How to tile a splashback – to protect walls and add interest

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  • Protect your walls and turn your washbasin or cooking area into a focal point with a smart but simple tiled splashback

    Want to know how to tile a splashback? With the huge range of tiles on offer, a tiled splashback behind the basin or stove can act as a style hero in your bathroom or kitchen, as well as offering a host of practical benefits, from its durability to protecting your wall from splashes and making the area easy to clean.

    Related: Planning a bathroom – everything you need to know about designing your perfect washroom

    How to tile a splashback

    Tile a splashback

    Image credit: Jake Curtis

    You will need:

    • Tape measure
    • Ruler
    • Pencil
    • Wall tiles
    • Tile trim
    • Spirit level
    • Tile adhesive
    • Notched spreader
    • Sponge
    • Bucket
    • Tile spacers
    • Ready-mixed grout
    • Grout spreader and finisher
    • Trowel

    1. Work out the width

    Tile a splashback

    Image credit: Tim Young

    Measure the basin’s width and mark the centre point on the wall – draw another centre point at the top of the area to be tiled, and draw a vertical line between the two. Work out the width of the splashback in whole tiles, plus spacers and edging strip. Lay out the tiles and spacers flat to work out the full width.

    2. Line up & level

    Use a spirit level to see if the basin is straight. Start by lining up the centre of the first tile with the centre line. If it’s not even, fix a horizontal batten above the basin to create a starting point. Centre it on the vertical line and position the top edge half a tile from the basin. Check it’s level.

    3. Get stuck in

    Spread adhesive in horizontal strokes, using a notched trowel. Working from the centre, place your first tile, pressing it firmly against the wall. Add a tile above it and one next to it, spacing them evenly and pushing them firmly into the adhesive. Continue until you’ve tiled the whole area, wiping off any stray adhesive as you go.

    4. Fill in the gaps

    Tile a splashback

    Image credit: Jamie Mason

    Put spacers into the corners between the tiles, adjusting tile positions as needed. Push them in firmly, flush against the wall so you can grout over them. When all rows are tiled and the adhesive has set, remove the batten (if using). Cut and fix the remaining tiles into the bottom gap.

    5. Get the grout out

    Starting bottom left, press a small amount of grout on to the face of the tiles using a trowel. Using a grout spreader, work it into the joints, in long, upward diagonal strokes. Once all the joints are grouted, immediately wipe the tiles with a slightly damp sponge to remove excess.

    6. Wipe clean

    As the grout hardens, use a grout finisher to neaten the joints. Let the grout dry. As it does, a powdery film will appear on the tiles – wipe with a soft, clean cloth.

    7. Seal the deal

    Tile a splashback

    Image credit: Tim Young

    Run a bead of sealant along the tiled area. Smooth and leave to dry.

    Related: How to make a statement with tiles

    Now you know how to tile a splashback, we hope you have fun making your kitchen or bathroom space unique and eye-catching!

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