Our house is 115 years old. Anything we do to it in terms of renovations is going to be an improvement. The kitchen glass tile backsplash went from 75 inches of bliss to another 75 inches of bonanza. If you want to tackle a DIY kitchen project, read on to see where you can save money, time, and maybe learn a thing or two from pink tool girl and crew.
About 15 years ago, my friend Terry and I tiled a bathroom floor in my former house. That same friend teamed up with me again to install this tile backsplash. Great friends are worth keeping and friends who come back to help on additional house projects, they are to be treasured and spoiled when possible.
We first did a 75 inch by 13 inch section and it took two hours from start to clean up. I thought, no problem, this really wasn’t hard at all and it looks fabulous. So fabulous, that after surveying our handy work, my man and I decided that if half of the wall could look this good, then the entire countertop should be done.
OH NO!!! Do you ever have that could have/should have moment? I did.
I had only purchased enough tile to do the previously discussed 75 inches with some room for trial and error. I thought that we were tearing down the rest of the wall to extend the kitchen.
Well…when something turns out so well you go to plan B. Find more tile and do the entire wall.
After a mass search to find enough tile to complete the job (not at the sale price….ouch!) we tackled the additional unfinished 75 inches to end up with 150 inches of sheer tile backsplash pleasure.
I love how the backsplash turned out. It makes doing dishes a tad more enjoyable knowing that if some water does splash onto the wall, I can wipe down the glass tile with a measure of pride knowing I put this beauty up with my two hands……and Terry’s other two hands.
If you don’t think that you can do a tile backsplash yourself, please read on.
Grab a buddy and follow our tips and how-to suggestions. You can have your kitchen looking more spiffy in a few hours.
Step One- Measure Twice- Cut Once
Measure the area to see if you have the same height for the entire section you are tiling.
Measure again to determine where you are placing the tile. Mark it with a pen or sharpie .
I used a chalk line to measure my 10×10 area then cut pieces to fit the additional 3 inches of space needed at the top.
I also needed to cut the end of my tiles since they were zig zag.
Step Two-Puzzle Time
Piece your tiles together like a puzzle. Plan the tile pattern to make sure that you are happy with the layout. I needed three inches on the top of my layout so I cut extra tiles to complete my pattern. Remember to look at the color pattern as well as the shape.
Step Three-Stuck on You
Read the instructions for the mortar that you purchased. It explains how much water to mortar ratio you need per square foot. I mixed the entire bag which provided excess but I used it for a kids project that I documented in another blog post, 10 Fingers, 5 Toes.
I purchased dry mortar at Lowes ($11.00) and mixed it with water in a utility bucket. Use an electric drill with a cement mixer attachment. Follow the bags instructions.
Unless you have some herculean strength, use a cement mixing attachment for this part.
Note: Use the right (pink) tool!
A paint mixing attachment is different than a cement mixing attachment. Use a cement mixing attachment for mortar.
Step Four- Perfect PB & J
Put the mortar on a trowel and using your scraper apply the mortar to a small section of your wall where your first tile will be placed.
I like to think of this section like making the perfect PB&J. Balance is needed.
Too much mortar will squish out from behind the tile and you will need to use the tooth picks to scrape it off.
Too little mortar and the tile won’t stick.
Less is more then add more if needed.
Continue applying the mortar then piece your tile in place remembering to go back and make sure that your bottom tiles aren’t sagging. Use your rubber mallet with a piece of wood in between the glass tile and mallet to lightly hammer each section to evenly spread the mortar under each tile.
Step Six- Icing on the cake
After letting the mortar dry for 24 hours or as directed on the bag, this is the final step. Putting the grout into the grooves. There is a huge selection of colors for you to choose from that will match your glass tile. I went with a neutral color that matched my lightest glass tile. My kitchen is long and narrow and I wanted the lightest color to give size and dimension to my back splash.
Step Seven- Sigh with Pride
Step back and observe your work. Go back and repeat some of the tips that we suggested. Double check to make sure the seam spacing is consistent. Wipe off extra mortar from on top of the tile with an old rag or sponge where mortar may have squished out from behind into the grooves.
I hope that with our 7 Steps, you too will dare to DIY with our Glass Tile Backsplash Tips.
Have an Awesome Day,