3 Simple Steps to a Beautiful Tile Surface
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED:
Tools you will need:
- Chalk Line Tool
- Tape Measure
- Framing Square
- Carpenter's Level
- Tile Nippers
- Rubbing Brick
- Tile Cutter
- Hole Cutter
- Tile Spacers
- Towels for Clean-up
- Caulk Gun
- Rubber Gloves
- Mixing Paddle
- Notched Trowel
- Grout Float
- Group Sponge
- Access to Clean Water
Choosing your setting materials:
- Select the tile mortar that corresponds with your backsplash tile.
Tec® Skill Set™ offers mortar options for a wide variety of tile types including porcelains, ceramics, glass, quarry, stone, and other tiles.
- Select the tile grout that goes with your application.
Unsanded grouts are typically used for wall and backsplash applications. Superior grout products for backsplashes include Unsanded Designcolor™ Grout mixed with Grout Boost® stain resistant additive, or Power Grout™. Available in a wide array of designer colors, these products provide stain resistance, high performance and ease of use.
- Select the caulk that matches your grout color.
As you follow the instructions in this guide, please note the special requirements for glass tile installation.
Special Instructions for Glass Tile Installations
- For glass tile applications, use TEC® Skill Set™ Glass Tile Mortar. This product meets the performance requirements from glass tile manufacturers.
- Check with the glass tile manufacturer for grout recommendations (sanded versus unsanded). Typically unsanded grout is recommended.
- Follow the glass tile manufacturer’s instructions for cutting glass tile. The tools and techniques may be different than the instructions in this guide.
- After spreading mortar on the wall and combing with the notched trowel to create ridges, use the flat side of the trowel to flatten the ridges, creating a uniform setting bed that fully covers the substrate.
- For sheet mounted tile such as mosaics, press the glass tile into the bed of mortar on the wall, pushing out any air bubbles and making sure 100% of the back of the glass tile is coated with mortar.
- For individual tile, use the flat side of your trowel to apply a very thin, uniform, continuous layer of mortar to the back of each tile (known as back buttering). This layer should not exceed 1/16 of an inch. After you verify that 100% coverage has been achieved, press the back buttered glass tile into the bed of mortar on wall.
- Make sure tiles are firmly set before grouting.
1. Prepare the Surface
Surface preparation is one of the most important steps in the backsplash tile installation process. Remove anything that will be in your way. Shut off the power to any outlets or switches and remove the switch plate and outlet covers. Cover all surfaces such as countertops and sinks to protect them.
Walls must be flat and should not flex. Make sure the substrate is securely attached to the wall studs.
- Surface must be free of contaminants.
- Clean and dry.
- No grease, sealers, dirt, dust, debris, wallpaper, etc.
- Roughen (abrade) all latex based painted surfaces, existing ceramic tile or laminates.
- Surface must be flat and even before tiling.
- Solid with no holes or voids.
- Use TEC Skill Set Fast Setting Patch to fill voids.
Any section of drywall or other surface that has been damaged by moisture must be replaced. If you are tiling over tile, any loose tiles must be secured. If installing new backerboard be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions.