How to Hang Something on Tile Backsplash

Hanging items on a tile backsplash can seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done successfully. A tile backsplash adds style and flair to any kitchen or bathroom. However, the hard surface doesn’t allow for simple hanging like drywall does. Proper preparation and using methods that distribute weight appropriately will allow you to decorate without damaging the backsplash.

Selecting Hanging Items for Tile Backsplash

When choosing items to hang on a tile backsplash, consider the following:


Heavy items like large mirrors, wide artworks, or thick floating shelves can crack tiles if their weight is not properly supported. Opt for lightweight decorations like small mirrors, narrow floating shelves, thin artwork, or wall-mounted utensil racks. If your heart is set on something heavier, make sure to anchor into studs or use heavy-duty hollow wall anchors.


Oversized items are more likely to flex, bend, or bow under their own weight and cause tiles to crack. Measure the area you want to hang things in and choose items that won’t exceed more than half that width. Many smaller items will distribute weight more safely.


Some materials flex more than others, which can lead to cracked tiles over time. Metal, wood, and rigid materials disperse weight better than cloth and other flexible materials that can bow or droop.

Mounting Method

If the hanging method only uses the tile as an anchor, like adhesive hooks or magnets, it’s likely to sheer tiles off the wall. Select hanging items that use screws anchored into studs or hollow wall anchors to safely keep the weight off the tile.

Tools Needed for Hanging on Tile Backsplash

To properly hang items on a tile backsplash, have these tools ready:

  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • Drill with assorted drill bits
  • Screws
  • Hollow wall anchors – Look for ceramic tile anchors or wedge anchors specifically made for drilling into tile. Plastic anchors can crack tiles.
  • Laser level (optional) – Helps mark level lines across tile if hanging several items

Finding Studs Behind Tile

Locating studs behind tile is crucial for safely dispersing weight. Here are methods to find studs:

Use a Strong Stud Finder

Not all stud finders work well on tile. Use an electronic stud finder designed for tile and masonry surfaces. Run it slowly over the area to detect wood studs. Mark locations with a pencil.

Check Behind Outlets

Outlets on walls are normally mounted into studs. Confirm by removing the cover plate and feeling inside the box for a stud side.

Knock to Hear a Solid Sound

Knock gently across the backsplash area and listen for a change in sound when you hit a stud location. The tile will sound denser compared to hollow wall areas. Mark spots that sound solid.

Look for Existing Screw Holes

Check if any previous screws were used to hang things on the backsplash. Remove one screw to confirm if there is a wood stud inside, then mark the stud location.

Hanging on Studs

Securing into studs behind the tile is the safest hanging method as it bears the weight. Use screws long enough to penetrate the tile and reach at least 1 inch into the stud. Here are some tips when hanging on studs:

Mark Stud Center

Mark the center of each stud to aim screws accurately. Missing the stud center can angle screws and lessen holding power.

Drill Pilot Holes

Drilling small pilot holes through the tile prevents cracking or shattering the glaze. Use a carbide drill bit made for tile.

Set Screw Depth

On your drill or driver, set the screw depth so screws cannot penetrate too deep into the soft wood after going through the hard tile.

Use Wall Anchors If Needed

If you hit a stud edge or gaps between studs, use hollow wall anchors rated for tile instead of plastic anchors. Screw them into the tile, then attach hanging items to the anchors.

Using Adhesives on Tile

Lightweight, removable adhesive products can hang lightweight items on tile without screws or anchors. Follow product directions closely to ensure bonds are secure and prevent tile damage during removal.

Command Strips

These removable strips stick securely to tile and hold up to 16 pounds when used properly. Use the strips formulated for tile or glass surfaces only.

Adhesive Hooks

Hooks coated in a sticky gel adhesive are made to temporarily hang light items on tile. Press firmly for 30 seconds after attaching to ensure bonds.


Magnetic hooks or bars can hold lightweight items like kitchen tools. Use only on tile backsplashes installed over wood studs so magnets stick through grout lines.

