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.

colorful_glass_tile_kitchenrk_1

Make a statement with glass tiles in bold colors.

Make a statement with glass tiles in bold colors.

Materials and Tools:

large sheets of paper or cardboard to use as a template
glass tiles
marbles
tile adhesive (also called thinset)
grout
bucket
water
sponge
dry towel
pencil with eraser
3/16" V-notched trowel
power drill
cement-mixing tool bit
grout float

Steps:

colorful_glass_tile_kitchenrk_2

Lay your tiles on a template first to determine the backsplash design.

Lay your tiles on a template first to determine the backsplash design.

1. Measure the dimensions of your backsplash. Using a large sheet of paper or cardboard, transfer the measurements to the paper, then use scissors to cut a template. Set the template in place and tweak it until it fits the backsplash area perfectly. Be sure to mark the spaces where the outlets will go.

2. Lay the template on a horizontal surface. Place the tiles and marbles on the template, arranging them until you get the pattern you want. If your tiles are mounted on paper, you can cut the paper to free up individual tiles or smaller groups of tiles to create your pattern.

colorful_glass_tile_kitchenrk_3

Cover the wall with thinset using a V-notched trowel.

Cover the wall with thinset using a V-notched trowel.

3. Get the thinset, 3/16-inch V-notched trowel, grout and grout float. Use the trowel to spread the thinset onto the wall. Cover only as much area as you can handle within 10 to 15 minutes, or for as long as the thinset remains tacky.

colorful_glass_tile_kitchenrk_4

Apply the tiles with the paper side up, pressing firmly.

Apply the tiles with the paper side up, pressing firmly.

4. "Back butter" the tiles (spread adhesive directly on them), then set the tile sheets with the paper side facing out. Add the marbles as you work until you've put the whole pattern on the wall.

5. Wait 15 to 20 minutes for the thinset to bond. Begin wiping down the paper with a damp sponge and warm water. Rub lightly to avoid disturbing the tile placement. The paper facing will begin to darken as the water is absorbed.

colorful_glass_tile_kitchenrk_5

After the tiles have set, carefully peel off the paper.

After the tiles have set, carefully peel off the paper.

6. After two to three minutes, test a corner of the paper sheet. Pull lightly downward at an angle instead of straight out. If the sheet does not easily pull away, sponge it again until the paper releases.

7. Wait 24 hours for the adhesive to fully bond. Use the drill and mixing bit to mix the grout in the bucket according to the manufacturer's specifications. It should be approximately the consistency of cake batter when you're done.

colorful_glass_tile_kitchenrk_6

Use a rubber float to grout the entire backsplash.

Use a rubber float to grout the entire backsplash.

8. Use the hard rubber grout float to spread the prepared grout at a 45-degree angle (on a diagonal) across the tile field. After grouting the area, wait 20 minutes before you start to clean off the excess.

9. Wipe the excess grout off, first with a dry cloth, such as cheesecloth or any other lint-free cloth, to remove excess grout on the tile surface. Follow up with a sponge and warm water. The less water you use, the better; too much water can weaken the grout before it sets.

Next Up

Glass Tile Backsplash Ideas

Explore glass tile backsplash ideas, and prepare to install an attractive and efficient backsplash in your kitchen.

How to Install a Tin Tile Backsplash

Give your kitchen a stunning, stylish upgrade with metallic-finish tiles. This DIY project requires just a few standard tools and not a lot of money.

How to Paint a Tile Backsplash

Give your kitchen a facelift this weekend with a little elbow grease, some 220-grit sand paper and a lot of epoxy paint. Find out how to paint a tile backsplash with this step-by-step guide and shop everything you need to get started from our comprehensive materials list.

How to Repair and Refinish Laminate Countertops

Learn how to repair scratches, gouges and chips; plus get the lowdown on paints and refinishing kits made to transform old countertops.

How to Remove a Tile Floor

Follow these step-by-step instructions to remove an old bathroom tile floor.

What's the Difference Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tile?

Ceramic and porcelain tiles share many similarities, but they also have noteworthy differences. Learn the pros and cons of each material to help you decide which is the better choice for your home project.

How to Choose the Right Tile for Your Home

Learn all about the different types of tile and slabs that can be used on floors, walls and countertops including ceramic, porcelain, cement, marble and more. Plus, we’ll explain PEI rating, glazing and which tiles are easiest to install.

How to Paint Laminate Countertops

New kitchen countertops can be an expensive upgrade. Transform your kitchen without breaking the bank by priming and painting your existing laminate counters.

How to Paint & Stencil Ceramic Tile

Remodeling on a budget? Give outdated floors a refresh with our step-by-step guide to painting and stenciling ceramic tile. All you need are a few basic supplies and a free weekend to totally transform the look of a laundry room, bathroom or other place in your home that's plagued by old or dirty tile. The best part? You can do it all for less than $75 and without special equipment.

DIY Rainbow Headboard

This whimsical headboard is budget-friendly, renter-friendly and so incredibly cute.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

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