Introduction

Installing a Tile Backsplash
Photo: Roger Turk
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Enter any attractive, well-designed kitchen and your attention - not surprisingly -will likely be drawn to the finely crafted wood cabinetry or gleaming appliances. You’ll probably not even notice the kitchen’s backsplash area, that innocuous sliver of wall running between the countertop and upper wall cabinets.

To help convert this boring wall space to an attention-grabber, we asked Jimmy Tiganella, owner of Classic Tile in Oakville, Connecticut, to show us how to install a glazed ceramic tile backsplash. For visual interest, this particular design uses tiles of various sizes, including decorative field tiles and fanciful border tiles. The result is an attractive, durable, easy-to-clean surface that greatly enhances the overall look and functionality of the kitchen.
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    Tools List

    • two-foot level
      2-foot level
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • rubber float
      Rubber grout float
    • tile nippers
      Tile nippers
    • 3/16-inch v-notched trowel
      3/16-inch V-notched trowel
    • caulk gun
      Caulking gun with tub-and-tile caulk
    • bucket with sponge
      Bucket and sponge
    • tile cutter
      Score-and-snap tile cutter
    • wet saw
      Optional: Motorized wetsaw,
      rents for about $45 to $70 a day, plus blade rental, is invaluable for notches and other complex cuts

    Shopping List

    1. DECORATIVE TILE

    2. LISTELLO TILE

    border



    3. CERAMIC FIELD TILE

    4. BULLNOSE TILE

    5. UNSANDED TILE GROUT

    6. ACYLIC TILE MASTIC

    1 gallon for every 50 to 60 square feet



    7. CLEAN CLOTH

    8. 80-GRIT SANDPAPER

    9. CANVAS DROP CLOTHS

    to protect floor and countertop