How To: Tile A Splashback

What you will need

  • Tiles
  • Tile cutter
  • Tile spacers
  • Sealant & gap gun
  • Grout float
  • Grout finisher
  • Notched trowel
  • Spirit level
  • Flexible tile adhesive (should also be waterproof if tiling above a sink)
  • Tile grout (should be waterproof if tiling above a sink)
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Tile Bead
  • Sponge
  • Washing up liquid
  • Safety goggles

 

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  • 1 Prepare the wall for tiling. Find the centre-line of the wall/surface you are tiling to ensure you end up with equal tiles either side of the line. If tiling a defined area e.g. under a cooker hood, rule down parallel lines to mark where you will be tiling to.
  • 2 Check that your work surface is level. Lay your tiles and spacers against the wall and mark their position. Arrange the tiles in a way to ensure you have at least half a tile at both ends of the row. If required cut the end tiles at this stage. Allow 10mm for the tile bead at either end when measuring and cutting your end tiles. Top tip: If your work surface is not completely level fix a straight 2”x1” batten at the top of your first row of tiles. Use a spirit level to make sure the batten is completely level, then tile from this point to the top of the splashback. When the adhesive is completely dry remove the batten and infill the bottom row of tiles. You may have to cut tiles to fit but you won’t have to cut awkward slips.
  • 3 Before tiling, cover the work area to avoid damage from tile adhesive. If your cupboards have a pelmet, remove this and you can reattach after tiling. Make sure the wall is solid and flat. If there are any holes, fill these and sand smooth before tiling. If there are sockets you may want to loosen these before starting. Make sure to turn off the electricity at the mains before loosening any sockets. Top Tip: You may need longer screws (available in our stores) when you tighten up the plug sockets, as the tile will pull them further from the wall.
  • 4 Score the wall using a notched trowel. Then spread the adhesive on the scored area of the wall using the same tool. This makes sure that the adhesive is spread evenly and provides you with grooves, which allows you to push down and manoeuvre the tile into the correct position.
  • 5 Place the first tile on the centre-line of your splashback and move outwards. Use sliding movements to get the tile into position. Press spacers into the joints as you tile across the row. After the first row of tiles is in place, you will need to measure and cut the tile bead and then slot into place. Set the blade of the tile cutter right on the marked line. Press the blade down and push it forward across the tile in one smooth steady motion to score a line. Press the handle down firmly on either side of the cut and the tile should snap cleanly in two.
  • 6 If tiling under a cooker hood or cupboards, you will probably need to cut your top row of tiles to make them fit the space. Measure along at intervals as the cupboard or cooker hood might not be level. Mark the size needed on your tile and cut to fit using a tile cutter. Make sure to take into account the thickness of the tile spacers. Butter the adhesive on to the tiles and then place these tiles in position.
  • 7 Clean the tiles thoroughly to remove any excess adhesive. Leave the tiles to set for the time indicated in the adhesive instructions.
  • 8 When the wall is completely tiled, it will need to be grouted. Remove the spacers between the tiles and use a grout float to fill the gaps between the tiles with tile grout. Remove any excess grout with a damp sponge and leave to dry. For a finer finish you can point the grout by going over the grout lines using a grout finishing tool. Polish off the tiles with a clean dry cloth.
  • 9 The final step is to seal the joint between the tiles and the work surface. Squeeze flexible sealant along the joint and go over with a finger dipped in washing-up liquid to ensure a smooth finish.