Splash backs are both functional and decorative as they add a splash of color and texture to your kitchen as well as making cooking and food preparation areas much easier to clean. Any kitchen can be given a quick and relatively cheap facelift with the addition of new porcelain tiles and a colorful splashback, but they can also form a vital part of a kitchen DIY design and renovation too.

If you are taking on your kitchen design yourself then you will want to ensure that your splashback is done right. Tiling can be notoriously difficult but with these easy to follow tips, your splashback will look like the bright and clean centerpiece it should be.

Make sure your tiles will be supported

If you have a gap between cupboard or the kitchen counter where your ceramic wall tiles are going to be placed, then you will need to place a piece of timber across the gap to support your tiles as the grout and mastic sets. This piece of wood can be removed later but you will need it when you are tiling to make sure that your tiles stay straight.

Protect your sides and appliances

Tiling mastic and grout is notoriously difficult to remove once it has set so use dust sheets to protect your kitchen worktops, all appliances, and your furniture. If you a are new to DIY tiling, then you may make a mess so protect your clothing too.

Laying your first tiles

Apply your mastic to the wall using a trowel but only apply enough for the first row as any more will dry before you get to put the tiles on the wall. Use spacers between the worktop and the first tile as well as between each tile. Once you have laid around half a dozen tiles, use a spirit level to ensure that they are straight before you carry on. Once you move on to the second row, start at the side furthest from the wall and use spacers and a spirit level to ensure they are even and straight. Once you have finished the splashback, was at least 12 hours before removing the spacers to ensure that the mastic has set.

Grouting

When mixing your grout, you should be aiming for the consistency of toothpaste. Put masking tape on the countertop to protect it and then apply the grout using a rubber grouting trowel. Grout your porcelain wall tiles at an angle of 45 degrees to ensure that the grout fully gets into all the gaps between the porcelain tiles. Wipe off any excess as you go to make clean up easier. Leave the grout to dry for around 30 minutes and then use a clean, damp sponge to clean any grout off the surface of your wall tiles. You can now also remove the piece of wood you may have used to support your tiles.

Applying the silicone

The last step in creating a DIY splashback is to apply sanitary grade, mold resistant silicone into the gaps around the edges of your splashback. Apply the silicone at a 45-degree angle again to ensure you have filled in all the gaps. 

Published by Arina Smith