Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kitchen Back Splash Part 1: Laying the Tile

Putting up our own back splash was a lot of fun and we were surprised to find that it wasn't that difficult..even if somewhat time consuming :) I feel the best way to teach you how to do it is to just show you a billion pictures! I'll do my best to explain as we go! Let me know if you have any questions!

Back splash Tile
Wall Tile Adhesive (pictured below)
Trowel..the v-notched ones are the best for wall tile. HERE
Tile Saw
Pencil, for marking
Tile Spacers

Chad designed a simple spreadsheet to help determine how much tile you need (square feet) and what the cost will be! You can see it HERE.

You'll want to first clean your walls, take the covers off any plug-ins or light switches you have, and also unscrew your light switches and plug-ins from the wall; as shown below:

Determine where you want to start. This was our biggest mistake; we didn't really think about it and ended up starting on the hardest wall! If you have a wall without switches or with an adjacent wall that you will put your tile flush up against, start there. We did not do this and needed to cut our first square!
To cut it, I held it up on the wall where we wanted it to go while Chad traced the outline of the socket, where we needed to cut.

 Then we pulled off all the tiles that needed to be cut from the mesh backing and cut them each individually.

Once we pulled them all off Chad would go cut!

 Spread the tile adhesive on the wall. Spread it on thick at first, then use the triangular notched side of the trowel to even it out.. :) This is how you will get the lines running through the mud.

 Place tile on wall, making sure its even (use level). For tiles that you took off and cut you may want to use tile spacers to make sure it stays even. Push firmly to make sure its all in place and wont slide.

When you place the tile around the sockets..make sure you go BEHIND  it. This is why you unscrewed them in the first place, if you don't go behind them, it will look like your sockets are sinking into the wall--you want it to be even and flush with your wall tile.

We decided to go across the wall under our windows to join up with the other side. To do this, we took ALL the tiles apart and stuck them up on the wall individually, cutting a lot of them to form the top and bottom halves you see below:

 Continue spreading the adhesive and placing tiles as you go, cutting when needed.

Our little helper :) Our neighbors bought this HUGE tub of has now been used in 3 houses and we haven't even used half of it!

I would go back and softly tap all the tiles as I went, to make sure they were all secure and set well.

..and keep going! Marking and cutting tiles as needed!

Chad started numbering all the tiles we were cutting to make it easier to remember where they went.

In this picture you can see me putting up the tile square where we have a plug in. We have already removed the tiles that needed to be cut, now just put the rest up, and cut away the back meshing. After Chad cuts the tile pieces, I will put them up individually where they belong.

And that's it! The end of Part one! Once all of your tile is laid you need to let is sit for 24 hours. In Part 2 we will show you how to grout and seal! The hardest part is now done! :)


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