How to Install Kitchen Backsplash YouTube

Installing a kitchen backsplash can greatly enhance the look of your kitchen by adding an attractive, easy-to-clean accent wall. With the right materials and some DIY skills, you can install a backsplash yourself, often at a fraction of the cost of hiring a pro. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process of installing a kitchen backsplash using YouTube tutorials.

Selecting the Right Backsplash for Your Kitchen

Before starting your project, you’ll need to choose the right backsplash materials for your kitchen. Here are some of the most popular options to consider:


Tile is a classic and customizable backsplash option. Ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone tiles come in endless colors, sizes, shapes, and textures. Glass, metal, and mosaic tiles are also available for a more unique look. Tile patterns can be simple or intricate.

The pros of tile are that it’s durable, easy to clean, and water-resistant. Tile is also relatively easy to install, especially if you choose large, simple shaped tiles. The cons are that tile can be cold underfoot and prone to cracking or chipping if heavy objects are dropped on it. Tile is also one of the more expensive backsplash materials.


Metal backsplashes like tin, copper, or stainless steel make a bold statement. Metals are available in numerous finish options – brushed, antiqued, or distressed. Metal is durable, easy to clean, and water-resistant.

The downside of metal backsplashes is they dent fairly easily if bumped or struck. Metals can also be prone to scratches and may need occasional polishing to keep them looking new. Metal backsplashes are also one of the more expensive options.


Glass tile or sheet glass backsplashes have a clean, sleek, modern look. Glass tiles come in an array of colors and can be arranged into custom patterns.

Glass is impervious to water and easy to keep clean. However, it can crack or shatter if subjected to blunt force. Glass backsplashes also show water spots readily. This type of backsplash is on the pricier end.


Stone slabs or tiles like granite, marble, travertine, or slate create a natural, high-end look. Each stone slab will have its own unique color variations. Stone is durable, naturally water-resistant, and easy to clean.

Downsides of stone are that it is heavy, making DIY installation challenging. Stone can also stain, crack, or chip if not properly sealed and cared for. Natural stone backsplashes are also one of the more expensive options.

Finishes to Consider

Backsplash materials like tile, metal, or glass come in different finish options. Some popular finishes include:

  • Glossy – Reflective and shiny
  • Matte – Muted and soft
  • Textured – Adds visual and tactile interest
  • Distressed – Worn, weathered appearance
  • Mosaic – Small tiles forming a pattern

Consider the look you want for your kitchen when selecting material finishes.

Gathering Your Backsplash Installation Supplies

Installing a backsplash is largely about having the right tools and materials on hand. Here is a comprehensive list of the supplies you’ll need:

Adhesives and Grout

  • Thinset mortar modified with latex additive for bond strength
  • Non-sanded grout for narrow joints or sanded grout for wider grout lines
  • Caulk in a color matching the grout
  • Grout sealer to protect porous grout

Backsplash Materials

  • Backsplash tiles, metal sheets, stone slabs, or glass tiles
  • Any decorative accents like mosaic tiles or listello borders

Tools and Equipment

  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Marking pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Tile cutter for scoring and snapping
  • Nippers for freehand tile cutting
  • Wet saw for detailed cuts (for mosaics or stone)
  • Trowel for spreading mortar
  • Grout float for applying grout
  • Grout sponge
  • Mixing bucket
  • Mixing paddle and drill
  • Rubber gloves and eye protection
  • Rags
  • Sponges
  • Buckets for water

Wall Preparation Supplies

  • painter’s tape
  • primer/sealer if painting existing backsplash area
  • cement backerboard
  • screw gun or hammer and nails
  • thinset mortar

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

With your materials gathered, you’re ready to tackle the installation process. Follow these steps:

1. Prepare the Wall

First, remove any existing backsplash and prep the wall surface:

  • Take off any old backsplash by scraping or sanding.
  • Fill any holes or imperfections with spackle and let dry completely.
  • Prime and paint the wall if needed so your surface is fresh and ready for the new backsplash.

2. Cut Cement Backerboard

Measure the backsplash area and cut cement board to size using a utility knife. Cement board provides a supportive base for the tile.

  • Hold the cement board against the wall and mark where it needs to be cut.
  • Take the panel off the wall and cut it using a straightedge and utility knife. Score through the mesh and snap the board.
  • Cut a hole for electrical boxes or plumbing fixtures as needed.

3. Install Cement Board

Attach the cement board panels securely to the wall using screws or nails and thinset mortar.

  • Apply thinset mortar to the back of the panel using a trowel.
  • Press the panel to the wall and secure with either special cement board screws or galvanized roofing nails every 6-8 inches along studs or furring strips.
  • Make sure seams between panels are butted up with no gaps.

