A quick and easy tile backsplash
Refresh your kitchen with this simple makeover
1. Mark the centre of the wall and then lay out the tiles in a dry run. Adjust the layout line away from the true centre of the wall if less than half a tile will be left in either corner.
2. A chalk line will help you visualize the layout of tiles as well as act as a guide when you’re applying the adhesive on the wall. Don’t let the glue skin over before you affix tiles to it.
3. Use a notched trowel to apply the adhesive on the wall in cornrows. In corners and on the last row, you may need to apply the adhesive to the back of the tiles rather than the wall.
4. With the adhesive applied to the wall, use a gentle push and twist motion to set each tile firmly. Try to get at least 80 per cent adhesive coverage on the back of each tile.
5. Plastic spacers are inexpensive and they can make the job of getting consistent grout lines a breeze. They come in a variety of thicknesses, depending on the width of grout line desired.
6. Tile cutters are a “snap” to use. Score the tile with the sharp edge, then press down on the tile with the rubber pad. The applied pressure will break the tile along the scored edge.
7. For tricky cuts, you can also rent a tile wetsaw. They’re available at most building centres (approx. $50/day). They’re messy, but make quick work of cutting thick or bevelled tiles.
8. After the adhesive has set, apply the grout. Mix according to package directions and work the material into the gaps with a grout float. A drop sheet makes counter cleanup easier.
9. About 20 minutes after applying the grout, you can begin to remove the excess material with a damp sponge. Give the tiles a polish with a dry rag and then apply sealer to the grout.