One of the biggest benefits to a backsplash is the simple fact that it keeps oils and food from going on the wall. But, even if you aren’t a messy cook, people tend to also place these on their walls for looks and design. If you want to add style, panache, or value to your kitchen, a backsplash is a great way to go about it. You can do this on your own, you just need a few hours (to a few days), a few hundred bucks, and some finesse. Below are exact steps on how to do this, the tools and items you will need. For this specific project, we will be using paper faced tiles.
Okay, so the very first thing you want to do is clean your wall. Simply take a damp sponge and some warm water and go over the entire wall to make sure you get any dirt, dust, or food off of the wall. Then, wait for it to dry. It should be dry to the touch.
Sand the wall down using your sandpaper. This is just to ensure that the entire wall is smooth so when you place the thin set on the wall and then place the tiles on that, that everything is completely level. Once you sand it down, wash it down again to remove the dust from the sanding and wait for a few hours until it’s dried.
Mix your thin-set up. A lot of professionals really like the Tec Superflex. It’s a mortar that you place down to essentially bond the tiles to the wall. It’s different than grout, though. The grout goes between the tiles. Once you mix the Tec Superflex up, place it on the wall with your trowel and go left to right, left to right. What you will be left with are tiny little lines in the Tec Superflex. Once you get the wall done, you will then need to go up and down to remove the grooves (lines) that were made in the Tec Superflex. You aren’t removing the Tec Superflex, just cutting down the lines. Simple as that.
Take your paper back tiles (paper towards you, glass towards the wall) and strategically place them on the wall – make sure you use a leveler to make sure youâve got them all lined up correctly. This part is super self-explanatory. Just keep moving your way up until the entire wall is done. If you want all the glass to be side by side, don’t use the spacers and don’t grout it. If you want it grouted, use the spacers and wait until further down this guide to add your grout.
Using a piece of 4×4 wood and a rubber hammer, go along the entire wall and place the wood block on every 4 inches of the tile from side to side and then moving up a column, repeat the process, banging it with your rubber mallet.
Using a spray bottle, spray the entire backing material of the paper back tile. You don’t want it drenched, but you do want it quite damp. If you see a little runoff or drips going down the paper, use a sponge to wipe the water on to the other tiles evenly. Wait about 1 hour until the water begins the process of releasing the paper. If you tried to remove the paper from these when you first get them out of the box – it’s really hard. The water releases the paper from the tiles. Remove all the paper from the tile backings. Make sure that if any of your mortar came through and is on the tile, that you remove it with a blade ASAP.
Step 7 (optional)
If you have some odd shaped spaces around light outlets simply use the tile cutter, the leveler, and the sandpaper, as well as the tape measure. You will use the tape measure to measure the oddly shaped spot. Then use a pencil and a straight edged leveler to make your line where the tile needs to be cut and then use the cutter to cut the tile. The sandpaper is used to simply smooth down the edges.
Mix your unsanded and sanded grout together using the directions on the back of the container, and use your clean trowel to spread the grout all over the wall. It’s going to look scary and it’s going to make you think you did something wrong, but just have faith! Spread the mixture over every single inch of the wall where the tile is and really get it into the grooves and crevices of your tile. Keep spreading the grout down until it gets into the grooves – the tile shouldn’t be covered in the grout! The grout should be continually moved over the tile.
Not soon after you place the grout on the tile, you need to take a damp sponge and rub it all over the tile. It’s going to make a mess! Just keep cleaning your sponge off, rubbing the wall, repeat, and rinse. Once you are all done, the entire wall should be clean and the grout should start to set a little more. This stuff doesn’t take long to set, but it does take a while to dry completely.
Once everything dries, about 24-48 hours later, you will need to take your polyurethane and “paint” that onto the tile. It should be noted that not every single mosaic glass tile out there will indeed need a poly. So make sure you look on the back of the box. If it doesn’t say, then you will need to call the manufacturer and ask them.
Step back, and look at the beautiful amazing backsplash you made! Bravo!