Installing a Tile Backsplash in Your Kitchen

Steve Watson and the Don't Sweat It crew take on a kitchen makeover for a busy family of three. The third project in this kitchen remodel: adding a unique tile backsplash.

hdswt413_3ca_BEAUTY_backsplash

Materials and Tools:

tile backsplash
1 bag thinset
1 bag white grout
hammer
chisel
trowel
grout float
screw gun
mixing bit

Steps:

1. Using a flat scraper, remove the old backsplash tile.

2. Before starting, be sure that the old tile is adequately demoed and the surface is clean and clear of debris. You may want to use backer board to ensure a good clean surface.

hdswt413_3fa_newTile

3. First, begin by applying thinset adhesive to the wall. You don't want to apply more than you can tile in five minutes. Use a 3/16" square-notched trowel and comb the thinset at a 45-degree angle. This will set the proper thickness of the adhesive. Smooth over or knock down the thinset to get rid of the comb marks. Otherwise, you'll see the comb marks through the glass tile. The trick is to do this without changing the depth of the thinset on the wall. Use spacers to make sure the tiles are set in a uniform pattern.

4. Once the tiles are installed, let the mastic set up overnight.

5. When the mastic has dried, mix some grout together to a peanut-butter consistency. Using a grout float, apply to the backsplash. Use the same 45-degree angle to work the grout into all the crevices. Allow at least four hours so the grout can cure.

hdswt413_3fb_remove_grout

6. Use a tile sponge to gradually remove the haze off the tiles until only the grout between the tiles remains. Then step back, and enjoy the look of your new backsplash.

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