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Tile installation materials for a backsplash

Before jumping right into installing a tile backsplash, let's make sure you have all the tile installation materials.

Quick Tip

Tile projects need three key installation products: Mortar, grout and caulk.

A shopping list of tile installation materials to purchase if undergoing a backsplash tile installation.

The worst thing is getting into the middle of installing a tile backsplash and realizing you don't have all the tools you need. Or worse, realizing that you bought the wrong products. When buying tile installation materials and tools, remember these important tips:

  • Your tile is only as good as what's underneath it. You may need to buy products that smooth and level your surface before you start tiling.

  • You must purchase a mortar that corresponds with your type of tile. For example, If you have porcelain tile, purchase porcelain tile mortar. f you're working with glass tile, refer to these specific glass tile installation instructions.

  • The same is true for grouts. Unsanded grouts are usually used for backsplash applications. Sanded grouts may scratch glass tile, so keep this is mind.

  • Purchase a caulk that exactly matches the color of your grout.

Beyond mortar, grout, and caulk, there are a couple more things to consider. Do you have the right trowel size to install your mortar? The packaging on your mortar will indicate the correct trowel size that you need to buy. The above picture lists the things that will be handy to have during your tile backsplash installation, beyond the basics. You may need all of these items, or you may not. But you can get most of these items at home improvement stores, like Lowe's. In fact, you can rent mortar and grout mixing drills, tile cutters and even wet saws at select Lowe's.

Now that you understand what tile installation materials you will need to complete your backsplash tile installation, it is time begin preparing the surface beneath the backsplash.

Our diy Expert

Ron Sheldon

Ron Sheldon is a tile and floor installation guru. He has far too much knowledge on obscure topics like grout and floor leveling. A passionate tile contractor by trade, Ron’s spent the past decade dedicated to educating people about tiling, and has great advice on how to perfect your project.

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Prepare the surface beneath the backsplash