How to Install Chevron Tile Backsplash

Installing a chevron tile backsplash can add a dramatic, modern look to your kitchen or bathroom. With some planning and the right materials, you can achieve this eye-catching design even if you have minimal DIY experience. Here is a step-by-step guide to installing a chevron tile backsplash.

What You’ll Need

  • Chevron tiles
  • Tile adhesive
  • Notched trowel
  • Grout
  • Grout sealer
  • Tile spacers
  • Tile cutter
  • Safety gear – gloves, goggles, knee pads

Preparing the Surface

Before installing the tiles, you need to make sure the surface is properly prepared.

Clean the Surface Thoroughly

Use a degreaser to clean off any dirt, grease or soap scum on the walls. Rinse thoroughly and let dry completely.

Remove the Outlets and Switch Plates

Use a screwdriver to remove any electrical outlets, switch plates, or anything protruding from the walls. This allows the tiles to lay flat.

Fill Any Holes or Cracks

Examine the surface and fill any holes, cracks or uneven spots using spackle or joint compound. Let it dry completely before sanding smooth.

Apply Primer if Needed

If painting previously, apply a coat of primer to help the adhesive stick. Let the primer dry completely before tiling.

Planning the Layout

Proper planning ensures your chevron pattern is aligned and evenly spaced.

Measure the Area

Measure the height and width of the space to calculate the tile layout. Having these measurements allows you to plan the pattern and purchase enough tiles.

Mark the Center Point

Use a level to mark a vertical line down the center of the installation area. This acts as your guide when laying the tiles.

Do a Dry Layout

Lay the tiles on the floor in the chevron pattern without any adhesive to test the layout. Adjust until you have the desired look.

Calculate the Angle

The angle of the chevron lines will depend on the size of your tiles. Larger tiles mean a smaller angle. Plan accordingly.

Allow for Cut Tiles

The edges will likely need cut tiles to fit. Leave a 1/8th inch gap between the tiles and wall.

Installing the Tile Backsplash

Once your surface is prepped and layout planned, it’s time to install the tiles.

Mix the Adhesive

Mix the thinset mortar adhesive according to package directions. Let it slake for 10 minutes before using.

Spread the Adhesive

Use the notched edge of the trowel to spread adhesive on a small section of the wall at a time.

Add the Tiles

Following your layout, press the tiles firmly into the adhesive. Use spacers between tiles.

Follow the Pattern

Work in sections starting at the center line and apply tiles working outwards in the chevron pattern.

Cut Edge Tiles

Measure and cut tiles to fit around outlets, corners or edges using a tile cutter.

Let Adhesive Cure

Allow the thinset adhesive to cure for 24-48 hours before continuing to grout the tiles.

Grouting the Chevron Tile Backsplash

Grouting fills the seams between the tiles, finishing the installation.

Mix the Grout

Mix grout to a thick peanut butter consistency. Use sanded grout for wider grout lines 1/8” or larger.

Apply Grout

Use a grout float or rubber grout float to spread grout over the tiles, pressing into the seams.

Clean Excess Grout

Wipe diagonally across the tiles with a damp sponge to remove excess grout on the surface.

Seal the Grout

Once dry, apply a grout sealer to protect from moisture and staining.

Remove Spacers

Finally, remove any spacers between the tiles once the grout has cured, typically 24-48 hours.

Tips for Installing Chevron Tile Backsplash

  • Miter inside and outside corners to continue the chevron pattern seamlessly.
  • Expect the project to be labor intensive and time consuming.
  • Use tile leveling systems to keep tiles even during installation.
  • Use a laser level to help keep tile lines straight.
  • Cut tiles slowly and carefully for clean edges.
  • Work in small sections to keep adhesive from drying out.
  • Keep joints consistent in width for a clean finish.

With some careful planning and attention to detail, you can achieve a stunning chevron tile backsplash! The dramatic look is worth the effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Tile is Best for a Chevron Backsplash?

Smaller format tiles like subway tile, penny tile, or hexagon tile work best to achieve clean chevron lines. Tiles that are 1-4 inches are most common.

How do I Cut Chevron Tile Pieces?

Use a wet saw or tile cutter to cut the zig-zag edge pieces needed to fill edges and corners. Cut slowly for clean edges.

Can I Install a Chevron Backsplash on Drywall?

Yes, but the drywall needs to be sealed and reinforced first. Use a membrane or cement backer board for best results.

What Thinset Do I Use for Wall Tiles?

Use a polymer-modified thinset adhesive when installing tiles in vertical applications like backsplashes. It offers better adhesion.

What Grout Color Should I Use?

Choose a grout color that matches or contrasts with your tile color depending on the look you want. White and gray are common choices.


Installing a chevron tile backsplash brings visual appeal, style, and value to any kitchen or bath. With careful planning, patience, and proper materials, DIYers can achieve this striking look. Prepare the surface, dry lay the pattern, install the tiles meticulously, and finish with quality grout and sealer. Your stylish new backsplash will be an eye-catching focal point you’ll enjoy for years.