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How to DIY Your Kitchen Backsplash

The backsplash is the area that extends from the bottom of the cabinets down to the kitchen countertops. Its primary purpose is to protect the wall behind the countertop from food debris and spilled liquids that can run down through it. In contrast to most kitchen projects that require technical expertise, tiling your kitchen backsplash is one that can truly be called a DIY project that can be done in only a few hours, with minimal tile cutting.

Moreover, these countertop and wall protectors not only make cleaning easy, but they also add a gorgeous visual element to your kitchen design, which adds value to your home. Now, let's delve into the steps on how we can incorporate these into our kitchen.

Step #1: Prep the Walls

Begin by marking the centerline of the cabinets. This will serve as a guide to help you align the tiles upon application. But before you install the tiles, make sure to clean any food or liquid residue that is left on the wall with a damp sponge. Remove all of the hardware, ripped wallpaper, electrical plug outlet plates, or other detritus on the wall to make the surface as smooth and clean as possible.

Step #2: Spread Adhesive for the Tile

Use a palette knife or margin trowel to load the notched trowel with tile adhesive. Make sure to work with extra care and wear protective gear, since this DIY project can be a messy one. The next step is to comb the tile adhesive by holding the trowel at about 45 degrees until the entire surface is fully covered with tile adhesive.

Step #3: Place the Tile

Start working upward one row at a time by pressing the tiles firmly into place, but avoid squeezing the mastic into the joints. It is also important to periodically check your work to ensure that the application of the tiles is well secured on the wall. Remember to work in small sections because some adhesives tend to dry quickly. After applying, wait for about 20 minutes before you fine-tune it.

Step #4: Cut Tiles for Small Edges

It is important to ensure that you're ending your wall at the right spot because installing tile where the edge is visible will leave your project looking unfinished. Do this by cutting tile sheets in order to seal the gaps around the exposed edges.

Step #5: Apply Grout & Clean the Wall

Apply the grout into the joints between the tile using the float, then scrape off the excess grout by moving the float diagonally across the tile to give it a clean look. Make sure to take away all the excess grout because you do not want the grout to dry and stick to the tile.

The most popular material for this home improvement project includes glass tile, marble tile, and ceramic tile.

These tile backsplashes can be extremely affordable or high-end depending on the material you use. If done correctly, adding a backsplash can bring dimension and design to your kitchen, and with so many different options to choose from, you can design a kitchen that's not only functional but also visually appealing. 

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