A Step-by-Step Guide to Tiling a Kitchen Backsplash

Here's how to design and install a decorative tile accent for the kitchen.

Materials and Tools:

6" x 6" field tiles
4" x 8" liners with color detail
tape measure
screwdriver
ruler
wet saw
tile cutter
multipurpose, water-soluble adhesive
rubber float
grout
large sponge
notched trowel

Steps:

1. Some of the most common mistakes can be avoided if you take a few minutes to plan before starting on the project. Measure the area to be tiled with a tape measurer, and lay out your design on paper with pencil to work out the details for tile arrangement. If there is a focal point in the design, start with the focal point and work your way out toward the edges.

2. Mark the coordinating measurements on the tile. Cut the tiles to size with a wet saw taking extra precaution to follow all safety procedures.

3. Turn off the main breaker panel to disengage the kitchen outlets, and leave the power off while you are working on the project. Remove all the faceplates and make sure your cut tiles line up flush with the outlet.

4. Clean the surface of the wall. If there is wallpaper, either tile over it, or remove any loose or peeling sections before tiling.

5. Apply the adhesive to the wall with a notched trowel, making sure to smooth the adhesive out in a good, uniform application without any lumps.

6. Position the tiles together closely. The tile ridges on all four sides will create a natural separation. Avoid pushing and pulling the tiles into place to prevent any glue build-up between tiles. Tip: If you position a tile incorrectly or upside-down, remove the tile and clean off the glue with water. Re-set the tile with adhesive and place it correctly on the wall.

7. Use a tile cutter to make any straight edge cuts.

8. Wait at least 24 to 48 hours before applying the grout. Follow the directions on the bag to mix the grout. Ideally, you want the grout to have the consistency of toothpaste, and make sure to remove any lumps.

9. Apply the grout across the tiles in a diagonal application with a rubber float.

Wipe away any excess grout from the tiles with a sponge.

10. Replace the receptacle covers to match the new tile.

Next Up

How to Upgrade a Master Bathroom

Host Steve Watson and the Don't Sweat It crew take on a bathroom makeover, including retiling a shower.

How to Install Vinyl Tiles

Update your kitchen floor with peel-and-stick tiles and minimal effort.

An Easy Backsplash Made With Vinyl Tile

For a kitchen backsplash idea with style and a low price tag, consider vinyl tile. This project shows you how to create a backsplash design out of vinyl tiles.

How to Paint Tile Backsplash and Stenciling

Step-by-step instructions show you how you can use stencils and paint to spruce up a tile backsplash.

How to Create A Colorful Glass Tile Backsplash

Create a custom kitchen backsplash with inexpensive glass tiles and marbles. This colorful, geometric design will give your kitchen a bright, fresh look.

Kitchen Backsplash Tile Ideas

Discover the kitchen backsplash tiles that will work best in your kitchen with this wide range of design ideas.

How to Cover an Old Tile Backsplash With Beadboard

If your kitchen backsplash is ready for a facelift but your budget isn't, consider beadboard paneling as an affordable option. It can be installed right over your existing tile, and it's easy and affordable.

Install a Tile Wallpaper Backsplash

Instead of using tile, try cutting pieces of wallpaper in interesting shapes to make a durable and washable backsplash.

How to Create a Tin Tile Backsplash

Give your kitchen a customized and unique look with tin ceiling tiles.

Tile Backsplash Ideas

Browse tile backsplash ideas, and get ready to install an attractive and protective backsplash in your home.

On TV

Catch Up With Our Blogs

We're serving up the latest news, gorgeous style, DIY projects, clever entertaining tips & more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.