4. Create the Tile Layout

Dry lay your tile on the floor to determine the optimal layout before installing. Plan for cuts and spacers.

  • Sketch your wall space with measurements and play with tile arrangement options.
  • Mix tile sizes, textures, and colors as desired.
  • Determine the best layout for the room’s function and visual perspective.
  • Account for 1/8-1/4 spacers between tiles when calculating measurements.
  • Identify any tile cuts needed and where they should go.

5. Install the Backsplash Tile

With your tile layout decided, it’s time to start tiling the backsplash. Take your time for best results.

  • Mix thinset mortar following package directions. Let it slake for 10 minutes.
  • Apply thinset to the cement board where the first tile will go using a trowel.
  • Press the tile into the thinset and wiggle to set it. Use spacers around edges.
  • Continue setting tile, working row by row or in sections.
  • Check level and spacing frequently to avoid crooked lines.
  • Cut tiles as needed with nippers or a wet saw. Use small tiles near edges.
  • Let thinset dry 24 hours before grouting.

6. Grout the Backsplash

Grouting fills the joints between tiles with durable, water-resistant grout.

  • Mix and apply grout along the joints using a rubber grout float.
  • Work in small sections and wipe excess grout off tiles with a damp sponge.
  • Clean any remaining grout haze once dry using a soft cloth.
  • Allow grout to cure fully for 72 hours and avoid getting it wet.

7. Add Finishing Touches

Finish off your new backsplash with these final steps:

  • Seal grout once cured if porous (like with natural stone) to protect it.
  • Caulk perimeter joints where the backsplash meets the wall or countertop.
  • If desired, add an accent strip or decorative mosaic border along the top.
  • Clean your completed backsplash well and give it a polished look.
  • Step back and admire your handiwork – your new backsplash will be stunning!

Helpful Tips for a Successful Installation

Follow these tips and tricks to make your backsplash installation go as smoothly as possible:

  • Watch several YouTube tutorial videos to familiarize yourself with the process before starting.
  • Carefully read through all product directions before use. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Organize your tools, materials, tiles, and workspace logically for efficiency.
  • Work slowly and methodically. Don’t rush through steps or your finished look may suffer.
  • Wear gloves and eye protection when cutting tiles or working with grout.
  • Keep buckets of clean water and rags on hand for immediate grout clean up.
  • For cuts around outlets or uneven areas, make a template out of cardboard first for precision.
  • Tape off countertops with painter’s tape to avoid getting thinset or grout on them.
  • Try mixing grout with acrylic admix for greater water-resistance and strength.
  • Change out your trowel blade when it starts dragging – old thinset won’t adhere as strongly.

Common Questions

Still have some questions about installing a backsplash yourself? Here are answers to some frequently asked DIY questions:

How difficult is it to install a backsplash?

Installing a tile or other backsplash is totally doable for a motivated DIYer. Just be sure you have the right tools and materials and the patience to work carefully. Watch some tutorials to build your confidence.

What’s cheaper – backsplash tile or 4 x 8 sheet?

Sheet backsplashes like stainless steel or acrylic are often less expensive than purchasing tile, especially natural stone. However, tile allows you to create a custom look. Evaluate costs based on materials, complexity, and your design goals.

How do I cut holes in cement backerboard for outlets?

Use a drywall saw or utility knife to cut out holes for outlets in cement board. Make slits to the edge of the hole then knock out the cutout section. File any rough edges smooth. Be sure to turn off power at the breaker before starting.

Can I install backsplash tile directly to drywall?

It’s not recommended. Cement board provides critical support and moisture-resistance behind tile. Drywall can soften overtime from moisture exposure. For best results, install cement backerboard first.

How long does thinset take to dry before grouting?

Allow thinset adhesive to cure for at least 24 hours before grouting tile joints. This allows it to hardened fully which prevents the grout from pulling away tiles. Be patient for best results.

How do I cut metal backsplash sheets?

Use tin snips or an electric jigsaw with a metal cutting blade to cut sheets of metal backsplash. Mark your cut line with painter’s tape first. Sand any rough edges. Always wear gloves and eye protection.

Installing Your Backsplash – You’ve Got This!

With the right prep work, materials, tools, and techniques, you can absolutely install an eye-catching backsplash in your kitchen yourself. From subway tile to marble mosaics, backsplashes make a big decorative impact while also protecting your walls.

Bring your vision to life and save money in the process by using YouTube tutorials and this in-depth guide. Don’t be afraid to tackle this gratifying DIY project – just take it step-by-step. Before you know it, you’ll have a stunning new backsplash to enjoy for years to come!