by Mike Vitori

Glass mosaic tiles add a sense of style and luxury to any surface where they are installed.  In an instant, they can transform a dull, gloomy kitchen into the center of attention that all of your neighbors admire. Here are some general guidelines to installing the glass mosaic backsplash that you’ve always wanted:

Set up the Work Space

  1. Remove everything from the kitchen counter. Unscrew and remove electrical outlet covers on the wall.  Cut off the electricity to those outlets.
  2. Cover the counters with plastic, newspaper or cardboard.  Tape around cabinets, vents, and any other areas that require protection.
  3. Clean up any stains or grease splatters on the wall that may prevent the adhesive from sticking properly.
  4. Mark a centerline between the upper cabinets, and screw a ledger onto the wall to support the tile.

Set the Tile

  1. Select a starting point for the installation of the tile.
  2. Spread a thin layer of mastic or thinset to the wall using a trowel, starting with the centerline.  Only spread enough for 1 – 2 sheets to prevent the adhesive from drying out. (Ref. 1)
  3. Cut away extra adhesive along the ledger board, cabinets, and vent hood. Place plastic spacers on the countertop and ledger board to create space for a grout joint.
  4. Align the first mosaic sheet with the centerline, directly above the spacers, and squeeze it solidly against the wall using your hand. (Ref. 2) Hold a bit of scrap wood against the tile and tap it softly with a mallet to situate the tiles into the adhesive.
  5. Place a second sheet of tiles over the primary utilizing a similar setting procedure. Adjust joints so that the sheets give off an impression of being continuous.
  6. If a sheet becomes crooked, place a grout float over the mosaic and move the sheet.  You will have about 20 minutes after installing the glass to make minor adjustments.
  7. Cut the glass tiles to fit at edges using cutting tools recommended by the tile manufacturer.  Apply some adhesive to the back of the tiles and stick them into place to fill in all remaining gaps.
  8. After ensuring that all the tiles are properly aligned and that the adhesive isn’t protruding through the joint lines, allow the wall to dry for at least 24 - 48 hours.

    Grout the Backsplash

    1. Mix grout with water until it reaches the proper consistency.  Use a grout float to apply some grout to the surface of the tile.
    2. Holding the grout float at a 45-degree angle, move the float over the tiles to work the grout into the joints.  Scrape off excess grout after the joints are filled. (Ref. 3)
    3. After waiting about 10 minutes, wipe the grout off the surface of the tiles with a damp sponge. Make uniform joint lines by wiping the sponge in a roundabout movement over the backsplash surface.  Repeat as needed. (Ref. 4)
    4. After cleaning the wall, use a utility knife to remove grout from the joints at the bottom of the backsplash as well as the inside corners.
    5. Permit the grout to dry up. Wipe away any form of haze which remains on the glass tiles using a clean, microfiber cloth or soft scouring pad. (Ref. 5)
    6. After several days, apply a grout sealer to protect the grout against stains.

    The Bottom-Line

    It can cost over $20 per square foot to have a backsplash installed by a professional, and even more money if your mosaics are not purchased beforehand.  With the right tools, resources, and confidence, anyone willing to take a slight risk can save hundreds of dollars by installing their own kitchen backsplash.  Not only will the backsplash look gorgeous, but you will also feel a huge sense of pride and accomplishment for finishing the project yourself.  So, what are you waiting for?  You can choose for a huge variety of beautiful mosaic glass tiles here and have them shipped directly to your home for your next DIY project.

    Ref. 1

    mosaic glass tile backsplash installation photo ref. 1

    Ref. 2

    mosaic glass tile backsplash installation photo ref. 2

    Ref. 3

    mosaic glass tile backsplash installation photo ref. 3

    Ref. 4

    mosaic glass tile backsplash installation photo ref. 4

    Ref. 5

    mosaic glass tile backsplash installation photo ref. 5