Adding a coordinating backsplash made from brick tiles creates some character and visual interest for your bathroom or kitchen. If you have leftover tiles from a similar project tiling countertops, shower stalls, or the like, making a backsplash is a perfect way to use them. If you are using a separate set of tiles for the backsplash, it is a good idea to compare several sample tiles to the rest of the room's colors and decor to ensure they coordinate harmoniously. Once the backsplash tiles have been selected and purchased, a couple of simple steps need to be taken to ensure a quality installation.
Step 1 - Measure and Prepare Backsplash Space
Begin by measuring and marking off the wall space where you will be installing the backsplash. It is a good idea to make pencil marks at each top corner as well as in the middle so you have a good idea of where the top edge will be. Many standard backsplashes begin at the edges of countertops and are raised between 4 and 8 inches high, though this depends on the size of the tiles, the countertop dimensions and the overall look you want to achieve with the backsplash.
Inspect the backsplash wall area to make sure there are no cracks, uneven areas, or glossy paint that will interfere with the installation. Carefully sand down any such paint and wipe away the dust with a damp cloth. Fill in any noticeable wall cracks and allow the patching material to dry overnight before continuing with the brick tile project.
Step 2 - Apply Tile Adhesive
Once your backsplash wall area is marked off, patched, and cleaned, you are ready to start securing the brick tiles with adhesive. This type of construction-grade adhesive can sometimes be a skin irritant, so it is recommended to wear gloves. Tile adhesive also dries fairly quickly, so work in small sections at a time. The adhesive for your first tile should be between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch thick, enough to adhere the tile but not enough to seep out from its edges.
Step 3 - Add Tile Spacers
Once you have attached your first two brick tiles, place a tile spacer between them at each corner. For spacers that are at corners where the backsplash and countertop will meet, you may need to cut off one end of each spacer to make it fit; this can usually be done easily with scissors.
Step 4 - Set and Level Tile Rows
When you're finished with your first row of brick tiles, check that they are even with your level and make any adjustments as needed. Continue laying the rest of the rows of your backsplash in the same way. To create a distinctive brick pattern, offset each each of the rows by a length that measures one half that of each tile. Continue checking and adjusting with your level as you go along. Once all rows are finished, wipe up any excess adhesive. Apply grout to your new backsplash tiles according to the manufacturer's recommendations.