The first step to installing your new faux tin back splash is to prepare the surface area. The tile can be placed directly over drywall or painted surfaces but you should avoid attaching them to wall paper. If you do have wall paper as your current wall covering you should soak it well with a soapy sponge, peel it and remove the glue remaining on the wall with a putty knife.
With your surface area prepared you can create your pattern layout. The tile sections can come in various sizes but for best results in the kitchen you may want to use the rectangular sections (roughly 18x24''). Determine if you want a back splash of uniform height or if you intend to cover the entire wall area. The easiest method of course is to create a back splash of a uniform height 1 tile high. Obtain all materials from a hardware store such as Lowe's or Home Depot. Purchase a few extra tile in case of error, enough tile trim section for the entire length as well as for each wall corner and double edged trim for each inside wall corner.
For best results begin with an inside corner. Cut a length of inside double edge trim to the height of the back splash and glue it into the corner (You may want to hold it in place for a couple of minutes to insure a good bond). Next you can start installing panels. Remove the protective plastic sheeting covering the panel if there is one. Measure to see if the panel will cover any light switches or electrical outlets. If so refer to the cutting instructions in step 4. Turn the panel face down and cover the back with glue. Use a caulking gun and for best results use vertical lines from top to bottom and every two to three inches across the whole back. Insert the edge of the tile into the corner trim and hold it firmly in place. Put pressure across the entire surface of the tile to ensure that the glue takes hold. Use sections of blue painters tape to hold the top of the tile to the wall at the desired height and hold it in place for a few minutes as the glue sets. Continue to the next piece and overlap each piece over the previous one using the 1/4 to 1/2'' edge of the tile.
To make room for electrical outlets, wall switches and to end a run you will need to cut the tile. You can use a utility knife but for best results you should use a dremel tool with saw attachment or one of the Craftsman multi-purpose tools advertised so heavily this past Christmas. To cut out for outlets measure from the counter to the bottom of the wall box and from the corner to the wall box. Make corresponding marks on the tile with a sharpie (before removing the plastic covering). Use a straight edge and sharpie to mark your cuts and a utility knife or dremel to cut them. At the end of the line hold the straight edge against the tile as you cut to avoid accidentally slipping or cutting at an angle.
When all of your tiles are in place you will want to trim out your back splash. Cut and place edge trim section across the entire top run of the back splash as well as the end runs. For outside corners place the trim such that the most prominent section covers the less prominent section. Glue the trim sections into place and attach blue painters tape firmly to keep them from slipping or buckling.
To provide a good finish for the wall plates and switches you can buy stainless steel or burnished nickel replacement plates from most hardware stores. Another method is to purchase sheets of sticker tape of a design matching your trim from a hardware store and cover your existing wall plates. Cut the sticker tape to a size slightly larger than your plate, peel the sticker and place it over the plate, wrap the excess tape around the edges of the plate. Cut an 'x' into the tape through the opening of the plate and wrap the tape flaps around the plate so that they are well hidden behind.
Things You Will Need
- Liquid nails or plastic glue (sold in the same aisle as the panels in most hardware stores)
- Utility knife
- Measuring tape
- 2' level
- Straight edge
- Dremel tool with saw blade
- Painters blue tape
- Sharpie marker
- If your counter top does not have a small back splash and merely ties into the wall you can purchase silver water proof caulk to seal the gap between back splash and counter top and give it a very professional finish.
- If you plan to paint the walls around the back splash consider doing so prior to installing the back splash. Use a pencil line on the wall to indicate where the back splash will be and paint slightly over the line. This will save all of the time that would be required to cut in the paint.