A tile backsplash can improve the look of your kitchen, giving it a stylish and modern appearance. Tile backsplashes can also help protect your kitchen's walls from staining due to splattered food. If you're considering installing a tile backsplash, you can do this project easily on your own. So pick out your favorite tile, gather your materials, and get ready to update your kitchen with these easy steps.

Prep The Wall

Before you can apply your new tile to the kitchen wall, the surface will need to be properly prepared. Tile is applied using a material called mastic, and this material works best when surfaces are dry and rough. Clean your walls with a substance called TSP, or trisodium phosphate, to remove all grease and residue. You can find it at most hardware stores. Then, lightly sand your walls to give it a rough surface for the mastic to stick to. Next, measure the area where your tiles will go and lay them out on the floor before you begin. This will also give you an idea of how they need to be placed and which tiles will need to be cut. Remove any wall outlet covers before you begin.

Applying The Tile

Wall tiles are lighter and thinner than floor tiles, so a thin even coat of mastic should be sufficient for getting them to adhere. Install one tile at a time, applying the mastic to the wall using a notched trowel. Work from your center point outward to help ensure that everything is spaced evenly. Gently press the tile onto the wall until it's even and sticking. Mastic dries fairly quickly, so only apply it to small sections of the wall as you go rather than covering the entire wall with it first. Use plastic spacers in between each tile so that you'll have a nice, even space between each for the grout lines. Once you're complete, let the mastic adhesive dry for 24 hours.

Adding Grout

After the tiles are secured to the wall, it's time to add grout between the lines. Mix the grout according to the manufactuer's instructions until it forms a thick consistency. Using a tool called a rubber float, scoop some of the grout on a corner of the float and wipe it on the walls, making sure that it gets in between all gaps between tiles. Repeat this process until all of your tile lines are filled with grout. wiping it down using a large sponge as you go. You'll need to buff the tiles with the moist sponge a few times to remove the haze that grout leaves behind and to remove any excess grout from the surface of your tile. Let it dry and then reattach your outlet covers, and you'll have a beautiful new backsplash to enjoy. 

For more information or for help with the project, contact a local tile installation company like Art Tile Co. Inc.