DIY - Installing Laundry Room Backsplash

Jul 20, 2015

It's been a week since we revealed the new look of the laundry room as a result of some much needed upgrades, which included adding a backsplash tile. This was my first time tiling and  overall it was a good experience and the process was fairly straightforward. We have more tiling in our future so this smaller area was the perfect starter project to test out the waters.

Read on below to hear about the ups and downs of installing the backsplash and some tips that you might find helpful if you're taking on a first time tiling project.


 Knowing What Supplies to Get 

My first step in finding out what supplies I would need was searching online. Once I had a general idea, I headed to Rona and was lucky enough to find a great store associate who helped me find everything I needed. He even helped me stay budget friendly - for instance, you can get a square notch trowel without the wooden handle for a fraction of the cost. And you can use the same trowel you use for plastering to apply your mortar.

Mixing the Mortar & Grout

Having the right consistency of mortar and grout is a key component to properly installed tile. All of the YouTube videos I viewed said to mix your mortar with a drill. I had a drill but not the attachment so I went ahead and mixed it with a small gardening hand shovel and as of right now, that has worked out fine. If I had been tiling a larger area or a floor I might have went out of my way to get the drill piece, but for this smaller area I was pretty ok with going the hand mixing route.

The grout on the other hand didn't go as smoothly. Apparently, the secret is having your grout at the same consistency as peanut butter - mine was definitely a little harder than that. When I was applying it, it would continuously crumble and wasn't going on smoothly at all. It dried in clumps in some places so I ended up having to use a plastic scraper to remove the clumpy grout from the tiles. It turned out ok in the end, but I know now for next time to add more water to get that smooth peanut butter texture.

Application

When you're ready to start applying your mortar, it's best to start in the centre and work your way out to either side. Apply the mortar in a thin layer, go through it with the square edged trowel and then hang your tile. Make sure you follow the drying times that are marked on your mortar packaging. After your mortar dries, it's time to apply the grout. Work in small areas and make sure to go over each area several times to ensure the grout gets in between all the tiles and be sure to scrape away any excess. Check the packaging to see how long to wait for it to dry then go over the tile with a wet sponge. Finally, take a cloth and buff the tiles to remove the glaze that can be left behind.

And that's it! It was definitely a project or trial and error but I'm very happy with the end result. Start in a small area first to get accustomed and comfortable with the process. In the end, you'll be left with beautiful looking tile, adding a lovely finished look to any space.

Good luck with your tile projects!

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