Tips on how to install a glass tile backsplash
A beautiful, well designed kitchen backsplash not only is a beautiful decor accent in your kitchen, increasing the value of your home, but a way to make the wall behind the cooktop and countertop an easy to clean surface.
When it comes to kitchen decor, one easy way to get the kitchen all pulled together is to have a tile backsplash; the design and colors chosen should get an unified look for countertops, cabinets and appliances.
4 Reasons to Install a Glass Tile Backsplash
- Easier to install by a DIY beginner, as most glass mosaics come in sheets.
- Add texture and sparkle with the glass shining in the light; good option for a kitchen with dark appliances and/ or dark wood cabinets.
- Cost effective way to update the kitchen walls - usually glass mosaic tiles cost less then designer tiles.
- It is environmentally friendly - glass comes from more than 50 % recycled material
How to install glass tile backsplash in 5 easy steps, with no mortar
This is how our backsplash kitchen looked like BEFORE:
We wanted to install our glass tile backsplash with as little as possible mess and "after the job" clean-up. So we opted to use "Simplemat" tile setting mat instead of the regular mortar( it can be found at Home Depot). We also used glass tile sheets.
And this is how we did it:
- Step 1. Plan the Layout. We measured from the top of counter to the bottom of cabinet and planned the tile layout. See how many sheets you need. If you want to incorporate any accent tiles for a more dramatic look, now it's the time to plan for that as well. We didn't want any accent tiles, so we skipped this part.Tip: Determine whether you will need to cut tiles or not, and plan where is the best place to cut them: either at the end of the wall, or the upper row just under the cabinets. Choose the least visible place of the two.
- Step 2. Measure and Apply "Simplemat" tile setting mat. Using "Simplemat" gave us the flexibility to install at our own pace; so we did our backsplash in the afternoons, few hours at a time. We placed the tile setting mat in position and marked it where it should be cut. After cutting it with an utility knife, we applied it and flatten any air bubbles.
In the picture below, you can see how the mat looks after it was applied on the wall
Tip: Don't forget to remove all outlet covers and or switch plates before installation.
- Step 3. Lay the Glass Tile Sheets. Next we removed clear plastic from the top of the setting mat. We cleaned back of the tiles with a damp sponge to make sure they are clean and let them dry. Starting with lower part of the backsplash, we applied the glass tile sheets to the setting mat, and pressed them firmly in place. Use plastic spacers to keep consistent grout lines between tiles as you go. In our case the grout line on the mosaic sheet was 1/8", so that's what we used.
You can add accent tiles or liner bars where you designed them.Tip: Use a level to keep the vertical and horizontal lines.
- Step 4. Cut and Polish Tiles. You can cut glass tiles to size either using a manual tile cutter or a tile wet saw. we used a manual one. First, we scored the tile at the width we needed. Then we pulled down the handle and snapped the tile into two.
If you have lots of cutting to do, especially around electrical outlets, it's better to use a wet saw to cut the tiles.Tip: Plan to buy more tiles than actually needed. We did some mistakes when cutting, so it was good we have few extra glass tile sheets.
- Step 5. Grout the Tile Backsplash. Backsplash should be grouted within 24 hours. To avoid scratching the glass tiles, we grouted with bright white SimpleGrout pre-mixed grout, according to the manufacturer's instructions We applied the grout with a rubber grout float, at a 45 degrees angle. In about 20 minutes after applying the grout, you started removing the excess material with a damp sponge. To minimize smearing, we used clean water and changed it frequently. As the job dries, a light haze will form. When the grout was dry( in approx. 4-5 hours), we polished the haze off the tiles with cheese cloth. You can also use a soft cotton one.Tip: Clean tools and hands with water before material dries.
These were the 5 easy steps on how to install glass tile backsplash with no mess. And this is how our glass tile backsplash kitchen looked AFTER:
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