Installing Glass Kitchen Tile Backsplash on Drywall

Bright blue kitchen backsplash
  • 2-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-1,000
What You'll Need
Glass tile
Non-sanded grout
Grout sealer
Tile cutter
Tape measure

Installing a glass kitchen tile backsplash can give you a major upgrade over the plain drywall that is currently there. Having a backsplash makes the wall a lot easier to clean after cooking as compared to drywall. In addition to that, glass tile presents you with a very elegant look found in many high-end homes. However, if the job is not done correctly, it can actually make a bad space look worse. Here are the basics of how to install a glass kitchen backsplash on drywall.

Prepare the Drywall

The first thing you will need to do is make sure the drywall is ready to install on. Make sure it is very clean and free from any dirt and oil. You can use a cloth and a household cleaner to wipe down the wall. Let the area dry after you clean it.

Do a Dry Run

Before you start to install the glass tiles, it can help to do a dry run so you can see how it will look. Lay the tiles out on the counter or on the floor in the pattern you plan to install them in. Measure the area on the backsplash that you plan on installing the tile on. With this measurement, you can see exactly how much room you have to work with and get the picture right in your mind.

Start Installing the Tiles

kitchen with white cabinets and green backsplash

With a trowel, spread some mastic onto the drywall. Spread it as smoothly as possible. The mastic needs to be level and even across the surface of the drywall. Once you have some mastic up, start pressing the tiles into it. Make sure you are putting the tiles in straight and they are butted up against each other as you want them. If the glass tile comes on a mesh backing, all you have to do is press it into the mastic. Then put the next mesh sheet of tile right next to the first one.

Let the Mastic Dry

Once you have the tiles installed, back away and leave them alone for at least 24 hours. The mastic will dry in this amount of time and start to harden. Make sure no one touches the tile during this period as it is critical to the overall look of the tile.

Grout the Tile

adding grout to a tile backsplash

Use non-sanded grout to fill in the gaps between the tiles. You should apply the grout with a grout trowel. Force it into the joints by pushing it across the tiles with the trowel. Use a sponge to wipe off the excess grout on the tile and to smooth out the grout joints. If you see any haze developing on the tile, wipe it off with a soft cloth. After you are done grouting, allow it to sit overnight to dry.

Seal the Grout

Apply a grout sealer to the joints to prevent any staining in the future. You should be able to brush it on with the applicator that comes with the grout sealant.