Today’s blog is by guest, Roberta Madison from glasstilestore.com .  If you are up for tying this DIY (Do it Yourself) project she has some helpful hints.

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The DIY Backsplash: A Step by Step Guide

At first glance, backsplashes look like they are too complicated for a DIYer to handle. But the thing with backsplashes is that it is a lot easier to install than let’s say a whole floor or bathroom wall.

If you want to save money on costly professionals or if you are simply a beginner who is itching to try their hand at something that challenges creativity and skills, a backsplash project might be a good idea.

To start, the main materials needed for this project are tiles, grout, adhesive, tile cutter, rubber float, pencil, screw driver, measuring implements, and cleaning supplies.

Before proceeding with this project, be sure to read up on common tile blunders and Glasstile Blog’s quickstep guide on installing a backsplash.  Here we’ll go to specific details so as to give you an inkling of how to go about on this home improvement.

Plan the layout.First, measure the space. Determine how tall and wide the backsplash should be. After, search online orbrowse through home improvement magazines for inspiration. When deciding on a design, consider the size of the kitchen and its layout. Backsplashes do not only keep kitchens clean but it can also make small kitchens appear bright and airy.

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Next, choose the appropriate tiles. There’s a wide selection of color and materials available so it can be overwhelming.   For the ultimate in style and panache, we recommend metal, stone, or glass. However, ceramic or porcelain will do as well.

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Test the design.Before ripping old tiles or wallpaper, it is always good practice to test the design first. What you’ve drafted on paper may not translate well on the actual work space. This will also familiarize you with the proposed tile work and identify potential problem areas.

Prepare the area.Now the fun begins. Make sure that the power is turned off and then with your handy screwdriver, remove anything that will get in the way of the backsplash. Remove undercabinet lighting, range hood, and outlet cover plates.

Next, carefully tear down existing tiles and check the wall for any uneven areas. This is a crucial step that is often left out by beginners. After, sand the area to ensure that it is free of any unwanted elements. Sanding will also give painted surfaces a rough texture, allowing tiles adhesives and grout to hold.

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Install the tiles. Lay the tiles on the floor first so you can carefully follow your sketch. An easier approach is to trace the pattern on the wall.

Next, using a trowel, apply mortar or tile adhesive on the surface. Start at the bottom (where the wall and counter top meets) and work your way up, placing tiles from left to right. Make sure that the tiles are aligned and levelled before applying pressure on it to stick. For tricky areas (like corners or around electrical outlets), use a tile cutter to trim tiles accordingly. When done, allow the backsplash to dry overnight.

There are a lot of beautiful tiles available today and making your selection may be the hardest part!