DIY Guide: Tiling a Kitchen Splashback

Whether you want to inject a touch of colour into your existing kitchen or you’re looking for some inspiration when choosing a new one, a tiled kitchen splashback is the ideal way to brighten up the heart of your home.

In today’s post, we’re taking you through the various kitchen tile ideas on offer when it comes to choosing a kitchen splashback – as well as the advantages of going for splashback tiles over alternatives like stainless steel splashbacks. We’ll even give you a crash-course in wall tiling, so you can save some money on redecorating!

Why do I need a kitchen splashback?Grey kitchen splashback

The kitchen is the busiest room of the house and no matter how careful you are, you’ll be surprised at how quickly splatter marks and stains can build up on the walls behind your worksurfaces, oven and sink. Splashbacks safeguard the wall with a waterproof and easy-to-clean covering, protecting your walls from dirt and damage while adding a stylish touch to complement your kitchen units.

Typically, splashbacks are applied to the wall between the edge of the worksurface and the bottom of the kitchen cupboards, however, there are no hard and fast rules. You could opt for a half-height splashback if your units are particularly high, or stick to a cooker splashback if you don’t want to tile your whole kitchen – keeping the majority of those hard-to-clean oil splatter marks off your walls!

Tile vs stainless steel and glass splashbacks

If you’re still making your mind up over the different types of splashback on offer, there are a number of different factors to consider. Stainless steel splashbacks can be expensive, especially if you need the steel cut to size. They also require special cleaning agents in order to maintain their metallic gleam, often picking up hard-to-clean smear marks from oil or fingerprints. The same is unfortunately true for glass panel splashbacks which accumulate fingerprints and scratch marks quickly.

The natural texture and colouring of tiles makes them much more forgiving when it comes to keeping them clean, with a quick wipe down restoring them to their showroom shine. Depending on the type of tile you opt for, they can also be extremely durable and hard-wearing, resisting scratches and stains for the lifetime of your kitchen.

Perhaps the biggest reason to opt for splashback tiles is the variety available, with virtually unlimited size, texture, finish and colour options on offer. From Metro tiles to Mosaics, you’re practically guaranteed to find something which fits both the wall space you have available and your kitchen’s aesthetic.

How-to: tiling a kitchen splashback

Tiles are often one of the most cost effective options for a kitchen splashback – and by getting your hands dirty with a bit of DIY, you can make a huge saving when it comes to redecorating. We’ve listed a step-by-step guide below:

  1. Make sure the wall surface is clean, dry and smooth – give any lumps or marks a rough sand if they’re large enough to make the surface uneven.
  2. Mix your tile mastic or adhesive and apply it to the bottom of the wall using a notch trowel – you only need to apply enough to stick on your first horizontal row of tiles. Make sure you get a generous and even layer of tile adhesive on the wall, using the notched trowel to create vertical or horizontal lines on the wall.
  3. Once you’re happy that you’ve got an even application of adhesive on the wall, it’s time to apply your first row of tiles. Lay some tile spacers along the countertop to ensure there’s a small gap between the worksurface and the tile, then apply your first tile – using even, moderate pressure to place it on the wall.
  4. Working from one side to the other, apply the next tile in the row, inserting tile spacers between each tile to ensure that the gaps between them are even and uniform.
  5. When you reach the end of your row, you may find that there’s not enough space left for a full tile. Measure how much tile you need to cut away and mark the tile with a pencil. Use a tile cutter to score a line along the tile and apply light pressure to break the tile along the score. Don’t forget to factor in the size of the tile spacer when taking your measurements.
  6. Before starting on the next row of tiles, check they’re horizontal with a spirit level. Once you’re happy, just repeat the process, inserting spacers between all four sides of each tile to ensure they’re in line.
  7. Wipe off any excess adhesive before it dries and then apply your groute of choice. You might want to opt for an anti-mould or grey grout to avoid dirty marks. Apply the grout generously to the gaps in between each tile, using a plastic grout trowel or your fingers to ensure an even and smooth finish. Before the grout has time to dry, quickly follow up with a damp cloth to remove any smears from the surface of the tiles.

Ready to give it a go? Why not browse our wide selection of kitchen tiles, all available to order online. If you’re still not sure how your splashback is going to look, order a tile sample for just 99p!

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