How to Put Up Tile Backsplash in Bathroom

Installing a tile backsplash in your bathroom can add style, protect your walls from moisture damage, and make cleaning easier. With some planning and the right materials, it’s a DIY project many homeowners can tackle. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to put up tile backsplash in the bathroom.

Choose Your Tile

The first step is selecting the tile. Some popular options include:

  • Ceramic – budget-friendly, available in countless colors/patterns
  • Porcelain – less porous than ceramic, more stain/water resistant
  • Glass – elegant, moisture-resistant, easy to clean
  • Metal – bold look, durable, moisture-resistant
  • Stone – natural beauty, good durability

Consider the bathroom’s size, colors, style and your budget. Measure to determine how much tile you need. Allow for extra tiles in case some break.

Gather Your Materials

You will need:

  • Tile and extra tiles
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Trowel
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Tile cutter
  • Mixing bucket
  • Tile spacers
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sealant

Make sure all materials suit the tile you chose.

Prepare the Wall

Proper prep work ensures your tiles stick. Follow these steps:

  • Clear the area of accessories, soap dishes, etc.
  • Clean the wall thoroughly and let dry completely.
  • Fill any holes or cracks with spackle and let dry.
  • Sand any bumps for a smooth surface.
  • Apply painter’s tape around the edges for clean lines.

Plan Your Layout

Map out the pattern ahead of time. Measure to find the center and level a ledger board to lay tiles against. This ensures straight, even rows.

Play around with tile spacing. Use spacers for consistent grout lines. Avoid narrow slivers of tile around edges. Adjust layout if needed.

Apply the Adhesive

Follow adhesive packaging directions closely. Apply it evenly using a notched trowel at about a 45 degree angle. Apply only as much as you can tile over within 10-15 minutes.

Spread the adhesive on a section of the wall, roughly 2-3 tiles wide. Start at the bottom.

Set the Tiles

Place the first tile against the ledger board. Apply firm, even pressure to adhere it. Place spacers around edges.

Work in sections, setting additional tiles and spacers as you go. Check tiles are level and spacing is consistent.

Cut tiles as needed using a tile cutter. Place cut edges near corners/edges. Remove spacer near cut tiles and replace with a partial spacer.

Let the adhesive cure per the manufacturer directions before grouting.

Apply the Grout

Mix grout per package directions. Holding a grout float at a 45 degree angle, apply grout by packing it firmly into the tile joints.

Let it sit briefly before wiping away the excess grout with a damp sponge. Rinse the sponge and wipe again for a smooth finish.

Allow the grout to cure fully before using the shower again.

Seal and Finish

Once cured, apply a bead of silicone caulk where the tiles meet the wall edges, corners, fixtures, etc. Smooth with a finger.

Finally, apply a tile sealant for added moisture protection and easier cleaning.

With proper planning and care, you can achieve stunning results and a like-new bathroom backsplash. Carefully following each step will lead to success. Just take your time and don’t be afraid to adjust as you go until it’s just right.

FAQs About How to Put Up Tile Backsplash in Bathroom

How do I prepare the wall for a tile backsplash?

Thoroughly clean and dry the wall. Fill any holes and sand bumps for a smooth surface. Apply painter’s tape around edges. This protects surfaces and creates clean tile lines.

What tools do I need to install a tile backsplash?

You’ll need a tile cutter, trowel, grout float, spacers, mixing bucket, sponge, painter’s tape, and sealant. Make sure they are suitable for your tile. A level and tape measure are also essential.

What’s the best way to get straight tile rows?

Measure and mark a center line. Secure a ledger board horizontally to tile against. This helps maintain straight, even rows. Use spacers between tiles for consistent spacing and lines.

How soon can I grout after laying tile?

Wait at least 24 hours for the adhesive to cure before applying grout. Follow adhesive manufacturer recommendations. Rushing grouting can cause issues.

How do I grout a tile backsplash?

Mix grout as directed. Holding a float at 45 degrees, pack it firmly into tile joints. Let sit briefly, then wipe away excess with a damp sponge. Rinse often for smooth finish.

Should I seal the tile after grouting?

Yes, apply a quality tile sealant after the grout cures fully. This boosts stain resistance, waterproofing, and makes tiles much easier to keep clean.


Installing a tile backsplash in the bathroom provides style and makes cleaning easier. With proper planning and materials, it’s an achievable DIY for many. Key steps include prepping the wall, planning your layout, adhering tiles, grouting, and sealing once cured. Carefully following each step and having a bit of patience will lead to stunning results. With a bathroom backsplash makeover, you can bring your space to life with on-trend style.