apply border and tile with OmniGrip Adhesive using a trowel.  Coat the wall (can be done directly on drywall).  OmniGrip is pre-mixed so there’s no guessing on consistency and this product works really well for a back splash.
6.  To lessen breakage and crumbling when cutting (the vibration nearly pulverizes edges of the marble), we used FrogTape on cuts.

7.  Apply pressure to ‘set’ tiles in place.

Another shot of how we ended the tile on the countertop/cabinet edge.

8.   Let dry at least 2 days.

9.  Seal tiles using Tile Guard.  Wipe on with a rag.  It dries within seconds.

10.  After drying, prep area by covering countertops or clean as you go – dried grout {We chose Quartz Lock in a darker gray} will be hard to remove.

Have a bucket of water handy.

11.  Apply generous amount of Quartz Lock to the float using a putty knife.

Quartz Lock is pre-mixed. We cover with a plastic grocery bag, then the lid with a tight seal and save leftover for a future project.
12.  Add grout to spaces between the tiles, filling every gap, working in small areas going to next step and starting again with the next area.  Smoosh it in the gaps.
13.  Using a well-wrung wet sponge, wipe in a diagonal motion (except when necessary against countertop and cabinets), wiping away grout from tile.  Grout should stay in the cracks and gaps, but be cleaned away from tiles.

14.  Rinse sponge.

15.  Repeat.

16.  Let dry.  Grout will hide imperfections/crumbled edges of marble tile.  Don’t stress with tiny chips. Grout will disguise them. We have an old farmhouse, so our motto is “imperfection adds character”.
Before Grout:
After Grout:
Kitchen before:
Kitchen after:
We’re thinking of stainless steel tiles for behind the stove but I haven’t decided on the pattern or shape of tiles yet.
We just calculated that we’ll be in our house 7 years this summer. And we’re ready to put the finishing touches on the kitchen. About time, right?  We’ll be removing the cabinets above the stove to install a proper vent. It means losing those two cupboards but more on a pantry coming soon too. What do you think?
I think the chef’s dream stove/range is on that ‘winning the lottery’ dream kitchen and he’ll have to make do with what we have but it’s functional. Sorry, Mr. DIY.
See more about our kitchen makeover at our Home Tour
DIY Show Off farmhouse kitchen makeover
Similar products for this project:
Star Quartz Quartz Lock 2 Ug Tile Grout-Birch 18lb bucket
Carrara Marble Italian White Bianco Carrera 3×6 Marble Subway Tile Honed
Custom Building Products TLOSQT-3 TileLab OneStep Cleaner and Resealer
Frog Tape 82021 Pro Painters Masking Tape, 1-1/2-Inch by 60-Yards, Green
Pro Caulk Complete Caulking Kit (As Seen On TV)
Goldblatt G02391 1/4-Inch By 3/8-Inch By 1/4-Inch Square Notch Trowel With Plastic Handle
TBC Margin Trowel Float 6″x 2-1/2″ Professional Gum Rubber Face Bonder to Foam Rubber Pad. Speciality Grout Float Designed for Hard to Reach Areas. Narrow Width & Offset Handle Allow Work Under Toe-Kick Space Under Cabinets and Small Areas. Float 11″
SKIL 3540-02 4.2-Amp 7-Inch Wet Tile SawThis is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience. FrogTape Blog Squad

8 backsplash ideas

I’m trying to come up with ideas for the apartment backsplash. With a textured wall and tiny budget, my options are limited but here are some ideas I like.

The apartment kitchen certainly won’t look this fantastic, but a mirror backsplash could make the small one room first floor look larger. It may get a little smeary but it’s a lot easier to clean than textured walls.

mirror backsplash

{source – Paloma 81}

A painted pegboard (I’ve even come across metal pegboard material) would be a great option for additional storage in a small apartment!

pegboard backsplash

{source – Brett Bara}

Chalkboard would also be a fun option…

chalkboard backsplash

{source – Apartment Therapy}

Another easy option to bright up the space and add texture is to use beadboard {or even board and batten} as a backsplash…

beadboard blacksplash

{source – This Old House}

I love the shine and bling (see the before and after) that this faux tin backsplash adds to the space…

faux tin backsplash

{source – the Gold Jelly Bean}

I’m no stranger to paint + stencils and that combination would make for a beautiful backsplash. However with heavily textured walls, I’m not sure I’m up for that challenge. {Unless, like the chalkboard option, I install a thin piece of plyboard or similar material first.}

stenciled backsplash

{source – Cutting Edge Stencils}

Oh, isn’t this reclaimed wood backsplash gorgeous? Not practical for a rental property but I do LOVE it!

pallet backsplash

{source – CircaDee}

Tile is always an option. Not too difficult and depending on tile, it can be budget friendly. I’d just have to do some research on tiling over textured walls but where there’s a will, there’s a way and I’m positive it can be done. We love our marble subway tiles in our own kitchen.

marble subway tile backsplash

{source}

I’m still not sure if I’m going to do anything at all but what do you think of these?