How to Install Backsplash Lowes

Installing a backsplash in your kitchen can completely transform the look and feel of the space. Not only does a backsplash provide an extra layer of protection for your walls against splashes and spills, it also serves as a stylish focal point. Adding a backsplash is a relatively easy DIY project that can be completed in a weekend. If you purchase your backsplash materials from Lowes, they have everything you need from tile to grout to make your project a success. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to install a backsplash using products from Lowes.

Choosing Your Backsplash

The first step is to select the material you want to use for your backsplash. Lowes offers a wide variety of backsplash tiles in different styles, colors, materials, and price points.

Porcelain or Ceramic Tile

Glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles are affordable, easy to clean, and come in tons of colors and patterns. Lowes carries popular backsplash tile brands like Daltile, American Olean, and Merola Tile. Consider the overall look you want to achieve – sleek and modern or old-world and traditional – and choose a style that fits your kitchen’s aesthetic.

Glass Tile

Glass backsplash tiles from brands like Stoneglass and Lunada Bay Tile offer gorgeous shine and visual depth. The color possibilities are endless. Glass tile is prone to chipping so handle with care. Choose smaller mosaic tiles rather than large sheets to make cutting easier.

Natural Stone Tile

For a natural rustic look, natural stone tile backsplashes from Lowes are lovely. Materials like marble, travertine, and slate have beautiful veining. Stone is more porous than ceramic or glass tile so extra sealing is required.

Metal Tile

Metallic backsplashes are trendy, playing with sheen and texture. Lowes provides affordable aluminum and copper-look tiles perfect for a modern industrial vibe. Consider tin ceiling tiles for a retro charm.

Easy Panels

Lowes now offers innovative easy-to-install backsplash panels that click or peel and stick into place without messy mortar or grout. Made of materials like metal, acrylic, or vinyl-wrapped MDF. Great for renters or temporary upgrades.

Once you decide on the material, determine how much you need based on the size of your installation area. Don’t forget to account for pattern repeat and trim pieces. Lowes specialists can look at your layout and recommend quantities.

Gather Your Materials

In addition to the backsplash tile itself, installing a backsplash requires several other materials available at Lowes:

  • Mortar – For spreading on the wall to set the tile. Choose polymer-modified mortar which has more flexibility and strength than regular thinset.
  • Grout – For filling in between the tile joints. Make sure to get grout that coordinates with your tile color.
  • Sealant – Important for sealing natural stone tile to prevent staining and damage.
  • Backerboard – Cement board or a water-resistant panel should be installed over drywall to give a stable base for tile.
  • Spacers – Plastic tile spacers keep tile evenly spaced during installation for consistent grout lines.
  • Grout float – A grout float helps spread and press grout into tile joints.
  • Grout sealer – Sealing grout makes it waterproof and prevents discoloration.
  • Caulk – Flexible silicone caulk seals all joints between the backsplash and countertops/walls.
  • Tape – Masking tape to border off the area during installation.
  • Tile cutting tools – A snap tile cutter and carbide scoring tool for precise cuts.

Lowes also sells backsplash installation kits that package many of these supplies together for convenience.

Prepare the Workspace

To ensure a smooth installation process, properly prepare your kitchen:

  • Remove everything from the backsplash area including appliances, upper cabinets, and existing backsplash tile if updating.
  • Protect the countertops and floors by covering with rosin paper or plastic sheets. Mask off the backsplash area with painters tape.
  • Clean the wall thoroughly and fill any holes or imperfections with spackle so the area is smooth.
  • If the existing wall is drywall, cut and mount cement backerboard panels per manufacturer instructions.
  • Plan your tile layout – measure the space and mark the center point. Dry lay tiles to confirm fit and pattern alignment.
  • Mix up mortar adhesive according to package directions. Let it slake for 10 minutes before applying.

Now the space is prepped and ready for backsplash installation!

How to Install the Backsplash Tile

Follow these steps for flawless tile installation:

Step 1: Apply Mortar

Use a notched trowel held at a 45° angle to spread a thin, even layer of mortar adhesive on the installation area. Apply only enough mortar that can be tiled within 10-15 minutes before it skins over.

Step 2: Set the Backsplash Tiles

Press tiles firmly into the mortar, using spacers to maintain even grout lines. Push until you feel the back of the tile make full contact with the mortar. Align tiles carefully to keep pattern lines straight.

Step 3: Let Tiles Set

Allow tiles to set for 24 hours without disturbance before continuing with grouting. This allows the mortar to fully cure and builds strength. Brush away any stray grout or mortar from the tile faces with water.

Step 4: Apply Grout

Prepare your non-sanded grout per package instructions. Holding the grout float at a 45° angle, press grout firmly into the joints between tiles. Remove any excess grout with the edge of the float.

Step 5: Clean Grout Haze

Once grout dries to a haze, buff tiles with a soft sponge and clean water to remove the film. Dry with a towel. Allow grout to cure fully for 24-48 hours.

