How To Install Subway Tile Backsplash

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How We Installed Our Subway Tile Backsplash • Brittany Stager

How to Install Subway Tile Backsplash


Subway tile backsplash is a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Its classic and timeless look adds a touch of elegance to any space. Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or giving your bathroom a facelift, installing a subway tile backsplash is a great way to enhance the overall appeal of the room. In this article, we will guide you through the process of installing a subway tile backsplash step by step.

Materials You Will Need

1. Subway Tiles

You can find subway tiles in various sizes and colors. Choose the ones that best suit your style and the look you want to achieve.

2. Tile Adhesive

Tile adhesive is used to attach the tiles to the wall. Make sure to choose a high-quality adhesive that is suitable for your tiles and the surface you are working on.

3. Tile Spacers

Tile spacers help ensure even and consistent spacing between the tiles. They come in different sizes, so choose the ones that match the spacing you desire.

4. Grout

Grout is used to fill in the gaps between the tiles. Select a grout color that complements your tiles and desired aesthetic.

5. Trowel

A trowel is used to spread the adhesive evenly on the wall. Choose a trowel size that matches the tile size you are using.

6. Tile Saw or Cutter

A tile saw or cutter is necessary to cut the tiles to fit around corners, outlets, or any other obstacles.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Prepare the Surface

Before you start installing the subway tiles, make sure the surface is clean, dry, and smooth. Remove any existing backsplash, patch any holes, and sand down rough areas.

Step 2: Plan the Layout

Plan the layout of your subway tile backsplash. Measure the area, determine the height and width of the backsplash, and mark the starting point. It is essential to have a level line to ensure your tiles are straight.

Step 3: Apply the Adhesive

Using the trowel, spread the tile adhesive on the wall in a thin, even layer. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Use the notched side of the trowel to create grooves in the adhesive, which will help the tiles adhere better.

Step 4: Install the Tiles

Place the subway tiles on the adhesive, starting from the bottom and aligning them with the level line. Press each tile firmly into place and use tile spacers to maintain consistent spacing between each tile. Continue installing the tiles until you reach the top.

Step 5: Cut Tiles

Use a tile saw or cutter to cut tiles to fit around corners, outlets, or any other obstacles. Measure each cut carefully to ensure a precise fit. Remember to wear safety goggles when cutting tiles.

Step 6: Apply Grout

Once the adhesive has dried, remove the tile spacers. Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it to the gaps between the tiles using a grout float. Remove any excess grout with a damp sponge.

Step 7: Clean the Tiles

After the grout has dried for about 24 hours, clean the tiles with a grout haze remover to remove any leftover grout residue. Polish the tiles with a clean, dry cloth to bring out their shine.

Step 8: Apply Caulk

Apply caulk along the edges of the backsplash where it meets the countertop, sink, or any other adjacent surface. Caulk helps seal the gaps and prevents moisture from seeping behind the tiles.

Step 9: Enjoy Your New Subway Tile Backsplash

Once the caulk has dried, step back and admire your newly installed subway tile backsplash. It not only adds beauty to your space but also protects your walls from splashes and stains.