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Kitchen Backsplash Ideas for La Jolla Kitchen Remodeling: Tips for Do-It-Yourself Tile Backsplash

A quick and inexpensive way to give your kitchen a new look is to add a tile backsplash. Tile backsplashes - behind the stove or the sink and between the cupboards and countertops - are both practical and colorful. They are easy to clean and quickly transform wall space from bare and boring to fun and beautiful.

Installing a tile backsplash is a project you can complete in a weekend without spending a lot of money. When choosing to forgo the help from La Jolla contractors and home remodel experts, it is important to have a clear plan of action before you begin tackling this home improvement job. The key to successful tiling is preparation and there are guidelines you should follow for getting started and installing the tile.

Steps to Take Before You Start Adding Backsplash to Your La Jolla Kitchen:

1. Make sure the wall is firm and smooth enough to hold tile. If your drywall is damaged, repair it.

2. Prepare the walls for tiling by smoothing out any rough spots, cleaning with warm water, and removing electrical outlet covers.

3. Make sure the wall is not damp. If necessary, dry it with a dehumidifier.

4. Decide how much area you'll be tiling. Backsplashes can vary from a few inches above the countertop to all the way up to the cabinets.

5. Measure the area you'll be tiling by multiplying the width by the height.

6. Estimate the number of tiles you'll need based on your measurements. Wall tiles are typically available in 4-1/4-inch to 6-inch squares. A standard 4-foot-by-1-foot backsplash requires at least 20 6-inch tiles. Buy extra tiles in case you break any.

Steps for Installing Tile:

1. Turn off electrical power in the area where you're working.

2. Start the first tile in the center of the base of the backsplash. If your countertop is tiled, line up the backsplash grout veins with the countertop grout veins.

3. Apply the recommended adhesive with a trowel, holding the trowel at a 45-degree angle. Spread a thin layer. Work in areas about 3 feet square to avoid having the adhesive dry out.

4. Lay the first tile, positioning it with a slight twisting motion. Use a level to make sure it is even.

5. Place a spacer on each corner of the first tile. Cut one end of the spacers off in order to fit them between the countertop and the bottom of the tile. Push the spacers into the adhesive.

6. Continue laying the tiles in a row, out from the first tile and flush to the spacers. Wipe off excess adhesive and leave enough space for grout. After finishing the first row, begin with the next row and repeat until finished. Check occasionally to make sure all are level.

7. If you are laying tiles around an electrical outlet, make sure the cover will hide tile edges when you replace it.

8. When you've laid all tiles, wipe off any excess adhesive with a damp cloth. Clean between the tiles with a rounded stick.

9. Allow the adhesive to set according to instructions. Remove the spacers.

10. Mix the grout according to instructions. Wear gloves and safety goggles. Apply the grout using a rubber float, spreading diagonally at a 45-degree angle across the tiles and packing it between the tiles. Wipe off excess when it becomes firm.

11. Shape the grout joints using a rounded stick. Clean the tiles again and smooth the grout joints with a damp sponge.

12. After the grout dries, wipe off the tiles and shine them with a clean cloth.

13. Replace the electrical outlet covers. Use longer screws (1-1/4-inch to 1-5/8-inch) with plastic washers to make the covers flush with the tile.

If you think you may require assistance beyond the above tips, consider hiring professional La Jolla kitchen remodeling contractors or designers. Browse our La Jolla directory to find local remodeling contractors and experts who can enhance the appearance of your home.

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