Brilliant White Shaker Kitchen with Backsplash - The RTA Store

How To Install A Kitchen Backsplash In 10 Steps

What better way to complement your beautiful cabinets and countertop than with a kitchen backsplash? This new addition can bring color, dimension, and a new focal point to your space. And here’s a bonus — backsplash tile is also easy to install! If you’re up for a DIY project, here are the materials and tools you’ll need to install a kitchen backsplash, plus a step-by-step guide.


Suggested Materials:


  • Backsplash Tile from The RTA Store
  • Mortar
  • Grout
  • Sealer
  • Tile Adhesive
  • Cheese Cloth


Suggested Tools:


  • Notched Trowel
  • Grout Float
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Straight Edge

Piano Stone & Glass Tile in Slate - The RTA Store

Step 1: Use your tape measure to determine the size of the space you’re going to tile. If your kitchen backsplash is going to cover a simple rectangle of wall, then your measurements will just be height x width. If your backsplash will run through multiple, different sized areas, you will want to measure each “section” individually and then add those measurements together. Once you have your total square footage, add about 10% to that number to account for any small areas you need to fill, and to keep as a backup if you need to do any replacements down the road.


Step 2: Get your kitchen ready for a DIY project by shutting off the power at any nearby outlets, unplugging and moving away all appliances (don’t forget to mark their highest point with a pencil first), and covering the countertops and floor. 


Step 3: If you discover there is any damage on your walls, you’ll want to take care of that before moving forward. Otherwise, clean the walls with water and a mild detergent. Assuming there is no existing tile on your walls, painted walls can be wiped down and then sanded. 


Step 4: Now is a good time to get a feel for how you will place the tile by pre-laying it on the wall and marking each sheet. This will give you an idea of where the tiles will go. You can use your straight edge and level if you need it. If you determine during this time that you may need to cut some of the width off your backsplash tile, you’ll need a tile cutter to do so. These can be rented from most local hardware stores. Vertical cuts can be done with a utility knife.


Step 5: Mix your mortar based on the instructions on the packaging and using your bucket and water. 


Step 6: Spread a thin layer of your mortar on one section of the wall using the flat edge of your trowel and pressing at a 45-degree angle. Then add a bit more mortar using the notched edge and create even ridges.


Step 7: Place your backsplash tile sheets against the wall. You can use spacers in between, and remove them later. Add more mortar and more sheets until you’ve covered the entire area of your kitchen backsplash.


Step 8: After 24-hours you can wipe off your tile using a damp sponge before grouting. Mix your grout (again following the instructions on the packaging) and then begin grouting in sections.


Cristezza Club Glass Tile in Slate - The RTA StoreStep 9: When grouting the tile, use your float at a 45-degree angle and work in a diagonal direction. If you have any excess grout, you can clean it up using your float and then following up with a clean, damp sponge. You’ll probably find it takes multiple times going over with the sponge before it looks perfectly right. After a few hours you can dampen your cheesecloth and clean over the tile to remove any haziness.


Step 10: Wait 24-48 hours until dry, and then seal the tile and grout to keep your kitchen backsplash protected.



At The RTA Store we help make your dream kitchen a reality with RTA (Ready To Assemble) and Pre-Assembled kitchen cabinets, and accessories with the same (if not better) quality you would find at any retail store but for a fraction of the price. Stop by our website or give us a call and let us make your kitchen dreams come true with the help of our free kitchen design tool!