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Home: How to Articles from Remodeling to General Fix It's: How to Install a Ceramic Tile Backsplash

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How to Install a Ceramic Tile Backsplash

Written by; Tevin Pennington / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Sun Sep 20 2009


The beauty of ceramic tile is indisputable. Ceramic tile is comprised of clays, quartziferous sands, glass substances and other minerals. This means it is a natural raw material made by mixing with water and firing at extremely high temperatures.

One home improvement project, installing a ceramic tile backsplash, is popular for the beauty and the quality of ceramic tile.

There are many benefits of ceramic tile. It is durable and is fade resistant. It also helps to improve air quality; it is not a primary or secondary source of air pollution.

Ceramic tile adds in insulation and is a renewable raw material. Another benefit is that this type of material offers safety; it is slip resistant.

Ceramic tile, when used as a kitchen backsplash, offers affordability and style.

When most think of ceramic tile, they erroneously believe it is too expensive.

Tiling a smaller area is cost-effective. Additionally, the durability of ceramic tile is that it will outlast the less expensive materials. Ceramic tile is also available in varying sizes, colors and patterns. There will be one that is perfect for your decorating needs.

The tools needed for this project are: a tape measure, a level, a tile cutter, tile saw, goggles and a notched trowel. The materials needed are: waterproof mastic tile adhesive, waterproof grout, glazed wall tiles, latex gloves, plastic washers and screws (1 1/4" to 1 5/8").

The first consideration is that the wall must be able to hold the weight of ceramic tile. Repair any damaged drywall.

Design your backsplash by determining how up the wall it will extend; typically, a backsplash is 4" up from the countertop. Estimate the square footage needed by multiplying the length times the width.

To begin this project, turn off the power to electric outlet by where you are working and remove the electrical outlet covers.

Thoroughly wash the area with warm water and allow it to dry. Apply the adhesive at a 45 degree angle using a notched trowel. A thin layer should be applied and you should work in small areas so the adhesive doesn't have time to dry.

Lay the first tile in the center at the base of the backsplash. A slight twisting motion is done when placing the tile. Check with a level to make sure a tile is square. Set a spacer on the first tile's corners. Cut one end of the spacers off so that it can fit between the tile's bottom and the countertop. Carefully insert spacers into the adhesive.

Continue laying the tiles in a row, flush to the spacers. Wipe off any excess adhesive as you work. Space needs to be left so that grout can be installed later. A tile can be cut by scoring the tile with a tile cutter and cut with the tile saw.

After all tiles have been placed, allow the adhesive to set according to the manufacturer's directions. When the adhesive is set, you can remove the spacers.

Apply grout that you have mixed according to the directions. Spread the grout (with gloves and goggles on) at a 45degree angle. Make sure the grout is packed into the tiles and wipe off any excess with a damp sponge after the grout is firm.

Finally, wipe off the tiles and enjoy the beauty of your kitchen backsplash.

If all of this is too much to take on, be sure to search for a local tile contractor in our local business directory.


Copyright: 2009

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