Make a Splash: Natural Tiles in a Random Pattern Make a Fresh Focal Point in the Kitchen
This project uses natural tiles, which do not need spacing like ceramic tiles. It is also done with two shades of the same color tile with a random design, so there is no need to lay out tiles to check design. If you choose to use other tiles, you can buy spacers to assist you in the spacing.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Tile (amount varies based on your square footage of your backsplash)
Notched Wall Towel
Acrylic Pro Ceramic Tile Adhesive
Polyblend Non-Sanded Grout
Bucket of Water
Tile Saw (rent from Home Depot or other home improvement store)
STEP ONE Tile your backsplash from the bottom up. If countertops are not level, you will need to make some cuts, for which you can find more direction at my personal blog yellowdaisydesign.blogspot.com.
STEP TWO Use your trowel to spread tile adhesive along the bottom of the wall where your first row will go. Using the teeth side will create texture that will allow your tiles to adhere best.
STEP THREE Starting at the edge of your backsplash, press your first tile to the adhesive, keeping it even with the edge of your wall and level with the countertop. Always put the cut side of the tile down toward the countertops. When you get to the corner, you will probably need to make a cut to make your tile smaller.
STEP FOUR Now it’s time for the tile saw. Hook the water hose up and plug it in. (This is an outdoor activity.) You only need to turn the water on slightly to keep a steady stream running over the blade. With the blade off, line up cut mark on your tile even with the blade by sliding the tray up to the blade. Move the tray back and turn the blade on. Keeping fingers on the edge of the tile, slide the tray to the blade until your tile has been completely cut and then pull tray back to you and turn blade off. Always wear safety glasses while working the saw.
STEP FIVE Press cut tile firmly to the adhesive.
STEP SIX Repeat steps 2 through 5 with the other wall, starting at the outside edge and working towards the corner.
STEP SEVEN Once first row is complete, start the second row by spreading adhesive over the wall again. For the second row, start working from the corners, with whole tiles, and work out toward the edges, where you will need to cut the last tiles. Place cut side facing away from the other tiles. (You always want factory edges next to one another.)
STEP EIGHT Repeat for next couple of rows.
STEP NINE When you get to the top row you, will probably need to make cuts again because the space will be narrower than your tiles. Once all cuts are made, spread adhesive and apply tiles with cut side facing cabinets. (Hint: If spot is too small to get trowel on the wall, use trowel to put adhesive on the back of the tile and then place on wall.)
STEP TEN Allow 24 hours to dry.
STEP ELEVEN Mix grout according to directions on box. Using a sponge, wipe grout onto the tiles, making sure to get into all the cracks.
STEP TWELVE When you have grouted tiles, rinse sponge and wipe tiles with wet sponge, dipping cleaning sponge in bucket often and squeezing out excess water before wiping. Continue until tiles are clean and grout remains only in grooves.
STEP THIRTEEN Allow 30 minutes to dry, then wipe again with clean sponge. Repeat every 30 minutes until there is no longer a filmy appearance to the backsplash.
STEP FOURTEEN You now have a beautiful updated backsplash.