How to Put Backsplash in Kitchen

Adding a backsplash to your kitchen can completely transform the look and feel of the space. Not only does a backsplash provide an extra layer of protection from moisture and spills, it allows you to add personality and visual interest to your kitchen design. Installing a kitchen backsplash may seem daunting, but it can actually be a relatively easy DIY project with the right planning and materials. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to put backsplash in your kitchen.

Selecting Materials for Your Kitchen Backsplash

When deciding on which material to use for your kitchen backsplash, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:


What look are you going for in your kitchen? Backsplashes come in a wide range of materials, colors, textures, sizes and patterns. Think about what will match your cabinets, counters, appliances and overall kitchen decor. Some popular backsplash materials include:

  • Tile: Ceramic, porcelain or glass tile offers endless possibilities. Choose from matte, glossy, textured, patterned and mosaic tiles.
  • Stone: Natural stone like granite, marble or travertine can create a high-end, timeless look. Metallic mosaic stone tiles are also an option.
  • Glass: Sheet glass backsplashes have a modern, sleek appearance. Or go for glass mosaic tiles.
  • Metal: Stainless steel, copper, bronze and other metals infuse your kitchen with an industrial vibe.
  • Wood: Use wood planks, shiplap or 3D tiles for a rustic or cottage style.


Consider how the material will withstand everyday use in the kitchen. Factors like porosity, durability, heat resistance and ease of cleaning come into play. For example, materials like glass tile or metal are very low maintenance and water-resistant.


Prices can range dramatically depending on the material you choose. As a budget-friendly option, ceramic or porcelain tile offers lots of bang for your buck. Pricier choices like natural stone, glass or metal tile tend to cost more but can provide great value.

DIY Skill Level

Some materials like ceramic tile or peel-and-stick panels can be installed by DIYers with relatively little experience. More advanced projects like natural stone or glass mosaic tile may require hiring a professional. Factor in your skill level when deciding on materials.

Preparing Your Kitchen for Backsplash Installation

To ensure a successful installation, it’s important to properly prepare your kitchen. This includes:

Clean Surfaces

Thoroughly clean the wall area where the backsplash will be installed. Remove any dust, grease or debris. This will help the backsplash adhere properly.

Inspect for Damage

Check the drywall or plaster behind the backsplash area and repair any holes, cracks or imperfections. You want a smooth, even surface for installation.

Remove Appliances/Fixtures

Detach any existing backsplash materials or decorative trim pieces. Remove appliances, light fixtures, outlet covers or anything else that obstructs the backsplash area.

Isolate Electrical

Turn off power to any outlets in the backsplash area. Remove outlet covers, disconnect wiring and cap wires off. Protect surrounding countertops, floors and cabinets.

Plan Your Layout

Measure the space and sketch out a layout for the backsplash design. Account for focal points like cooktops, sinks or cabinets. Cut tile or other materials to fit according to your plan.

How to Install a Tile Backsplash

Tile is one of the most popular backsplash options due to its versatility, durability and affordability. Follow these steps for a successful tile backsplash installation:

1. Ensure the Wall is Ready

Make any necessary repairs to drywall. Fill any uneven areas with drywall joint compound. Sand smooth. Wipe away dust.

2. Apply Waterproof Membrane

Paint on a waterproofing sealer or membrane. This protects the drywall from moisture penetration. Allow sealer to fully cure per manufacturer instructions.

3. Mark Your Tile Layout

Mark plumb lines on the wall spaced equal to the tile width. These guide lines ensure your tiles align straight. Mark horizontal lines spaced equal to the tile height.

4. Spread Thin-Set Mortar

Use a notched trowel to spread a thin, even layer of thin-set mortar on the wall area. Apply only as much mortar as can be tiled in 30 minutes.

5. Set the Backsplash Tiles

Working row by row, press tiles firmly into the mortar. Push in a direction perpendicular to the trowel lines. Use spacers between tiles for consistent spacing.

6. Allow Mortar to Cure

Let the thin-set mortar fully cure for at least 24 hours before grouting. Curing times vary based on product used. Consult manufacturer recommendations.

7. Mix and Apply Grout

Prepare grout per package directions. Apply grout over the tiles to fill joints using a rubber grout float or squeegee. Let sit briefly then scrub off residue.

8. Clean and Seal the Tiles

Use a damp sponge to wipe tiles clean. Once grout has fully cured, apply a penetrating sealer to tiles for added protection. Allow sealer to dry completely.

9. Finish Up

Reinstall any fixtures, outlet covers and appliances. Caulk along countertops or edges. Finally, enjoy your stunning new backsplash!

