How to Lay a Tile Backsplash in a Kitchen

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Laying a tile backsplash means using a backing material between the wall and the tile. Learn how to lay a tile backsplash with the help of a professional contractor in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Kitchen Tile Basics
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Chris Wade, and I'm a contractor from the city of Los Angeles, and today I'm going to show you how to install tile on a kitchen backsplash. Okay, here we are at our kitchen and we're going to show you how to do backsplash today. Taking into consideration that the countertop is already done, your back tiles are cut all the way to the backsplash. Here we have our Hardibacker that goes along whatever walls that you're using, most of the time it's going to be a painted wall surface and you cannot put tile on a painted wall surface. It's got to have either a Hardibacker or a float whichever you prefer. Assuming this is the center of our wall, we're in between two walls, or just a wall and the edge of a countertop, you always want to start in the center pretty much with any kind of tiles that you're going to use. Here's our center line. We mark our center line on the tile and that's where it's going to start. You start on the bottom layer and it does rest right on top of the tile, the tile countertop. So, that's pretty much what you're going to be looking at right there. Now again we're going to take our notched trowel, we're going to get some mud on it and you're going to start at the bottom and work your way up. Just kind of spread it around at a 45 degree angle like so. Then we're going to take our first tile and remembering where your center line is, if you have to mark it on the tile that's okay as well and just set your first tile there and we get our spacers and you just keep working your way, making any adjustment you need to make on the way and then you just start working your way. As always you don't put down as much thinset as you're not going to, or only put down the thinset that you can use and you just work your way and get your first layer down which will be your first course, bottom layer and you just go from your point from one end to the other and then you just. Now there are a couple ways that you can lay your tiles. You could either do them where the lines line up or you could stagger them. The better look I think, is to stagger them so you don't have one continuous line. You can take your second layer and you take the center of it and you line it up with the grout line on the one below it you can see and it kind of gives it a staggered look all the way across and you just, now you're going to work your second course, put your spacers in, making the adjustments as needed as you're going along and you just firmly press them up against the backsplash. I'm going to put a couple more up just so you can get an idea of what we're doing. So basically you're going to run your first course all the way down and then you're going to start your second course and you work your way all the way to what typically would be a cabinet up here, an upper cabinet and you always want to make your last and final cut right below the cabinet in the most inconspicuous spot. Once you're all done with everything your cuts, your pieces, everything's in, you always want to wait 24 hours before you can grout. And that about sums it up.

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