Additional Tips for Hanging on Tile Backsplash

Use these extra pointers to further reduce risks of cracking or pulling tiles off the wall:

  • Distribute weight using multiple smaller items rather than one large, heavy item that stresses a small area of tile.
  • Only apply as much torque as needed when screwing or drilling to prevent cracking tile or grout.
  • Make sure adhesive products bond to the tile glaze, not just the porous grout which can break adhesion.
  • Check for loose or hollow sounding tiles and avoid attaching items there. Fill any gaps in grout lines first.
  • Periodically check for loosening of screws or adhesive and re-set items as needed to prevent gradual pulling on tiles.

With care, prep, and the right tools, your tile backsplash can support attached decor while maintaining its beauty. Use methods that disperse weight properly and your backsplash will handle light to moderate hanging. Follow these guidelines, and you can feel confident displaying kitchen tools, artwork, floating shelves or mirrors on your tile without damage.

Preparing Tile Backsplash for Hanging Items

Careful preparation is key to safely hanging items on tile backsplash. Follow these steps before attaching any decor:

Clean Tile Surface

Remove any grease or soap residue by washing the backsplash with an ammonia-based cleaner. Rinse and let the area dry completely so adhesives and screws bond tightly.

Check for Hollow Tiles

Tap gently across all tile areas and listen for any hollow or loose sounding tiles. Do not hang heavy objects on hollow or unbonded tiles that could break away under added weight.

Mark Stud Locations

Use a stud finder designed for tile to detect and mark all the wood studs inside the wall. Make a note of any utilities inside stud bays. Plan attachment points to hit stud centers only.

Map Out Design

Decide on the layout of the items you want to hang by marking locations with a pencil. Distribute weight evenly across studs and avoid clustering too many heavy objects together.

Purchase Proper Hardware

Buy specialized tile screws or hollow wall anchors so you can securely attach decor into the tile, not just the grout. Have tiles anchors and drill bits for tile ready.

How to Hang Kitchen Tools on Tile Backsplash

One popular item people like to hang on their kitchen backsplash is utensils, knives, and frequently used tools. Here are methods to hang a kitchen tool organizer or hooks safely:

Use Adhesive Hooks

Lightweight utensil hooks with adhesive backs are easy to stick to tile. Clean the surface and press hooks firmly in place at least 30 seconds to bind strongly.

Install Wall-Mounted Rack

Find a utensil rack with screw holes to mount into studs or anchors in the tile. Distribute weight by securing at least 4 screw points.

Opt for Magnetic Strips

Magnetic knife strips or bars adhere through the grout without damaging tile. Make sure the wall is installed over wood studs, so magnets are attracted through.

Hang Individual Hooks on Anchors

Screw sturdy metal or wooden hooks into ceramic tile anchors placed between studs. Stagger hooks across multiple stud bays to spread weight.

Avoid Tension Rod Systems

Spring-loaded tension rods that grip between walls put lateral torque pressure that can crack tile around rod ends.

Hanging frequently used kitchen tools makes them handy while cooking. Follow secure methods like using adhesives or anchors to avoid pulling tile off the backsplash. Check attachment areas regularly to keep items safely in place.

How High to Hang Decor on a Tile Backsplash

Determining proper height for hanging items keeps a backsplash looking balanced and intentional. Use these tips when deciding how high to place wall decor:

  • Floating shelves and ledges should align with bottom edges of upper cabinets. This creates a unified kitchen look.
  • Hang art and mirrors centered at an average eye level around 58-60 inches from the floor. Adjust height to suit the audience that uses the space most.
  • Position hooks, racks, and floating utensil bars at a comfortable working height for the cooks in the home, often 48-52 inches high.
  • If hanging multiple items, make a template aligned to the tile grout lines to mark evenly spaced holes for a professional look.
  • For small items like cups hooks, space hooks between 4-6 inches apart and keep the overall area used relatively contained.
  • Make sure clearance allows doors and drawers to open without hitting decor.

