House and Home

DIY Tips for Installing a Backsplash

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Installing a backsplash in your kitchen will not only protect your walls from water damage but also brighten the space. Alison Victoria, host of DIY Network's "Kitchen Crashers," has some tips on how to do this yourself:

  • Check the surface and make sure it's level. 
  • Make sure the countertops are installed BEFORE beginning your new splash. That way, your first row of tiles will always be level, and you can avoid any dips or "waves" in the material you're using. 
  • If you truly are a do-it-yourselfer, then make sure you choose a product that isn't complex. Choose something with a mesh mount (mesh holds tiles together, making them easier to mount) or use something simple like a subway tile measuring 3 inches by 6 inches. Make it your own by throwing in a rail moulding and adding a mosaic mesh mount pattern above. You may want to check out DIY Network's backsplash tile kits
  • Use a pre-mixed mastic (adhesive) and a metal trowel (grout-spreading tool) to apply. Use your flat edge on the trowel to evenly distribute the mastic before going over it again with the notched edge. That way, you avoid creating any air pockets that might mess up your masterpiece. 
  • Tile spacers are your friend. USE THEM. 
  • Once the tile is set and dried (typically overnight), choose a grout that compliments your tile of choice. If your tiles are made of glass, stay clear of sanded grout to avoid scratching their surfaces. Use a fanning pattern when applying grout and make sure you compact the material deep into the seams. 
  • Don't be intimidated! If I can do it, anyone can. Believe me.