A few weeks ago, I showed up at the shelter kitchen we revealed earlier this week to make sure the mosaic tile backsplash was getting installed by a skilled volunteer, but unfortunately the tile guy never showed up. We never got an explanation as to why he didn’t show, he just didn’t. With an inspection looming, Warren (our partner at COTS) and I looked at each other and decided we would just get ‘er done ourselves that day.
Installing a tile backsplash is not difficult, and it involves following just a few steps from prepping the wall to applying the thin set adhesive, cutting and setting the tiles, and then grouting and sealing. The more challenging part is tiling around a window with mesh tile so that the grid stays perfectly aligned. At first glance you’d think it all lines up easily (basic math right?) but we learned that’s not the case – here’s how we got it just right.
First, I’ll apologize for the quality of some of these in progress photos! I had no idea on this day I’d be tiling when I showed up to the house so I didn’t bring my good camera. Many are shot with a cell phone in bad light, but hopefully they will be illustrative. The project took two days, with me working one side of the kitchen, Warren working on the other, and then we paired up to tackle the feature wall together.
There are plenty of detailed tutorials online for installing a simple glass mosaic tile backsplash, including this one from This Old House, but I’ll do a quick review. What you’ll need: paper or drop cloth to protect countertop, tile, thin set mortar, V notch trowel, tile saw, grout, grouting sponge, level, acrylic caulk.
First, prep your walls so they’re smooth and ready for tile and double check you have enough tile to complete the project. (It’s good to have 10% more than your square footage for horizontal or mesh installation, more like 15-20% extra with diagonal installation due to all the cuts.)Pin It