How to Install a Stone Backsplash

Lead Image for How to Install a Stone Backsplash
  • 8-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 150-200
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Chalk line
Tile adhesive
Tile cutter
Grout float
Soft clean cloth
Caulk gun

A stone backsplash is an attractive and long-lasting option that you can use to finish the area above your kitchen countertops. Installing a stone backsplash properly takes some planning and patience but is not too hard for a homeowner to do on their own.

Step 1 - Measure the Backsplash

Measure the area to be tiled in square feet. Then decide on the tile you will use. Be sure to buy extra tiles since you will need to cut and to replace any tiles that get damaged during installation.

Step 2 - Dry Fit the Tiles

Lay the tiles out on the floor or large table to see how they will fit on the backsplash. Note where you want to start and finish and if you will cut the tiles at the top, bottom, or both.

Step 3 - Mark the Wall

Take a measuring tape and level and mark the center of the wall. You will start here and work your way out to the edges. Snap horizontal chalk lines that are level or you can use your level as you go along to make sure the tiles are straight.

Step 4 - Turn off the Power

Turn off the fuses in the electrical box for the outlets where you will be putting up the tile. This makes the installation much safer. Take off the wall switch or electrical outlet plates.

Step 5 - Apply the Tile Adhesive

Apply the tile adhesive to the wall with a grooved trowel one section at a time. Hold it at a 45-degree angle and move it horizontally along the wall to create lines that you will stick the tiles to.

Step 6 - Place the Tiles

Put tiles in place, twisting each one slightly before straightening it and pushing it into the tile adhesive.

Step 7 - Use Spacers

At all four corners of each tile, put spacers that are the size of the grout lines that you want between the tiles.

Step 8 - Cut Tile to Fit

Around corners and electrical outlets, you will need to score a tile with a tile scorer and break it into the correct size. You can rent a wet saw if your tile is especially hard or if have a lot of tiles that will need to be cut.

Step 9 - Remove Excess

Remove the excess mastic with a damp towel or sponge in each section as you go. Once the tiles are all in place let them sit for at least one day so that they can set up.

Step 10 - Grout the Tiles

Now mix the grout according to the directions on the package. Apply it with a grout float at a 45-degree angle getting into all of the space between the tiles. Do not grout the bottom of the lower row of tiles. Remove the excess group with a sponge that has been dampened.

Step 11 - Clean the Tiles

After the grout has dried clean the haze off of the tiles with a clean dry cloth.

Step 12 - Caulk the Seam

Now run caulk along the bottom of the tile backsplash to keep moisture from getting behind the tiles.

You have just installed a tile backsplash and gotten experience working with laying tiles. Maybe next time you will tackle the bathroom shower or the entry floor.