Let's walk through this backsplash tile installation project to get an idea on what's involved and what to expect your kitchen to go through during this process.
If you didn't buy your tile yet, you can save 20% on your tile purchase from certain tile retailers. You can still get this 20% tile discount when you buy your tile regardless of who you hire for your backsplash project.
Here's the 'before' view of half of this backsplash area...
And here's the other side of this backsplash area going all the way to the fridge.
The following pictures show the main work steps involved in installing a backsplash and how I treat your kitchen during this process.
Once you have everything removed from your countertops, I use this plastic sheets with tape as the first layer in protecting your counters. The plastic sheet also goes down over the face of your cabinets, covering the drawers area.
The next layer of protection can be towels, drop cloths and even cardboard. They get moved around as the tile work progresses.
As you can see, this type of tile does not have any straight edges. This means that even a piece of tile that goes on an otherwise open area of the backsplash with no obstacles nearby, still needs to be cut straight on the side that goes against the countertop.
The black sharpie mark you see on the above tile, needs to be cut out because that's where the tiny bolt holding the plastic cover will have to go through at the end of the job.
It's definitely a delicate part of the process and it's very important to be done right so your outlet will be strong enough to take on the forces of pushing and pulling the things you'll be plugging in there.
All outlets and switches will be pulled out a bit and they will most likely need longer bolts to accommodate the thickness of tile. There's quite some work for each outlet or switch and this takes time to be done right.
Even your concrete floor (patio, garage, etc) is protected with a tarp on the area where the wet saw is placed. This tool has a diamond blade and it's used to cut your backsplash tile to the right size. The use of water makes cutting tile a dustless event. No dust!
There are also small areas where I like to go the extra mile and install tile up in that open corner for a better look than if I were to cut all tile in a straight line under the cabinet.
Here's an even better example of going the extra mile installing tile up there. These void spaces are the result of standard cabinets getting close to the wall but not all the way.
A filler piece of wood covers the front of the cabinet so you don't see a gap there but this view under the cabinets is mostly seen when you're sitting down so it's much better to have tile run up the wall there than to cut the tile straight and see the wall/paint above tile line.
On the left side of the picture you can also see a matching white profile trim piece that covers the ends of the tile which were cut in a straight vertical line where the cabinet ends.
The stove is pulled out a few inches so tile can be installed lower behind the stove to avoid seeing un-tiled wall. Plastic sheets and tape prevent anything from falling behind the stove, including grout.
After all tile installation is complete and the last tile installed had time to dry overnight, it's grouting time! All outlets and switches get protected with (blue) tape so no grout can get in and around them.
Grout time! Grouting is a messy, muddy work which is the main reason to have the plastic sheets taped over your countertops in the first place. The orange thing is a grout float used to spread the grout and push it down in the spaces between tiles.
The faucet is completely taped away in plastic sheets during grouting. A bucket and sponges are needed during grout clean-up and these are placed on a drop cloth on the kitchen floor.
When grouting is done and also cleaned up, the tape is removed from outlets and switches and the covers can be installed back in place. See the 2 bolts on the cover? Those need room to get in their place so if the tile was not cut properly at the right time, one could run into problems at this stage.
When grouting is done, the plastic sheets are carefully rolled away from countertops. Your counters are 'given back' to you exactly as they were before the plastic sheets were applied.
And here's the backsplash tile project, all done.
Range hood was installed back in its place and the tile runs everywhere behind it for the best look.
And here's the last picture of backsplash. Hope you enjoyed the walkthrough and now you have a better idea of what your kitchen will go through and how much work there is to do.
Ready for your backsplash or other home improvement projects in The Valley?
Call or text Mark at:
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