Installing a tin backsplash can add a unique, vintage look to your kitchen. Tin backsplashes are durable, easy to clean, and come in a variety of finishes to match any decor. With some planning and simple tools, you can install a tin backsplash in your kitchen.
A backsplash protects the wall behind a countertop, range or sink from water damage and stains. Tin backsplashes come in sheets or shingles made from tin-plated steel. The classic look of tin adds rustic charm to modern and traditional kitchens alike. Tin is also very durable, resists moisture and is easy to clean.
Installing a tin backsplash is a relatively easy DIY project. With proper planning and preparation, you can install a tin backsplash in a weekend. Having the right tools and materials on hand will make the installation go smoothly.
Benefits of Installing a Tin Backsplash
There are several benefits that make tin an ideal backsplash material:
- Durability – Tin is very durable and can last for decades with proper care. The tin-plated steel resists scratches, dents and corrosion.
- Moisture resistance – The tin coating prevents rust and corrosion. Tin backsplashes are water-resistant and easy to clean.
- Vintage appeal – Tin backsplashes have a timeless, vintage look that adds character and charm to any kitchen.
- Affordability – Tin sheets are an affordable option compared to materials like stainless steel or tile.
- Easy installation – Tin backsplash sheets can be installed with basic tools and materials over existing wall surfaces.
Things You’ll Need
Before starting the installation, make sure you have all the necessary materials and tools:
- Tin backsplash sheets or shingles
- Adhesive – construction adhesive or panel adhesive
- Plywood – for uneven wall surfaces
- Tin snips – for cutting the tin sheets
- Protective gear – gloves, eye protection, etc.
- Tape measure
- Stud finder
- Utility knife
- Tin snips
- Ladder – for high walls
Preparing the Wall Surface
Proper wall preparation is key to getting a smooth installation:
- Clean the wall thoroughly and repair any holes or cracks.
- Remove existing backsplash if present.
- Fill any uneven spots with spackle and sand smooth.
- Ensure the wall is smooth, dry and ready for installation.
Check for studs using a stud finder. Tin sheets can be secured to the studs for more support. For uneven walls, install plywood first to create a smooth, flat surface.
How to Install the Tin Backsplash
Follow these steps to install your new tin backsplash:
Step 1: Measure and Cut the Tin Sheets
- Measure the area to be covered. Leave a 1/8″ gap between sheets.
- Use tin snips to cut sheets to the measured size.
- Cut sheets oversized if needed to overlap seams.
Step 2: Apply Adhesive to the Wall
- Apply a zigzag pattern of adhesive to the back of the tin sheets.
- Also apply adhesive directly to the wall surface.
Step 3: Mount the Tin Sheets
- Press sheets firmly to the wall into the adhesive.
- Secure with screws drilled into studs or plywood every 12 inches.
- Overlap seams at least 1 inch.
Step 4: Install Remaining Sheets
- Repeat steps 2-3 to mount adjacent tin sheets.
- Maintain 1/8” gaps between sheets.
- Make sure seams are tight.
Step 5: Finish the Edges
- Place trim pieces or caps over unfinished edges.
- Seal edges with waterproof silicone caulk.
- Wipe away excess adhesive.
Allow adhesive to cure fully before using the backsplash. Wash with mild soap and water to keep it looking like new. With proper installation and care, your tin backsplash will last for many years.
FAQs about Installing Tin Backsplashes
What tools do I need to install a tin backsplash?
You’ll need basic tools like a tape measure, level, stud finder, drill, tin snips, utility knife, ladder, and protective gear like gloves and eye protection.
What kind of adhesive should I use?
Use a flexible adhesive like Liquid Nails or Gorilla construction adhesive. Panel adhesive also works well for large tin sheets.
Should I install the tin sheets vertically or horizontally?
Vertical installation looks best for shingles. For large sheets, horizontal installation is preferable. Mixing directions can also create interest.
How do I cut the tin sheets?
Use metal snips, preferably aviation snips. Tin is soft and easy to cut with the proper snip tool. You can also use a circular saw with a fine-toothed metal blade.
What if my walls are uneven?
Install plywood boards first to create a smooth, even surface. Use shims if needed between the plywood and wall.
How do I attach the tin to studs?
Use a stud finder to locate studs. Drill pilot holes and secure sheets with screws into the studs for added stability.
How do I seal the edges?
Finish exposed edges with trim pieces, caps or corner beads. Seal all seams and edges with silicone caulk.
Adding a tin backsplash is a great way to upgrade your kitchen’s style with vintage appeal. With some simple tools and materials, you can achieve a professional-looking installation. Preparing the wall properly and carefully cutting the tin to size will ensure a smooth installation. Follow the steps to properly mount the tin sheets into adhesive applied to the wall and studs. Focus on tight seams and finishing touches like trim and caulk to complete your new durable, moisture-resistant tin backsplash. With its charming retro look and lasting durability, a tin backsplash is sure to be a focal point you’ll enjoy for years.