If you are thinking about tiling a backsplash in your bathroom, but are worried it will be hard, think again! I have never tiled anything previous to this bathroom, but my mom had so she gave me the confidence to do it with her help. We figured the space that we are tiling is so small, it can't be that hard, and we were right! This project was much easier than I expected, so I figured I would give you a step by step process on how to tile a bathroom backsplash.
What you will need:
Tile, this is the one I used, but you can pick whatever tile you want. If you get something with a mesh backing, it will be easier!
Pre Mixed Grout (I used white, but you can choose a different color depending on the look you are going for)
Wet Tile Saw (you can also rent these at home depot if you don't want to buy it)
Now let me take you step by step how to tile like a pro!
Measure the space that you are tiling.
Pick out your tile, and purchase your materials. Be sure to get a little extra tile so you have room for error.
Lay out your tile, so that you know what pieces are going where. If you buy tile with a mesh backing like I did, this is pretty easy. I then taped the tile against the wall with painters tape to make sure I liked the lay-out. This also showed me where I needed to cut tile.
4. Once you have figured out which tiles you need to cut. use a wet saw to cut your tiles. I had to cut a bunch of hexagon tiles in half to fill in the bottom edge that lined up against my counter. I also had to cut some small triangles to fit in the corners of the wall. My Mom actually ended up cutting most of the tiles for me, but we watched this great video on youtube that shows you exactly how to do it.
5. Now make sure to cover your counter top with something so that you don't get adhesive and grout all over it. I just used a plastic garbage bag and taped it to the counter with painters tape.
6. Once you have everything laid out exactly like you want it, you will be ready to start applying the adhesive. But make sure you leave room to grout the area where your counter meets your tile. We laid painters sticks on top of the counter to do this. Some people use spacers, but I found the painter sticks to work better because they did not move around.(I also had a big gap between the wall and counter on one side, and the painters sticks hid this gap) After that, you will be ready to apply the adhesive. You do this by using your notched margin trowel. Make sure you only go over the wall in the area where you will be laying the tile. Since we decided to leave an unfinished edge with the hexagon tile at the top, we decided to trace the tile while it was taped to the wall. That way we knew where to put the adhesive. Make sure to only apply adhesive to the area where you are about to tile. For example, the tile that I bought came in four pieces that were attached to the mesh backing. Only apply adhesive to the small area where the first section of the tile is going.
7. After you apply the adhesive to the wall, place your tile on the wall. Start by placing the bottom of the tile against the wall and slowly work your way up. Don't be afraid to manoeuvre the tile so that it looks straight. You can even take the tile down, and do it again if the first time doesn't look perfect, but try to avoid this if you can. Then place the tile that you cut to fill the empty spaces at the bottom, top, or corners of your tiled area.
8. Once your tile is stuck to the wall, you will need to tap the tile hard against the wall with your Grout Float. Again, the video that I mentioned above shows you how to do all of this, but I'm including some helpful tips that he did not.
9. Continue to follow steps five and six until all your tile is attached to the wall.
10. Take out the painters sticks, or spacers so that they do not get glued to the wall.
11. Wait for the adhesive to dry completely before grouting. I think I waited about 24 hours before I grouted mine, but the adhesive container will say how long it takes to dry.
12. To grout, spread some grout on your grout float and apply it to the tiled area. Make sure to use diagonal strokes so that the grout goes into the gaps evenly. Keep going over the tiled area until all the gaps are filled with grout.
13. If you are leaving an unfinished edge like I did at the top, you can either caulk the top of the tile, or grout it using your fingers. I decided to grout the edges of the tile with my fingers. I then cleaned up any excess grout with a wet cotton swab.
14. Once you have finished grouting everything, you will need to wash off the excess grout with your large damp sponge. Make sure the sponge is not too wet to insure it doesn't ruin the grout that you just applied.
15. Once the grout is fully dried (about 24 hours) You will then need to caulk the bottom of the tile where the edge of the tile meets the counter so that there is no gap showing. To do this, insert the caulk into the caulk gun and push the leaver on the gun while you move the gun along the counter.
16.After the caulk has dried, Yippee, and congrats because you are done!
I'm happy to say that tilling a backsplash is not that hard! If I can do it, so can you! This was a fun weekend project that did not take that long. About three hours the first day, an hour the second day, and about 15 minutes the last day. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below, and Happy tiling!!