How to Install a Glass Tile Backsplash in an Existing Kitchen


Add some modern, colorful style to your otherwise neutral kitchen with glass tile. Glass tile has an iridescent quality that distinguishes it from any other type of tile. The bright colors of glass tile available are also a welcome change from the predominantly white and taupe colors of ceramic and stone tile. Glass tiles are available in a wide range of colors and sizes. A glass tile backsplash is easy to clean and modern and will add any color you like to your kitchen.

Things You'll Need

  • Brown butcher paper
  • Water-soluble glue
  • Trowel
  • Glass tile
  • Tile adhesive
  • Tile spacers
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Lay out a large piece of brown butcher paper that is slightly larger than your backsplash. Measure the backsplash and draw a template on the butcher paper.

  • Dry set your tiles on the butcher paper. Arrange them in the same pattern in which they will be adhered to the wall. This will help you determine the best pattern for your tile. Determine where cuts in the tile need to be made.

  • Measure and mark the back of each tile that needs to be cut with a piece of chalk. Cut the glass tiles with a tile cutter. Place the cut tiles on your template. Move and arrange the tiles until you are satisfied with the pattern.

  • Apply low-tack painter's tape and plastic sheeting to the top of the counter to protect it from dripping adhesive.

  • Start at the bottom of the backsplash. Spread 1/4 inch of tile adhesive on the wall with a trowel.

  • Place the first row of tiles across the bottom of the backsplash. Insert spacers in between the tiles to keep them level and evenly spaced. Set the additional rows in the same way you laid out the tiles on your template. Allow the tile adhesive to dry for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer.

  • Spread grout into the spaces between glass tiles. Smooth the grout over the tiles with the grout float, moving the float back and forth over the tiles to evenly distribute the grout and remove all air pockets.

  • Dampen a clean sponge with water. Wipe the fronts of the glass tiles to remove all grout and any residue from the adhesive. Allow the grout to dry overnight.

Tips & Warnings

  • The color of glass tile will be slightly altered by the color of the wall on which it is installed. Bring home tile samples from the store before selecting a final color. Look at the tiles from all angles and throughout the day before finalizing your selection.

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  • Photo Credit blue tile background image by Galina Barskaya from
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