As you might expect, the kitchen remains one of the most expensive rooms to renovate. No wonder: With cabinets, countertops, and contractors, remodeling the heart of a home can be a budget blow. But you can save some money by doing some tasks yourself.
Using a few basic tools and materials, installing a new backsplash can bring a tired kitchen back to life on an affordable budget, and it’s an update that most newbies can complete over the weekend.
Two experts will walk you through the project from start to finish, but if you need more help, you can turn to professionals at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s, who offer online guides and webcasts of numerous projects that will implemented within the project. provide you with a primer and a list of consumables. While both chains have long offered in-store workshops, these products may be limited or unavailable due to pandemic-related restrictions.
From materials like porcelain and ceramics to patterns like penny circles and subway tiles, choosing an apron is more difficult than installing it. “Subway tile is classic and timeless,” says interior designer Shaolin Low of Shaolin Studios in Honolulu. “You can never be sure of the date it was installed.”
Whether you want it to be faded or contrasting, the color of the grout between tiles is also an important design decision. “I always like 1/16” or 1/8” seams,” Lowe says. “If you want to be on the safe side, choose a neutral grout color that matches your tile.”
After choosing a tile style, order 10% more backsplash area to account for cuts and mistakes. Also be sure to buy pads of the right size.
Carefully remove the current backsplash, as any depressions in the drywall behind it will need to be filled with thin mortar before tiling can begin. Turn off the power at the outlet and remove the cover.
Starting at the outer edge of the backsplash, lightly tap with a hammer where the tile meets the drywall. Do not stick tools into drywall. Use a hard spatula to scrape the area free of adhesive residue or a thin layer. Before laying the tiles, smooth the drywall with a pre-mixed thin mortar and trowel, pressing it into all the recesses. Let it dry for 30 minutes.
Find the focal point of the tailgate, usually behind a sink or scope. “When there’s a focus, like a slab, you usually want a center line on it, and then you start tiling from that line, hiding your cutout where the backsplash meets any cabinet,” said Washington Tiger Mountain tile contractor James Upton. . tile. Use a pencil and a spirit level to draw a line across the entire height of the tailgate in the center of focus.
Now use spacers to lay the tiles on the countertop and measure the width and height of the backsplash. You will see where you will make the cut to match the pattern on the wall. Try starting with a full tile near the countertop and cover up any cuts above and towards the end of the wall.
Ready-made tile adhesive is easier to work with than mortar. Use a 3/16-inch spatula to apply adhesive to the side from the center line of the layout that is closest to the countertop.
If the tile pattern extends beyond the center line, like the subway tile, cover only part of the line with adhesive.
“The glue (adhesive) sets quickly but tends to dry quickly, so it can be laid down as much as possible in about 30 to 45 minutes,” says Upton.
Return to the center line and begin laying the tiles horizontally above the countertop, adding spacers below the first row. Continue adding spacer tiles from the center line to the nearest edge. Usually you have to make cuts around the exit or where the pattern ends to complete the first row.
Alternatively, you can rent a manual tile cutter, but saws tend to be faster. You may also need hand-held pliers to trim the pieces to fit or cut smaller mosaic tiles.
Mark the tiles to be cut with crayons in the first row, as the water from the tile cutter will break the pencil lines. Take your time to cut the tile and add it to the end of the first row. Now return to the center line and start the second line in the same way. Step back from time to time and look at the apron to make sure the grout lines are straight.
When choosing a grout color, you need to make sure you buy the right sealant. Often, manufacturers who produce one-component grouts also offer silicone sealants of the corresponding color. Experts say the newer pre-mixed one-component solutions are better because they can be used immediately and do not require mixing batches of traditional solutions.
Scoop the grout out of the tub and use a rubber trowel to press it into the grout between the tiles. After about 30 minutes, the tiles will fog up. Then you can wipe the surface with clean water and a sponge. You may need to wipe and wash the back door several times.
Once the backsplash has been poured, use a utility knife to pick out the grout that falls into the seam between the countertop and backsplash, as well as in the corner where the walls meet.
Post time: Oct-13-2022