How to Install a Bathroom Backsplash

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Installing a bathroom backsplash behind your sink or tub faucet can create a beautiful and practical addition to your décor. It will help water bead on the wall instead of getting absorbed. Most people choose ceramic tile, but you can also use glass tile to add an extra distinctive touch. The most important thing is to make your backsplash water tight so that you don't end up with mold or mildew on your wallboard underneath it.

Things You'll Need

  • Spackle Trowel Tile adhesive Two cotton rags Ruler Pencil Level X-acto knife Grout Squeegee Fine grained sandpaper
  • Patch any holes in the wall with spackle and sand them so they're smooth. Wipe the area down with a rag dipped in warm water to clean off any dust or debris. Check the wall to make sure it is completely dry before you begin the main part of your work.

  • Decide on the exact dimensions you would like your backsplash to be. The standard for a bathroom is four feet high by one foot across. Use your ruler and pencil to spec out the area so you know exactly where to lay your tile.

  • Beginning at the top of the area you marked off, use your trowel to apply a thin and even layer of adhesive on which to place your tile. (That way you don't have to worry as much about drips.) Hold the trowel at a 45 degree angle as you spread the adhesive across the wall to help you keep it steady.

  • Start laying your tile at the bottom of your wall as close to the center as possible. Put the level on top of that first tile to ensure that it is not crooked. Line up the rest of the row with that tile, leaving a 1/8-inch gap between each tile on all sides. Continue up the wall until you've completely covered your predetermined area. Score and cut tiles with the X-acto knife if they overlap the edges of the space.

  • Wait for the adhesive to set. Check the package for the exact length of time. Then spread grout across the tiles with a squeegee to fill in the gaps between them. Clean off any grout that ends up on the tiles' surfaces using a second damp rag. Make sure there are no gaps in the tile not completely filled in with grout. Fill them in as needed. Then allow four hours for the grout to dry. Sand off any grout that overflows the space between the tile. Wipe off any dust and buff the tiles to a shine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check one tile in each horizontal row with the level. Adjust any crooked tiles as soon as you notice them.
  • Be careful not to drop your tiles. They could shatter in the sink or tub.

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