Measure carefully and use a level to get uniform, pleasing results. Mark locations with pencil, double check alignments, and hang decor at consistent heights for a cohesive display.

Hanging Large Mirrors on Tile Backsplashes

Wide mirrors create an open, spacious look and amplify light beautifully. But their size and weight require careful hanging techniques on tile. Here are some methods:

Use Mirror Clips

Mirror clip mounts glue onto the back of a mirror edge. The protruding ledge slots behind screwed-in wall cleats to hold weight.

Install D-Ring Hangers

D-rings on the mirror back attach to screws in the wall. Use at least 4-6 connection points to a stud to distribute weight.

Anchor Security Cables

In addition to other hanging methods, attach 2-3 hidden wires with security wall anchors across the mirror back to prevent crashing down if the main mount fails.

Avoid Adhesives

Mirror adhesive tabs do not bear enough weight for large mirrors. Over time, the mirror can loosen and fall.

Hanging heavy mirrors on tile is best left to professionals. If you DIY, use extremely secure attachment methods attached to studs to prevent the mirror from pulling tile off the wall. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended mounting directions.

Can You Use Command Strips on Tile Backsplash?

Command strips are removable adhesive strips that can hang lightweight items on walls. But can they safely stick to tile backsplash? Here is what you need to know:

  • Use tile-rated strips only – Standard Command strips are not formulated for tile. Look for special Command strip products rated specifically for tile and glass.
  • Thoroughly clean tile first – Oils, soap film, or waxes left on the tile will impede adhesion. Scrub area with ammonia cleaner and rinse before applying.
  • Press on firmly for 30+ seconds – Don’t just tap the strips on. Firmly hold pressure on the strips for half a minute to maximize the bond to the tile surface.
  • Avoid hanging near edges – Never apply Command strips on the bullnose rounded edges of tile. Avoid hanging near grout lines which can crumble. Stick strips to flat tile faces only.
  • Maximum weight limit is 5 pounds – Exceeding the load capacity can cause failure and tile damage when items crash down. Heavier items require other mounting methods into studs or anchors.

When used correctly on flat, interior tiles, Command strips specifically designed for tile can safely hang very lightweight items without damaging the backsplash. Always follow manufacturer guidelines for reliable results. Remove strips gently and slowly to keep tile intact for future use.

Hanging Framed Photos and Artwork on Tile

The sleek surface of tile backsplash provides the perfect accent wall to hang framed photos, prints, paintings, and more. Here are some tips:

Use D-Ring Hanging Hardware

Install d-ring hangers to the frame back and secure screws into studs or hollow wall anchors in the tile. Distribute weight across 4 anchor points.

Opt for Low-Profile Hangers

Thin, low-profile cleat hangers keep the frame tight to the wall using gravity and distribute weight more safely.

Add Felt Pads

Stick adhesive felt pads to the corners on the back to prevent scraping the glazed tile surface. Change pads as needed.

Limit Frame Width

Avoid wide or heavy frames that put stress on small areas of tile. Stick to photo prints, canvas prints, or framed art less than 24 inches wide.

Check Wire Tautness

If using wire hanging, ensure the wire is pulled tight across the frame back so art doesn’t tilt forward and stress mounting points.

Properly mounted frames create a polished, curated look on backsplashes. Follow secure hanging techniques to preserve the beauty of your tile accent wall.

Can You Use Magnets to Hang Things on Tile Backsplash?

The porcelain or ceramic material of tile is not magnetic. But can magnets still hang lightweight items if installed over wood framed walls? Here is what to know:

  • Magnets only work with wood studs – Tile on concrete, brick, or wire lath cannot hold magnets. But most backsplashes are installed on conventional wood framed walls.
  • Use powerful rare earth magnets – Standard magnets are too weak to penetrate grout and glaze. Look for neodymium rare earth magnets.
  • Only very lightweight items – Heavier objects can rip magnets off the tiles. Limit hanging to notes, photos, thin shelves up to 3 lbs, utensil bars, etc.
  • Avoid porous grout – Bond magnets to the glazed tile surface only. Grip on rough grout can fail over time.
  • Prevent sliding – Use rubber bumpers adhered to magnets or rubber shelf liner to increase traction and prevent sliding on the slick tile.

