When it comes to decorating the kitchen, it is important to pay close attention to every detail. The right cabinets, appliances, and accessories are all it takes to make the heart of the home inviting and reflective of the homeowners’ personality. Backsplash tiles, for example, give a finished look to any kitchen. They can transform the look of the entire room for a totally new look. The installation process is a bit involved, so do-it-yourselfers should choose their tile carefully and install it properly the first time.
There are tiles for backsplashes that come in all shapes and sizes. Now, there are more options than ever in terms of the materials that are used too. Tiles should reflect the style of the kitchen so they match seamlessly with the rest of the space as well as the entire home. For example, a homeowner whose taste is contemporary should look into stainless steel backsplashes or small iridescent glass tiles. At the same time, a traditional home would benefit from stone tiles in a natural color.
The first step in installing backsplash tiles is choosing the type that will fit the space the best. In addition to the style of the tile, it is important to consider their size and shape as well. Pay attention to the size of the entire kitchen, and choose the tiles accordingly – those that are proportionate to the space will be the most visually appealing. After selecting the right backsplash tiles, it is time to install them.
Now, it is time to get the tiles onto the walls. First, the space must be measured where they will be placed. These measurements are extremely important because they will affect the way the tiles are cut and placed on the wall – one small miscalculation and the entire project could be ruined. It is usually a good idea to mark a flat surface of equal size and lay the tiles out in the desired pattern. This will help homeowners accurately and effectively visualize how they will look on the wall.
The next step is to cut the tiles that will be lining the edge of the backsplash to fit. This can be done with a tile wet saw that homeowners can purchase or rent from the local hardware store. It takes a lot of skill and patience to use one of these tools efficiently, so try not to waste too many tiles on the trial and error process.
Perhaps the hardest part about installing a backsplash is making sure the lines of tiles are even throughout. The best way to ensure they are aligned is by snapping chalk lines horizontally and vertically on the wall, starting from the exact center. The chalk creates a temporary guide for the installer to follow. Chalk is easy to erase in case a mistake is made, which makes it a great tool to use for this project.
The only way to get the tiles to stick to the wall is with a particularly adhesive cement. The installer needs a trowel for applying and spreading the cement to the wall. It is important to create ridges or grooves with the trowel so that the tiles stick better to the wall. Keeping the ridges the same size and depth throughout the room ensures that the tiles will sit uniformly on the wall, as opposed to some being raised more than others.
The next item of business is pressing the tiles into the cement where they belong. Once the tiles make contact with the cement, the installer should twist them slightly into place. Use the chalk line as a guide and lay the pieces on the wall in the same pattern that was tried out earlier. Because of all the preparation that was done before this step, it should be fairly easy for the homeowner to lay the tiles in a straight and orderly manner.
The cement, also known as mortar, must dry before any other steps are taken in the installation process. It takes about 24-48 hours to completely dry. This is also the point at which the homeowner needs to stain the tiles if necessary. For example, backsplash tiles that are made from natural materials, such as tumbled stone, need a protective coat on them to withstand the elements in the kitchen.
Once the cement is dried, it is time to apply the grout. This grainy material is used to fill in the gaps between the tiles and reinforce them. The tool that is used to spread the grout is called a float, and it should be held at a 45-degree angle to scrape the material across them. It is important to have an even application of the grout for practical and visual reasons. The homeowner should make sure the grout is being distributed to every corner of the new backsplash.
After every part of the backsplash is covered in grout, it is time to remove any of the excess material. The float can be used to scrape any grout that is not in between tiles. A damp cloth should be used 10 minutes after the initial application to wipe off the tiles. When this last step is completed then the backsplash installation project is officially over. The grout will cure in about three weeks, leaving a beautiful and strong backsplash that will last for years to come.
No kitchen construction or remodel is complete without a new backsplash. They are a surefire way to add personality, color, and texture to a space. The installation process can be a bit tedious, but the payoff is well worth it. Do-it-yourselfers everywhere should try this project for a relatively quick update to the most important room in the house: the kitchen. All it takes are the right backsplash tiles, some time, and a little bit of elbow grease to turn a plain kitchen wall into something extraordinary. Designers are really starting to think outside the box when it comes to the materials they use for backsplashes, so the possibilities are really endless for anyone looking to try something new