(BPT) - The kitchen is the heart of the home for many good reasons. It serves as a central location for people to cook and catch up. It's the ideal place for entertaining and visiting. From birthday celebrations to baking adventures, it's the location of countless memories. Additionally, the kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in a home to renovate and upgrade.
Installing a new backsplash with glass, ceramic or mosaic tile is one of the fastest, easiest, most affordable options for kitchen improvements. What's more, with some new tips and tools, a backsplash becomes an easy DIY project that can be completed in as little as one weekend. Pairing a new backsplash with a paint job and simple cabinet hardware changes can dramatically transform the entire look of your kitchen, all at a modest price. For example, the cost of a 20-square-foot backsplash is under $100 in installation materials plus the tile.
Installing a backsplash yourself might seem difficult, but with some smart products, DIYers of all abilities can complete this transformative project. For example, instead of messy mixes for adhering tile, use no-mix SimpleSet, a premixed thin-set mortar that spreads quickly and easily. This is recommended to bond porcelain, stone, marble, granite and ceramic tile up to 15 inches, so you can easily create the tile backsplash of your dreams.
Another option that simplifies backsplash creation and eliminates messy mortars and mastics for bonding tile to wall is SimpleMat, which is available at Home Depot. This no-mix, no-mess alternative to traditional mastic installation products simplifies your project and helps ensure success. The easy-to-apply adhesive mat instantly bonds with the tile and retains bond strength for an extended time, so you can grout whenever you're ready.
One final trick to simplify a DIY backsplash is to use a pre-mixed grout like SimpleGrout. Because it's ready to go with no mixing, it's easy to use for the DIYer without the mess typically associated with grouting. Additionally, the sanded and crack-resistant formula resists stains for a long-lasting finish, so you'll enjoy your work now and for many years to come.
DIY kitchen backsplash steps
Are you ready to enhance your kitchen with a new backsplash? Follow these simple steps to make the project easier and faster, with great results you'll love to show off. Remember to put safety first when working on home projects by following manufacturer recommendations and wearing eye protection and gloves as needed.
Step 1: Measure your backsplash to determine the amount of tile, setting mat and grout needed for the project.
Step 2: If necessary, remove any wallpaper, tile or other existing coverings on the wall where the backsplash will be installed. In addition, make repairs to any damage to the wall to create a flat, smooth, stable surface for the bonding mat and the tile.
Step 3: Wipe the wall clean to remove surface dust or contaminants.
Step 4: Cut the two-sided adhesive mat to size, peel off the back to expose the wall-side adhesive and apply to the wall, overlapping sheets according to the instructions.
Step 5: Lay out and cut your tile in desired sizes and shapes. Remove the release liner to expose the adhesive ridges on the front of the mat. You do not need mortar. Set the tile in place on the wall and then firmly push the tile into the mat using your hand or a flat surface like a grout float to lock the tile into position. Mosaic tiles often come on 12” x 12” sheets that are already spaced for even easier application, or use grout spacers.
Step 6: Be sure to grout the tile with SimpleGrout within 24 hours after setting the tile into the adhesive. Apply the grout according to the directions, spread the grout using a grout float held at a 45-degree angle and make sure that grout fills every joint between the tiles.
Step 7: Remove excess grout and then wipe clean on a diagonal with a lightly damp sponge and microfiber towel using clean rinse water.
Step 8: Repeat the process until all of the tile has been grouted and cleaned.
With the wide variety of tile materials, shapes and designs, a backsplash is an easy way to update your kitchen to reflect your personality and modern style. Once your project is complete, you'll be ready to enjoy your new kitchen, whether it's taking a few extra moments to reflect while drinking your morning coffee or hosting a large celebration welcoming family and friends who will marvel at your DIY skills.