In the design of a kitchen, very little thought is given to the narrow wall space between counters and cabinets.  A tile mural, a few boxes of tile and a free weekend can bring this dead space alive and become a beautiful focal point of your kitchen.


Tools Needed:                                             Materials Needed

Tape measure                                        Tile Mural                                   
Level                                                     Field Tile
Tile Cutter                                       Waterproof Mastic
Tile Nippers or Tile Saw                   Waterproof Grout
Goggles                                               Latex Gloves        
Notched Trowel
Rubber Grout Float

Check the walls:
Makes sure wall is dry and firm. Before applying mastic it is best to lightly sand the painted surfaces. 
Decide where your mural will be placed.  Mark the center of the wall where the center of the mural is to be placed.  Layout mural on countertop so you will be able to see how the mural is to be placed.

Find the center starting point:
You will start placing the mural from the bottom.  Usually you will have tile below the mural and above.  So place the bottom field tile first (centered).

  You will be able to rest this tile on the countertop.  If you are putting your tile mural behind a slide in stove, level and nail and piece of wood behind the stove so that the tile have a place to rest while it is drying.  (When doing this take into consideration where the tile will fall when it reaches the countertops.)
backsplash image

Apply the adhesive: 

Apply the mastic with a notched trowel.  Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle and spread a thin layer.  Work in 3’ x 3’ areas to prevent the adhesive from drying.

Lay the first tile in the center at the base of the backsplash.  Use a slight twisting motion to position the tile.  Use a level to make sure tile is square.  Most ceramic tile is self-spacing, however, if yours are not, use plastic spacers on each corner of the tile. 
Working from the first tile, continue laying the tiles in a row, flush to the spacers.  Wipe off any excess adhesive the oozes up between the tiles. 

If you need to cut tile, score the tile with a tile cutter.  Use tile nippers or a saw to cut away the area carefully. 

When you have laid all the tiles, wipe off any excess adhesive with a damp cloth.  Use a rounded stick to clean between the tiles. 
Allow the mastic to dry, usually overnight. 

Apply the grout: 

Mix the grout.  Apply the grout using a rubber float.  Spread the grout diagonally at a 45-degree angle across the tiles, packing the grout between the tiles.  Wipe off excess grout with a damp sponge when the grout becomes firm. 

Shape the grout with a rounded stick or your finger.  Clean the tile again with a damp sponge and smooth out the joints. 
After the grout dries and a haze has formed, wipe off the tiles and shine them with a clean cloth. 

It’s fast and easy.  Your new tile backsplash will not only add beauty, but will make cleaning up a breeze for years to come