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Beginner’s Guide: Tile a Backsplash

February 14, 2017
Beginners Guide to Tiling a Back Splash

This is my first tile job and I chose to install tile on my backsplash. I didn’t realize it but the tile pattern I chose was not the best tile to choose for a beginner because of the pattern requiring many extra cuts on the tile saw. The blue arabesque tile was purchased by now so the process was already started and would be completed.

Directions: Tile a Backsplash

Materials Required:

  • Tile (I got blue arabesque tile which I really love.)
  • Sponge (I got my trowel, float, sponge, nipper, and bucket as a kit at Home Depot.)
  • Notch Stainless Trowel
  • Float
  • Bucket
  • Spacers
  • Nippers
  • Adhesive (I used OmniGrip Maximum Strength Adhesive)
  • Grout (I used Fusion Pro Single Component Grout in Bright White) Stain-Free Grout
  • Tile Saw (Mine, was an inexpensive one from Harbor Freight which I bought used on Craig’s List.)
  • Wall Cleaner
  • Sandpaper
  • Level

I looked at a lot of websites with DIY instructions but the one I found most useful was at Wayfair installation instructions.  It was wonderful because they use the same pattern of tile in their installation instructions.

Installation Steps

Clean the Area to be Tiled

Thoroughly clean the backsplash area with a kitchen cleaner.  Sand any rough areas with sandpaper and clean the area afterward with a damp cloth.

Level and Install

Make level lines on the black splash to make sure the tile remains level.  Using the trowel, spread the adhesive over a small area.  Start at the bottom in one corner and work up.  Spread adhesive on the tile as if you are buttering bread.  Continue checking to make sure the tile is level as you add more tile.

Level Lines

Level Lines

Continue installing while ensuring the tile is tight against the backsplash.  Clean the excessive adhesive from the face and clean the adhesive out of the grout lines using a damp sponge working in a circular motion.  Clean the sponge often to make sure you keep the grout lines using spacers.

Counter Protection

Counter Protection

Ensure you protect your counters from the adhesive with paper and tape.  If the adhesive gets on the counter make sure you immediately wipe it off with the sponge.  I cut and laid the tile out in order so it was ready for the install.

Beginning of the Tiling

Beginning of the Tiling

I used a metal trim.  As you can probably see I had to do a lot of extra cuts on the top, bottom, around the switch and outlets.  I was able to use the tile saw for most of the cuts but those which were too small were completed with the nippers which came with my tiling package.

Side View of the Project

Side View of the Project

Keep your work area as clean as possible as the adhesive is very messy.  Wait at least 24 hours for the adhesive to dry before grouting.


I chose Fusion Pro Single Component Grout in Bright White which is stain-free grout.  Well, it is advertised as stain-free anyway so I hope it works out that way.  The stain-free costs about twice as much so I hope it was a good investment.  I will let you know later.

Grout the tile and make sure any extra grout is removed immediately from the surface.  Buff the tile with a micro cloth after the grout has dried after 24 hours.


Chalk should be applied in all areas where the new surface meets the countertop or where two different types of material come together.  In my case, between the tile and metal trim pieces.

The project is at last completed and below are the last pictures.  I hope you have enjoyed seeing the project so please leave us a message below.

Sink Side of Kitchen

Sink Side of Kitchen


Other Side of Sink Counter

Other Side of Sink Counter


Tile Behind the Stove

Behind the Stove


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