Assessing Your Mobile Home
The first step is to assess the construction of your mobile home to determine if a tile backsplash is feasible:
- Wall material – Most modern mobile homes have drywall behind the kitchen counters, which provides a suitable surface for tile. Older models may have wood paneling which is not ideal for tile.
- Wall strength – Mobile home walls tend to be thinner and less sturdy than site-built homes. Ensure the walls can support the weight of tile and mortar. They may need added bracing.
- Moisture resistance – Tile backsplashes are very water-resistant, while mobile home walls are often less so. Any leaks could cause major damage. Take steps to properly seal the walls first.
- Outlet placement – The outlets in mobile homes are often placed directly on the wall surface. For a backsplash, they will need to be moved lower on the wall.
If your mobile home has drywall walls in good condition, it should be able to accommodate a tiled backsplash with proper preparation.
Planning the Backsplash Design
Consider the size and layout of your kitchen when planning the backsplash:
- Measure the area behind the countertop that you want to cover with tile. Mark where the tile will start and end.
- Choose the tile size, color, and pattern. Smaller tiles like 4-inch squares are best for mobile homes. Limit the tile area to just around the stove/sink.
- Decide if you want to do a full backsplash or just a small focal area of tile. Simple is better for mobile homes.
- Sketch out the tile layout and make sure any seams between tiles are in inconspicuous places.
- Choose coordinating grout color for between the tiles. A lighter shade of the tile color usually works well.
Preparing and Installing the Backsplash
Careful preparation is key to a successful install:
- Remove existing backsplash if there is one. Fill any holes or gaps in the wall.
- Make sure the wall surface is smooth. Install backerboard if needed to create a uniform surface.
- Apply waterproof membrane over the entire backsplash area. RedGard or Kerdi products work well.
- Mark the tile layout on the wall and check it looks straight and level.
- Apply thinset mortar using a notched trowel. Press tiles into place following your guides.
- Let tiles set for 24 hours before grouting. Apply grout between tiles and clean off residue.
- Seal grout and tile surface with sealant once fully cured. This protects from moisture.
Take your time and work carefully to get the tiles aligned properly. The end result will update your kitchen with some great style!
Tips for Maintaining the Backsplash
Here are some tips to keep your new backsplash looking its best:
- Use a gentle cleaner designed for tile rather than harsh chemical cleaners.
- Re-apply grout sealant once a year to protect from moisture and staining.
- Inspect for any cracks in grout lines or damage to tiles. Repair quickly to prevent water issues.
- Check for wall/tile separation over time which could indicate a leak or moisture issue behind the wall.
- Consider removing tiles if renovating or preparing mobile home for re-sale. They can crack during transport.
With proper care, your lovely new tile backsplash should hold up well for years to come!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you put a tile backsplash in a mobile home?
Yes, it is possible to install a tile backsplash in a mobile home, provided the walls are in good condition and properly prepared. Assess the wall structure, moisture resistance, and outlet placement first.
How do you prepare a mobile home wall for tile?
Fill any holes, install backerboard if needed for a smooth surface, waterproof the walls, check for level, and apply tile mortar before installing the tiles. Take steps to seal and reinforce the walls from moisture damage.
What size tile is best for a mobile home backsplash?
Smaller tile sizes like 4-inch or 6-inch squares are ideal for a mobile home backsplash. Larger tiles can crack more easily if the home shifts. Stick to just the stove/sink area.
Should I remove tile backsplash before moving a mobile home?
Yes, it is recommended to remove any tile backsplash before transporting a mobile home. The tiles can easily crack or fall off during transit due to vibration and flexing walls.
How can I update my mobile home kitchen on a budget?
Along with adding a small new backsplash, also consider new cabinet hardware, mounting curtains as “backsplashes,” affixing removable wallpaper, updating lighting fixtures, or adding a fresh coat of paint. Peel-and-stick vinyl flooring can also makeover a kitchen at low cost.
Adding some tile flair to your mobile home kitchen backsplash is an achievable project with the right preparation and techniques. Concentrate the tile work around the main workspace, choose small groutable tiles, properly seal and brace the walls, and take care when transporting the mobile home in the future. Applied well, a backsplash can give a stylish facelift to a mobile home kitchen on a budget.