How to Install Metal Backsplash

Installing a metal backsplash can add a stylish, modern touch to any kitchen. Metal backsplashes come in various metals like stainless steel, copper, tin, and aluminum. They are durable, easy to clean, and make a bold statement. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to install a metal backsplash in your kitchen.

Choose the Metal Material

The first step is deciding which type of metal material you want to use for your backsplash. Here are some popular options:

  • Stainless Steel – This is the most common choice. Stainless steel is affordable, hygienic, and has a sleek, professional look. It’s available in various finishes like brushed, polished, etc.
  • Copper – Copper backsplashes have a beautiful warm, rustic aesthetic. They develop a patina over time. Copper is antimicrobial but requires more maintenance.
  • Tin – Tin has a distressed, vintage appearance. It’s a lightweight material compared to other metals. Tin backsplashes look great in farmhouse or industrial style kitchens.
  • Aluminum – Aluminum backsplashes have a clean, contemporary look. They are budget-friendly and lightweight. Available in various colors and finishes.

Measure and Cut Metal Sheets to Size

Once you’ve decided on the metal, purchase sheets in the required dimensions. If buying sheets that need cutting, measure the backsplash area and cut the sheets according to those measurements. Use tin snips for cutting. For curved cuts, a rotary tool works well. Wear safety gloves and glasses during cutting.

Prepare the Wall

Make sure the wall surface is clean and dry before installation. Paint the wall in the color of your choice. This provides a smooth backdrop for the metal backsplash. Fill any uneven spots in the wall with spackle and sand them smooth.

Apply Adhesive

For installing metal backsplashes, construction adhesives like Liquid Nails generally work very well. Apply the adhesive evenly on the back of the metal sheet, using a notched trowel. Don’t apply adhesive too far ahead so it doesn’t dry out before setting the metal.

Mount the Metal Backsplash

Once the adhesive is applied, carefully position the metal sheet on the wall. Press it firmly starting from one end. Use a rubber mallet or hammer with a block of wood to gently tap the surface and ensure maximum adhesion.

Use a level to check that the sheet is mounted straight. For large backsplash areas, mount one sheet at a time in a similar sequence. Allow proper drying time between sheets according to the adhesive specs.

Apply Grout

For tile style metal sheets, grout is necessary to fill the seams and gaps between them. Apply grout using a grout float. Let it set slightly and then polish off excess grout with a damp sponge. Allow proper drying time before cleaning or sealing.

Seal and Finish

Sealing is recommended for metal backsplashes to protect them and prevent corrosion or tarnishing over time. Use a sealant suitable for metals. Apply 2-3 thin coats, allowing drying time between coats. Finally, polish and buff the backsplash to make the metal shine and complete the installation.

Installing a metal backsplash adds an instant style upgrade to your kitchen. With the right tools and preparation, the process can be accomplished smoothly. Always refer to the adhesive and metal manufacturer’s instructions for best results. The reward is a stunning focal point that makes cooking and entertaining a beautiful experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Installing Metal Backsplashes

What tools do I need to install a metal backsplash?

You’ll need basic tools like a tape measure, level, tin snips, screws, adhesives, notched trowel, drill, protective gear like gloves and goggles, grout float, sponge, and sealant. A rotary tool is helpful for curved cuts.

What’s the best way to cut metal backsplash sheets?

Use aviation snips for straight cuts and a rotary tool fitted with a metal cutting blade for curves. Mark cut lines with a pencil. Wear thick gloves to protect hands from sharp metal edges. Cut slowly and cleanly.

What kind of adhesive should I use?

Construction adhesives like Liquid Nails are ideal for metal backsplashes. Always check that the adhesive suits the metal type. Apply a uniform layer on the back of sheets with a notched trowel.

What’s the best way to mount the metal sheet on the wall?

Prepare the wall surface properly before installing. Apply adhesive on the back of the sheet. Carefully position and press the sheet on the wall starting at one end and working down. Use a soft mallet or hammer with wood to tap gently.

Should I seal a metal backsplash after installation?

Yes, sealing is highly recommended. It prevents corrosion and tarnishing over time. Apply 2-3 thin coats of a suitable metal sealant, allowing drying time between coats. Buff to make the metal shine.

How do I cut holes in a metal backsplash for outlets or fixtures?

Use a rotary tool or a jigsaw to cut holes. Make markings first and cut just inside the markings. File the edges smooth. Be very careful and wear eye protection. Ask an electrician for help if unsure.

How do I clean and maintain a metal backsplash?

Use a microfiber cloth with warm water and mild soap for regular cleaning. Avoid abrasive cleaners. Prevent hard water buildup. Seal annually to retain the shine and protection. Specific metals may require special care.