With the huge range of tiles on offer, a tiled splashback behind a basin (or a stove) can act as a style hero in your bathroom (or kitchen), as well as offering a host of practical benefits, from its durability to protecting your wall from splashes and making the area easy to clean.
And the best bit? You can do it yourself with just a few tools and a free afternoon.
You will need:
- Tape measure
- Wall tiles
- Tile trim
- Tile spacers
- Spirit level
- Horizontal wooden batten (optional)
- Tile adhesive
- Notched spreader
- Ready-mixed grout
- Grout float or squeegee
- Grout smoother
- Silicone sealant
How to tile a splashback:
1. Work out the width
Measure the basin’s width and mark the centre point on the wall – draw another centre point at the top of the area to be tiled, and draw a vertical line between the two. Then work out the width of the splashback in whole tiles, plus spacers and edging strip. Lay out the tiles and spacers flat to work out the full width.
2. Line up and level
Use a spirit level to see if the basin is straight. Start by lining up the centre of the first tile with the centre line. If it’s not even, fix a horizontal batten above the basin to create a starting point. Centre it on the vertical line and position the top edge half a tile from the basin. Check it’s level.
3. Get stuck in
Spread adhesive in horizontal strokes, using a notched spreader. Working from the centre, place your first tile, pressing it firmly against the wall. Add a tile above it and one next to it, spacing them evenly and pushing them firmly into the adhesive. Continue until you’ve tiled the whole area, wiping off any stray adhesive as you go.
4. Fill in the gaps
Put spacers into the corners between the tiles, adjusting the tile positions as needed. Push them in firmly, flush against the wall so you can grout over them. When all rows are tiled and the adhesive has set, remove the batten (if using). Cut and fix the remaining tiles into the bottom gap.
5. Get the grout out
Starting bottom left, press a small amount of grout on to the face of the tiles using a trowel. Using a grout float, work it into the joints, in long, upward diagonal strokes. Once all the joints are grouted, immediately wipe the tiles with a slightly damp sponge to remove excess.
6. Clean and seal
As the grout hardens, neaten the joints with a grout smoother. Let the grout dry. As it does, a powdery film will appear on the tiles – wipe with a soft, clean cloth. Run a bead of sealant along the tiled area. Smooth and leave to dry.
Read more: Quick & easy kitchen revamp ideas