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Installing Kitchen Tile Backsplash

Add color to your kitchen with a tile backsplash.

Tools and Materials:
30 square-feet of tile for backsplash
one bag grout
one bucket of mastic
NOTE: Amount of materials will vary depending on size of your kitchen backsplash.
grout float
mastic trowel
measuring tape and pencil

1. Begin by measuring the height and width of the backsplash to determine the square footage and thus, how much tile you'll need. Add 10 percent to account for waste.

2. Start the installation at the most visible part of the backsplash. It may be an open edge, a corner or a window. Start there and work out. This way, the most visually apparent part of the wall is well-centered.

Figure A

3. Apply tiles first along the countertop, and then cut the top tiles in (figure A). This will make the cut tiles less noticeable. Spread the mastic with the trowel, being sure to go over it with the toothed side of the trowel. The teeth make sure that the proper amount of mastic stays on the wall.

Figure B

4. Press the tile into the mastic (figure B), and bump it slightly with the rubber mallet to set it firmly. Make sure to keep the joint lines between tiles consistent.

5 Once all the full tiles are in, go back and do the cutting. To cut the tile, slide the tile slowly through the wet-saw along your mark. The water in the saw keeps the blade cool and keeps the dust to a minimum.

6. Wait at least 12 hours before touching the tile.

Figure C

7. Mix the grout per the instructions, and start to apply. Using the grout float, press the grout into the joints by moving diagonally across the joint at a 45-degree angle (figure C). Scrape as much off the face of the tile as possible.

Figure D

8. Using a wet sponge, clean the tile as much as possible (figure D). You’ll have to do this several times, using clean water each time.

9. Clean the tile using a dry cloth to remove the grout haze.

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