Magnets provide a quick solution for hanging lightweight notes, photos, and tools on a tile backsplash as long as a wood frame wall lies underneath. Be sure magnets and items hung are small to moderately sized and light.

Hanging Floating Shelves on Tile Backsplash

Floating shelves add a sleek, modern look to tile backsplashes. Follow these guidelines to safely install them:

Stick With Narrower Shelves

Limit shelf width to no more than 10-12 inches wide and under 18 inches long to reduce flexing torque on the tile wall.

Install Cleat Supports

Screw sturdy shelf cleats into studs first. Rest shelves on the cleats so weight stays on the studs, not just the tiles.

Space Multiple Shelves Properly

If installing more than one set of floating shelves, stagger them at different heights and span them across different stud bays to distribute weight.

Add Shelf Edge Protection

Line the bottom shelf lip with adhesive felt pads to prevent scraping or gouging the tile from shelf overhang.

Avoid Adhesives

Do not attempt to mount shelving using only adhesive strips or tape. These do not reliably support shelf weight long-term on tile.

Properly mounted floating shelves create useful space for displaying cherished items. Take precautions with shelving width, supports, weight distribution, and edge coverings to hang shelves successfully.

Can Tile Backsplash Support a TV Mount?

Tile alone generally cannot support the pull of a TV mount without eventual cracking or pulling tiles off. But if studs are accessible behind the tile, a mount can be safely secured. Consider these factors:

  • Use tiles rated for high loads – Tile rated only for wall use often crack under shear loads. Choose tile rated for high-traffic flooring use for greater strength.
  • Hit solid studs – Toggle bolts into hollow tile often fail eventually. Lag bolts secured squarely into stud centers bear the weight safely long-term.
  • Distribute force – Use multiple large bolts across studs and add extra support arms to disperse shear and torque rather than stressing one small area of tile.
  • Avoid adhesive mounts – Adhesive pads inevitably fail over time and cannot prevent a heavy TV from ripping tiles off the walls.

With sturdy tile and proper reinforcement into wood studs, a tile backsplash can support a wall mounted TV. Be extremely thorough and cautious to prevent cracked, broken, or detached tiles over time as the TV is used.

FAQs About Hanging Things on Tile Backsplash

Can you use Command strips to hang pictures on tile backsplash?

Yes, the Command picture hanging strips formulated specifically for use on tile and glass can safely hang lightweight framed photos and art on backsplash when used properly. Thoroughly clean and dry the area first. Press strips firmly for 30+ seconds and follow the manufacturer weight limits.

Do you have to drill into studs to hang things on tile?

It is highly recommended to drill and secure screws into the actual wood studs behind the tile anytime you are hanging medium to heavy items. This provides the strongest support and evenly disperses weight without stressing the tile.

What kind of anchors work best in ceramic tile?

Look for screw anchors specifically designed for ceramic tile, such as wedge anchors or ceramic tile hollow wall anchors. Plastic expanding anchors can crack and break tile. Ensure anchors are firmly screwed into the tile before hanging items.

Can liquid nails adhere things to tile backsplash?

Construction adhesives like Liquid Nails generally do not bond well long-term on non-porous tile surfaces. Temporary bonding can fail over time under the weight of items hung, risking damage to tile. Use mechanical attachments into studs or tile-rated anchors instead.

How much weight can tile backsplash hold?

There is no set limit since it depends on many factors. Small nails, screws, hooks, or adhesive strips can hold a few pounds. Hollow wall anchors may hold 15-30 pounds. A properly mounted TV bracket secured into studs can potentially hold hundreds of pounds. Assess each hanging project individually.


The sleek canvas of a kitchen or bathroom backsplash tile wall provides the ideal