Installing Backsplash Tile In A Kitchen

Installing Backsplash Tile In A Kitchen: from removing tile, and replacing dry wall to installing the new tile and grouting.

Installing Backsplash Tile In A Kitchen:  from removing tile, and replacing dry wall to installing the new tile and grouting.

I have never liked my kitchen backsplash tile, so when we decided to give our kitchen a facelift I knew that ripping out the old tile and installing backsplash tile in a kitchen was high on the priority list.

Before Picture:

Here’s a before picture of what we started out with.

how to install kitchen tile


The Plan:

And here is the direction we were headed.

kitchen makeover inspiration

Installing Backsplash Tile In A Kitchen

1.Remove Old Tile

The first job was to remove the old tile.  When we removed it we really damaged the drywall.  We had hoped we’d be able to save the drywall in some areas, but we had to replace it.  We were also removing the cupboards from the wall with the stove and replacing them with floating shelves so the wall was prepped for the shelf brackets at the same time -you can read all about our DIY Floating Shelves here.

how to remove old kitchen tile backsplash

 Use a strong exacto knife or cutting tool to cut out the drywall and leave nice clean edges.

removing old tile
how to remove an old tile backsplash



To prep the wall for tile, replace the drywall with new pieces screwed into place with drywall screws.

prepping to tile

After the dry wall was up, I sealed the seams with some tape and tile adhesive, and then added a tile primer.  Because we’re prepping the wall for tile and not to paint we used the tile adhesive and didn’t worry about sanding like you would normally.


3. Installing The Backsplash Tile

This past weekend we installed all the tile.  A special thanks to Home Depot Canada this week for supplying all the materials for the tile and grout.

My sweet brother-in-law Shaun from Benjamin Woodworks, came for the weekend along with my sister and their two dachshunds.  I have to say that the tile was harder than I expected.  That seems to be the trend here.  I’m all for trying new things, but if Shaun hadn’t been here, I know it won’t have come out looking this good, and I don’t think it would be done yet.  I did learn a ton -but we joked that if he hired me as his new apprentice, he won’t want to pay me by the hour, haha.

installing backsplash tile in a kitchen


We started over by the sink, and we’re lucky enough to be working with granite counters so they were perfectly level.

Begin by spreading your tile adhesive on the wall with a notched trowel.  

Place your tiles on the wall and use the spaces to creating even spaces between them.

Use a tile cutter to to cut straight lines to make the tiles fit your pattern.  We went with a basic brick pattern.

Use and angle grinder to cut tiles to fit around outlets, or for for corners.

how to instal a tile backsplash in a kitchen

To cut around our shelf supports we drilled holes in the tiles.

installing backsplash tile in a kitchen

After 24 hours you can remove the spacers and your ready to begin the grout.

4. The Grout

This week it was my job to do the grout.  I’ve never done grout before.  Shaun talked me through it and I read the directions.  I started with the little area behind the sink and it went well.  

Just mix the grout according to package directions and apply with the grout float at a 45 degree angle.  Once it’s just set but not completely hard yet, use a sponge to remove the access.  

how to grout tile


white subway tile with dark grout


installing backsplash tile in a kitchen


how to install kitchen tile



And here is what the tile looked like when it was all completely finished!  I love it.

white subway tile with dark grout

installing backsplash tile in kitchen

how to replace your kitchen tile

how to instal new kitchen tile

white subway tile with dark grout

how to tile your kitchen backsplash

The Rest Of The Kitchen Makeover

This was week four of the One Room Challenge, and I’m happy to report that it feels like we’ve made lots of progress.  I’m taking part in a Challenge hosted by Calling it Home where bloggers take six weeks to makeover one room of their homes and share their weekly progress.  Be sure to check out everyone else’s progress too at Calling It Home.
If you missed any of my updates you can catch up here:

The Kitchen Before and Inspiration

Tile and Grout

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

Affordable DIY Large Floating Shelves for the Kitchen

Black Dipped Paint Brass Candlesticks

The Kitchen Makeover Reveal

This week it felt like we made some great progress and the end really is in sight, but there’s still a fair bit on the to do list.

I’m working with some amazing brands on this project, and I’m so grateful.  I’ve received products or discounts, but as always, all opinions are my own. I’m so happy to be partnering with Home Depot, Wayfair Canada, GE Canada, Benjamin Woodworks, Lagostina, Smith Sprayers, Lee Valley Tools, Delta Faucet, Krylon, Minwax, and Hamilton Beach.

With a kitchen makeover that’s making progress, life really is a party!



  1. I think it looks great! Good for you for trying, and for showing us all where you went wrong, and what you learned. Tiling is hard, and it’s not always going to be perfect the first time, but that’s okay!

  2. wow, that is a huge project. I really love the grey grout. I’m sorry you had a hard time with that. Week 4 was meltdown week for me too. Yo are in good company. I have to say meltdown or not, it looks stunning.

  3. When I read your notes, I think we could be emotional twins! I applaud your accomplishments, it looks fantastic. Remember….think big picture….it will be so much better than you give yourself credit for at this moment.

  4. Thanks Susanne. I can’t believe what a difference it made with the counters -I never really liked them but now they’re looking so good. πŸ˜‰

  5. From your photos the grout looks great! But I totally know what you’re talking about. I’ve struggled through my own grout mistakes – it’s so hard! Plus parenting and renos don’t always mix well, lol. It’s looking fantastic though!

  6. I think it looks great! I would never have noticed any flaws at all. I have had tiling nightmares too and still am far from perfect at it!

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