Step 6: Seal Grout

Apply grout sealer according to manufacturer directions. This will waterproof the grout and protect it from stains and mold. Allow sealer to dry completely.

Step 7: Finish Touches

Run a bead of silicone caulk along all joints between the backsplash edges and walls or countertops to prevent water intrusion. Wipe away any excess caulk. Reinstall cabinets, appliances, etc. Admire your work!

And that’s it – you now have a fully installed kitchen backsplash from Lowes that elevates your space with style, savings, and your own handiwork.

FAQs About Installing a Backsplash from Lowes

What tools do I need to install a backsplash?

Basic tools needed are a tape measure, level, pencil, tile cutter, mixing buckets, notched trowel, grout float, sponges, tile spacers, caulking gun, and grout sealer. Lowes has all these tools available.

How do I cut the backsplash tiles?

Tile nippers score and fragment off small pieces. A snap tile cutter is best for straight cuts in ceramic, porcelain or glass. Use a wet saw for detailed cuts. For metal tile, a steel nibbler tool is used.

What if my wall surface is uneven?

Apply a layer of mortar to low areas and build up to level and plumb the installation surface before setting tile. Be patient and do multiple thin layers if needed versus one thick layer.

Should I use sanded or unsanded grout?

For tile joints 1/8” or smaller, use unsanded grout which has finer particulates. For wider grout lines, sanded grout provides better fill and less chance of cracking.

How long does backsplash tile installation take?

Once fully prepped, tiling a standard backsplash may take 2-3 days from start to finish. Allow proper drying and curing times for mortar, grout and sealers. Rushing the job can ruin the end result.

What’s the easiest backsplash to install?

Peel-and-stick vinyl and acrylic backsplash panels go up fastest without messy mortar or grout. Some click-lock systems are also very user friendly. Make sure to follow manufacturer instructions closely.

Can I paint my existing backsplash instead?

Yes, use a tile bonding primer like Etch or Stix so regular paint adheres permanently without chipping or peeling. Great option to refresh old tile on a budget.

With the right materials from Lowes and these how-to steps, you can install a backsplash like a pro!

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Installing a Backsplash

While backsplash installation may look straightforward in how-to videos and tutorials, there are some key mistakes DIYers commonly make. Be mindful to avoid these issues to ensure your backsplash turns out beautifully:

  • Not adequately preparing the surface – Warped drywall or lack of backerboard can cause tiles to pop off over time. Take time to start with a smooth and structurally sound area.
  • Improper tile spacing – Using incorrect tile spacers or no spacers at all can create uneven grout line widths and a sloppy finish.
  • Mixing up mortar improperly – Failing to mix to the right ratio or letting mortar slake can affect bond strength. Don’t spread more mortar than can be tiled in 15 minutes.
  • Not using release spacers at edges – Special spacers at vertical edges prevent tiles from sliding down during installation. They get removed later.
  • Neglecting the grout – Forgetting to seal grout or using a mismatching color can ruin the final look. Apply sealer every 1-2 years.
  • Not cleaning haze – Grout haze left to cure on tiles etches into the surface. Always clean tiles after grouting.
  • Applying caulk incorrectly – Match caulk color to the grout, and tool into crevices, don’t spread a thick layer on tile faces.
  • Improper tile cutting – Rushing intricate tile cuts causes chips and cracked tiles. Take it slow.
  • Waiting too long between steps – Letting mortar or grout dry too much prevents proper adhesion. Follow drying times closely.

Paying attention to the details in each step is key to avoiding these backsplash blunders!

Tips for Maintaining Your New Backsplash

Once your new backsplash from Lowes is installed, keep it looking fresh with proper care:

  • Seal grout and natural stone annually with approved sealers to prevent staining and damage.
  • Immediately wipe up any food, grease or water splatters to prevent buildup of grime.
  • Clean backsplash gently with mild dish soap and water. Avoid harsh cleaners which can etch or dull the finish.
  • Re-caulk joints if cracked or pulling away, using a caulk that matches the grout color.
  • Limit direct sunlight exposure which can cause fading over time. Install UV-resistant film on windows.
  • Avoid using tapes or adhesives on the backsplash surface which can pull off any protective coatings.
  • Use cutting boards and trivets to protect the surface from kitchen tools that can scratch, chip or fracture tiles.
  • Rearrange decorative backsplash items periodically to prevent uneven fading in one spot.

Following the manufacturer’s care recommendations for your specific backsplash material is always wise. With proper maintenance, your backsplash will retain its beauty for years of daily use.

Enjoy Your New Backsplash!

Part of the fun of a DIY backsplash project is choosing from the endless backsplash products at Lowes to create a one-of-a-kind focal point that expresses your personal taste. With a weekend of time invested, you can completely transform the look of your kitchen. Just be sure to do careful planning and prep, review the step-by-step installation guidance, and avoid common mistakes. Take your time and enjoy the process. Before you know it, you’ll have the backsplash of your dreams from Lowes that adds function and beauty to your home.