Save Kitchen Walls from Damage with a Tile Backsplash

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A backsplash is an important part of any kitchen. Having a backsplash in place prevents damage to wall areas such as those behind a sink or stove. With such a panel in place, the wall is behind it is preserved, giving you a surface that acts as a buffer and is resistant to moisture and staining, such as splashing spaghetti sauce and other food items that might otherwise discolor walls. While backsplashes might require occasional scrubbing to keep clean, having one is a far better choice than allowing the wall itself to become stained or damaged.

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Photo: Maleson Contracting

There are many types of backsplash that you can utilize in your kitchen. In the past, a sheet of painted metal was all there was to a backsplash, but in modern times, such bland backsplashes are becoming a thing of the past, being replaced with other styles such as tile. Opting for tile gives you a lot of design options in an easy to install format as well as an ability to brighten and enhance the dcor in your kitchen while protecting walls from damage and staining at the same time.

When you begin the process of planning a new backsplash, the first thing to consider is where you want to place it and how large it should be. The most common locations for a backsplash are behind the sink and stove, but if you do extensive prep work in your kitchen, there may be other locations you wish to cover. In fact, some people opt to cover the entire length of their kitchen above countertops and below cabinets. Once you've decided on the size of your backsplash, be sure to take that into consideration when selecting tile. It is easier to plan to fit as many whole tiles as possible rather than having to cut them. Remember that even small adjustments in your layout can make it possible to avoid the additional work of cutting tile.

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Photo: HGTV

When it comes to selecting the actual tiles, keep in mind that certain tile types serve specific functions, so make a selection that is intended for wall use. The reason for this is that these tiles will be lighter and thus easier to adhere in addition to sometimes having spacers built in for easy installation next to one another. It is also important to figure out how you would like the edge of your backsplash to look and whether or not you would like to use bullnose or border tiles to enhance your overall look.

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Photo: Sound Tile Installation

Once you've selected and purchased your tiles, be sure to create a mock layout before you actually begin affixing them to the wall with adhesive. This way it will be clear which tiles you wish to place where before the rush to get them in place while adhesive is ready gets underway. Adhesive is an important part of the installation process; be sure to use adhesive for the purpose you have in mind and include a notched trowel in your purchase for the purpose of applying adhesive to the wall itself. Be sure to apply your adhesive evenly and consistently so your tile will be flush and uniform against the wall.

After your tiles have been placed and allowed to dry, all that remains is the grouting process. Apply grout to the gaps between tiles and allow to set for a few minutes, then wipe away any excess. Sealing grout will also help keep it from staining, but keep in mind that grout should be allowed to dry before sealant is applied (consult the instructions on your choice of sealant for specifics).

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Photo: DIY Network

By adding a new backsplash or upgrading an existing one, you can really breathe life back into an old or outdated kitchen. A pop of color will brighten kitchen work space and can create a much more inviting atmosphere. It is even possible to use a backsplash to tone down a colorful kitchen if that instead is what is in order. Either way, a tile backsplash is a welcome change to bring about a modern, personal touch in your home.

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