How to Install a Stone Tile Backsplash

Natural stone tile brings unmatched beauty and high-end style to any kitchen. Follow this process for installing a stone tile backsplash:

1. Check Stone Tile for Consistency

Inspect all tiles for color consistency and defects prior to installing. Arrange stone tiles how you plan to install them to ensure satisfactory results.

2. Cut Stone Tiles If Needed

Use a wet saw with a diamond blade to precisely cut stone tiles to fit your layout. Wear safety glasses and a mask when cutting.

3. Prepare and Mark Area

Clean and dry the backsplash installation area thoroughly. Mark layout lines on the wall spaced equal to your tile dimensions.

4. Apply Mortar and Trowel Level

Spread a layer of thin-set mortar on the wall using a notched trowel. Ensure depth is sufficient for stone tile. Mortar must be smooth and plumb.

5. Set Stone Tiles in Place

Working row by row, press stone tiles into the mortar, perpendicular to trowel lines. Use spacers between tiles for consistent spacing.

6. Let Mortar Fully Cure

Allow thin-set mortar to cure for 24-48 hours before grouting natural stone tiles. Consult manufacturer curing times.

7. Grout Stone Tile Joints

Prepare grout and apply using a rubber grout float. Push into joints firmly. Let sit briefly, then scrub off residue. Allow to fully cure.

8. Seal and Finish

Once grout has cured, apply natural stone sealer. Remove any fixtures and set aside during installation. Reinstall, caulk edges and enjoy your stunning stone backsplash!

How to Install a Glass Mosaic Tile Backsplash

Glass mosaic tile backsplashes add radiant color, texture and light reflection to your kitchen decor. Follow these best practices when installing:

1. Review Mosaic Tile Sheet

Inspect mosaic tile sheets for any noticeable damage or inconsistencies in color/pattern prior to installing. Arrange sheets how you plan to install.

2. Carefully Cut Mosaic Tiles

Use a wet saw with a diamond blade to precisely cut mosaic sheets as needed to fit your layout. Wear protective gear when cutting.

3. Prepare and Mark Install Area

Clean and dry the backsplash area. Apply painter’s tape bordering the installation area. Mark layout plumb lines on the wall spaced to your tile sheet width.

4. Spread Thin-Set Mortar

Apply a layer of thin-set mortar to the wall area using a notched trowel. Mortar depth should match tile sheet thickness.

5. Mount Mosaic Tiles to Wall

Carefully press mosaic sheets onto the mortar, perpendicular to trowel lines. Use spacers between sheets. Flatten sheets completely.

6. Allow Thin-Set to Cure

Let thin-set mortar cure fully (24-48 hours) prior to grouting. Check manufacturer curing recommendations.

7. Grout and Clean Mosaic Tiles

Mix grout and apply using a rubber grout float, pressing firmly into joints. Wipe clean. Allow grout to fully cure.

8. Seal and Finish Installation

Once cured, seal the mosaic tiles with a penetrating sealer. Remove painter’s tape. Caulk edges and reinstall fixtures. Enjoy your new backsplash!

How to Install a Metal Backsplash

Infusing gleaming style, metal backsplashes bring an ultra-modern, industrial vibe to your kitchen. Here are tips for installing metal backsplash tile or sheets:

1. Ensure a Smooth Surface

Metal installation requires a flawless drywall or substrate surface. Fill any dents, holes and imperfections for best results.

2. Review Metal for Defects

Inspect all metal tiles/sheets for any damage or inconsistencies prior to installing. Arrange how you plan to install.

3. Cut Metal Backsplash Materials

Measure space and carefully cut metal backsplash materials to size using tin snips. File any rough edges. Use eye and hand protection.

4. Create a Level Guide

Measure and mark a level line at the base of the installation area to guide your first row. Use a level tool to ensure guide is precise.

5. Apply Construction Adhesive

Run a bead of construction adhesive along the guide line and on the back of the first metal backsplash row.

6. Set First Row in Place

Carefully align the first metal backsplash row along the guide line and press firmly in place. Use painter’s tape to temporarily hold in place if needed.

7. Install Remaining Rows

Run adhesive on the back of each row as you go, using the first row line as your guide. Remove any temporary tape once adhesive has cured.

8. Grout Metal Tile Joints

If using metal backsplash tile, prepare grout and apply to tile joints, wiping away excess. Allow grout to fully cure before sealing.

9. Seal and Finish

Once fully installed, wipe down the metal backsplash and apply a protective metal sealant evenly across the surface. Buff off any haze or residue.

