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How to Install a Tile Backsplash

Updated July 7, 2021

Holly H.

By Holly H.

Add life to your kitchen with a tile backsplash. There are many options for tiling the kitchen backsplash, such as mosaics on mesh backing or peel-and-stick tile, for easy installation. Here's how to install tile over drywall with tile adhesive.

Prepare the Walls for Tile

Brown and tan backsplash, black stove and countertop with basket of bread and salt shaker on top.

A tile backsplash in the kitchen may be applied over clean, level drywall since sinks aren't considered wet areas, like showers, that require backer board. Before you begin, watch What's Inside My Wall?

Also, remember that using the correct trowel and mortar is critical to a successful tile project. Floor or wall, indoors or out, tile type and size are factors.

Clean and Repair the Wall and Install a Ledger Board

Plan the Tile Layout

Tile backsplashes need a 1/8-inch expansion gap around the perimeter where the tile meets the cabinets and countertops.

Adjust the Layout to Fit the Space

Tile the Backsplash

Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions on mixing and drying times.

Install, Grout and Finish the Backsplash

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