Installing a chevron backsplash can add a bold, modern look to your kitchen or bathroom. Chevron patterns using tile or other materials create visual interest and give your space a unique style. With some planning and the right materials, installing a chevron backsplash is a DIY project that can be accomplished in a weekend.
Steps to Install a Chevron Backsplash
Choose Your Materials
Chevron backsplashes can be created using tile, metal, glass, stone, or other sheeting materials. Consider the look you want to achieve and your budget when selecting materials. Some popular options include:
- Porcelain or ceramic tile – Durable and affordable, available in many colors/finishes
- Glass tile – Adds shiny, sleek style. Often used for bold color patterns
- Metal backsplash sheets – Modern look, very sleek, easy to cut and install
- Natural stone – Elegant look but more expensive, may need sealing
Make sure to purchase enough material to cover your backsplash area plus extra in case you need to recut pieces.
Prepare the Surface
Proper surface preparation is key for a long-lasting backsplash installation. Ensure the wall surface is clean, dry, and flat. Here are some tips:
- Remove existing backsplash if there is one and clean off any adhesive residue
- Sand and paint the walls if needed so the surface is smooth
- Repair any holes or imperfections; fill with spackle and sand smooth
- Prime the walls if painting to help the adhesive stick
Once prepped, mark vertical and horizontal lines on the wall spaced equally apart for your chevron pattern.
Cut the Chevron Shapes
Use a wet saw or tile cutter to cut your material into chevron shapes. Measure and mark the size needed, then carefully cut the triangular point.
- Cut Chevrons from full pieces for most efficient use of material
- Make sure Chevrons are uniform in size for consistency
- Cut edges should be smooth and even
Always use safety equipment like goggles and gloves when cutting.
Set the Bottom Row
Start by applying thinset adhesive to the wall and setting the bottom row of chevrons.
- Use a notched trowel to spread the thinset evenly
- Press chevrons firmly into place, aligned with your guideline
- Use tile spacers between chevrons for even spacing
- Let adhesive cure according to manufacturer directions
The bottom row establishes the layout, so make sure placement is accurate.
Alternate and Set Chevron Rows
Work your way up the wall, applying thinset and setting chevrons in alternating directions row by row.
- Chevrons should point up and down in every other row
- Continue checking vertical/horizontal alignment
- Use spacers to keep even gaps between tiles
- Apply pressure to adhere chevrons to thinset
- Allow thinset to cure fully between rows
Overlap seams between chevrons for stability. Wipe away any excess thinset as you work.
Cut Border Pieces to Finish
For the top row, measure and cut border pieces to size to complete the chevron pattern.
- Border should match the angle of the last row of chevrons
- Cut and fit borders carefully for precision
- Seal any exposed wall edges with caulk
Take time on the borders for a polished finish. Remove spacers and allow thinset to fully cure before grouting.
Apply Grout and Sealant
Grout fills in gaps between tiles, finishing the installation. Follow package directions.
- Apply grout carefully using a grout float or rubber grout tool
- Wipe away excess grout with a damp sponge
- Clean grout haze once dry with a soft cloth
- Use caulk for changes in plane around edges
- Allow grout to cure fully before sealing
Sealing is recommended to protect the finish and prevent staining or moisture damage.
And that’s it! Step back and admire your bold new chevron backsplash. With the right prep and patience, DIY chevron backsplash installation is very achievable. The eye-catching pattern will be a stunning addition to your kitchen or bath.
Frequently Asked Questions about Installing Chevron Backsplashes
What tools do I need to install a chevron backsplash?
You’ll need a wet saw or tile cutter to cut the chevron shapes, trowel for spreading adhesive, grout float, sponges, buckets, and various hand tools. Safety gear like gloves and goggles are also a must.
How do I get clean, precise chevron cuts?
Use a sharp new blade in your wet saw for each new project. Measure precisely and cut slowly for clean edges. Keep water tray full while cutting tile. Make sure tile is firmly settled before cutting.
What’s the best way to get the layout aligned?
Measure carefully and mark guidelines on the wall. Start with the bottom row using spacers for equal gaps. Check horizontal/vertical alignment often as you go up. Border pieces should match angles.
Can I install a chevron backsplash on drywall or do I need backerboard?
Backerboard (cement board) provides a more durable, moisture-resistant surface than drywall alone. For wet areas especially, backerboard is recommended behind tile.
How long does the thinset need to cure before grouting?
Follow the thinset manufacturer’s directions but typically 24-48 hours. Test a small area to make sure tiles are firmly set before grouting. Rushing this step can cause problems later.
What’s the best way to grout a chevron backsplash?
Use a grout float or rubber grout tool, holding it at a 45° angle to force grout into joints. Wipe diagonally across the tiles to remove excess. Let it cure before sealing as recommended.
The striking look of a chevron backsplash makes the project time and effort worthwhile. With thoughtful planning and preparation, you can achieve quality results and avoid common pitfalls. Focus on proper surface prep, precise tile cutting, careful thinset application, and thorough grouting and sealing when installing your chevron backsplash. Take your time, follow product directions, and don’t be afraid to call in a tile pro if needed. With some dedication and care, you can DIY a bold, beautiful chevron backsplash in your home.