How to Install a Peel-and-Stick Backsplash

Peel-and-stick backsplash panels offer a super easy, mess-free backsplash solution. Here are some tips for installing:

1. Ensure Surface is Clean/Smooth

Wipe down the backsplash area to remove any grease, dust or debris. Fill any dents, holes or imperfections for best peel-and-stick adhesion.

2. Measure Space

Measure the backsplash area and cut peel-and-stick panels to size as needed per layout using a utility knife or metal snips.

3. Mark Your Layout

Make any necessary plumb lines on the wall spaced according to panel dimensions to keep panels aligned as you install.

4. Peel Off Backing

One panel at a time, peel off the adhesive backing and carefully press in place, smoothing from the center outward to remove any air pockets.

5. Continue Installing Panels

Install subsequent panels moving outward from the focal point. Use adjoining panels to maintain alignment. Trim edges as needed for a custom fit.

6. Seal Edges

Once all panels are securely adhered, apply silicone caulk along any seams or edges. Wipe away excess caulk for a clean finish.

7. Reinstall Fixtures

Carefully reinstall any fixtures like light switches or outlet covers that were removed during installation.

8. Enjoy Your Backsplash!

Give panels 24 hours to fully adhere before use. Wipe away any residue. Enjoy your new, stylish backsplash instantly with no mess or muss!

Top Tips for a Successful Backsplash Installation

  • Always thoroughly clean and prepare the installation area for best adhesion.
  • Carefully inspect all backsplash materials prior to installing to catch any damage or defects.
  • For tile, use tile spacers for consistent grout lines and joint spacing.
  • Follow product instructions for proper mortar or adhesive application and setup time.
  • Wipe away any excess grout or adhesive before it dries using a damp sponge.
  • Always double check for level and plumb lines throughout the installation.
  • Take time to properly caulk along countertops, edges, fixtures, or any seams for a finished look.
  • Seal porous tile or stone materials after grouting for protection and ease of cleaning.
  • Work slowly and carefully, especially when cutting irregular shapes or intricate mosaic designs.
  • Protect surrounding surfaces like countertops and floors from debris, drips, or dust during installation.

With the right materials, tools and techniques, installing your own kitchen backsplash can be a fun, rewarding DIY project. Follow these steps on how to put backsplash in kitchen and you’ll achieve beautiful results!

Frequently Asked Questions About Installing a Backsplash

What is the average cost to install a backsplash?

The cost to install a backsplash can range from $400 to $1000 or more, depending on the size of the project and materials used. Simple ceramic tile or peel-and-stick panels are more budget-friendly, while materials like natural stone, glass mosaic or metal tile tend to be higher end.

Can I install a backsplash myself or do I need to hire a pro?

An experienced DIYer can install many backsplash materials like ceramic tile, peel-and-stick or laminate panels. More advanced projects like natural stone or intricate mosaic patterns may require hiring a professional tile setter.

What tools do I need to install a backsplash?

Common tools needed are a tape measure, level, notched trowel, grout float, tile cutter, mixing bucket, sponges, utility knife, caulk gun and various safety gear like gloves and eye protection. A wet saw is also required for cutting stone or glass mosaic tile.

What surfaces in the kitchen need to be protected during backsplash installation?

Use painter’s tape and drop cloths to cover and protect surrounding surfaces like countertops, cabinets, floors, the cooktop or any adjacent walls not receiving the backsplash.

How long does it take for thinset mortar and grout to fully cure?

Exact cure times vary by product but generally thinset mortar takes 24-48 hours to cure before grouting. Grout generally takes 24-72 hours to cure fully before applying any sealers or using the backsplash.

How are backsplashes finished off along the edges?

Caulking is typically used to finish off edges along countertops, cabinets, ceiling joints or wherever the backsplash meets another surface. Caulk creates a watertight seal and streamlined look.

What maintenance is required for backsplashes?

Non-porous materials like glass or metal tile require minimal maintenance beyond occasional cleaning. More porous tile or natural stone should be sealed regularly for protection and easy cleaning.


Adding a backsplash is one of the best ways to elevate your kitchen’s style and function. With strategic planning and prep work, the right tools and materials and careful attention to detail, you can achieve stunning results installing a backsplash yourself. Countless colors, textures and patterns are available to perfectly suit your kitchen’s aesthetic. A properly installed backsplash also provides an invaluable protective barrier against moisture, spills and stains. Just follow the techniques outlined above on how to put backsplash in kitchen and you’ll have a beautiful, durable backsplash in no time!