Remodeling your kitchen entirely or in part gives you much to think about. Whether or not you install new countertops, cabinets and appliances or are doing a simple upgrade, the backsplash can make or break your kitchen. There are literally thousands of backsplash styles, designs and choices ranging from natural stone to laminate to mosaic to solid surfacing to chalkboard backsplashes to Glass-Tiles. With every type of backsplash covering comes the decision for textured or smooth, what color or colors, patterns or dull or shiny and the list goes on and on. From the thousands of choices comes Glass-Tiles.
Glass-Tiles give the back-splash the illusion of movement. The glass catches the light and almost makes it dance on the back-splash. Glass-Tiles capture light whereas ceramic tiles reflect light, making all the style difference. Glass-Tile backsplashes fit in well with any type of kitchen theme or décor from modern to old world. Glass-Tile come in a wide range of colors and finishes. Some Glass-Tiles have an almost metallic finish while others are a translucent color and some are opaque. Choosing the style and color of the tile is a personal choice. Go with colors that set the right mood and tone for your home.
Preparing the Kitchen for a New Backsplash
Lay drop cloths or tarps over the countertops and over the fronts of the cabinets. Tape the drop cloths or tarps in place with masking tape. You can also tape a layer of newspaper over the cabinets and countertops.
Protect your floors from abrasive dust and debris with drop cloths, old sheets, old area rug or whatever you have to cover the floor.
Lay strips of low tack blue painter’s masking tape along the exposed edges of the underside of the cabinets and appliances.
Tearing Down the Existing Backsplash
Peel off wallpaper. Take down the existing laminate, sold surfacing material or existing ceramic tile.
Look at the backsplash find any loose nails or screws. Look for holes, cracks or water damage. Examine the backsplash for depressions and high spots.
Sink loose screws into the backsplash with a screwdriver. Knock popped nails back into the wall with a hammer. If you find water damage or water stains on the backsplash, find the source of the water leak, repair it and then replace wallboard or green board with cement board. Cement board is water proof, fire proof, mold and mildew resistant and will not rot. Cement board is recommended for areas that come into contact with water often.
Scoop up premixed drywall joint compound on a flexible putty knife and fill in holes or low spots. Let the joint compound dry for one to two hours.
Wrap a piece of 220-grit sandpaper around a sanding block and sand the areas with joint compound down to level and even with the rest of the backsplash. Sand down high spots.
Attach an upholstery brush attachment onto a vacuum hose. Vacuum the dust, dirt and sanding debris off the backsplash and tarp or newspaper covered countertops.
Wipe the backsplash with a tack cloth to pull off any remaining dust.
If You Are Installing Clear or Translucent Glass-Tile
Clear or translucent Glass-Tile requires a background color on the unfinished backsplash. If you are not sure what color would be best suited for the type and color of Glass-Tile, paint scrap pieces of wood with a variety of colors and affix two or three Glass-Tiles over the scraps. Applying Glass-Tiles over various colors will give you a better idea of how the Glass-Tiles will look.
After choosing your background color, pour wall primer into a painter’s tray. If you are painting the backsplash a dark color have the wall primer tinted so your paint will get better coverage.
Dip a paintbrush into the primer and paint the perimeter of the backsplash.
Roll a ¼ inch nap paint roller through the primer and apply a coat over the entire backsplash.
Let the primer dry for three to four hours.
Pour the paint color of your choice into a painter’s tray.
Dip a paintbrush into the paint and paint the color around the perimeter of the backsplash.
Roll a ¼ inch roller through the paint and roll a coat of paint onto the backsplash.
Let the paint dry for eight to 10 hours.
Applying the Glass-Tile
Hold a level vertically under the open end of the cabinet. Line up the level to the edge of the backsplash and adjust the level so the bubble sits in the center. Draw a straight line down the farthest edge of the backsplash with a pencil.
Scoop up thin set adhesive that has been reinforced with latex on a notched trowel.
Spread the thin set adhesive over the backsplash with the trowel.
Hold the trowel so the notches rest in the thin set and drag it through to create wavy lines.
Set a Glass-Tile into the thin set, lined up to the level line you drew. Put a tile spacer next to the tile and set the next tile. Continue to place tile spacers and tiles until Glass-Tiles cover the entire backsplash.
Let the thin set dry overnight.
Choose a contrasting color grout or a white grout.
Mix grout with water in a large bucket and mix it with a paddle mixer attached to a power drill.
Scoop up the grout with a rubber grout float and spread the grout over the face of the Glass-Tiles while pressing the grout in between the tiles.
Dip a natural sea sponge into water and wring out the excess. Wipe the face of the tile to remove excess grout.
Sealing Glass-Tile Grout
Wait for the grout to dry for a minimum of 72 hours.
Paint a coat of grout sealer down and across the grout lines to protect the grout from staining.
After the grout sealer dries, replace the electrical outlets and receptacles using screws that are at least 1/4 to ½ inch longer than the screws that were originally removed to accommodate the new height of the Glass-Tiles.