Creative Tile

Tile Learning Center

Installing a Stone Kitchen Backspash

In this home we've already used the travertine in the master bath, powder room, and we've cut the scrap and whole tiles to size for the shower floor and mop sink. We picked out 12 pieces that had similar color and pattern and arranged them as they would be in nature.
Photo 1

We cut the tile to size but kept them in order. First we cut them verticaly across and then horizontal, still keeping them in order. All of this doesn't take that long. When you set the cutting guide the travertine cuts smooth and fast. Tile size 2 1/2 x 5 x 1/2" - Subway size. Because the tile is 18" and the subway was 5", 3" off one side or another was called for. I just cut the side with least pattern.

Transfer the subway tiles in order to the countertop for installation. The bottom rows are for under the cabinets you see here. The top rows we will start with over the cooktop.

Very easy starting by using full ones off the countertop. ALWAYS BACKBUTTER. In this case I spread about a 1/4 mortar on the wall to a finish line and use the flat side to backbutter the tiles. Just a flat swipe on the back of the tile leaves a thin and wet minimal amount and when the tile is placed on the wall makes a 100% superior bond.

Center your tile and take it up the wall. Place the tiles carefully until you have about half the height installed, then take a flat grout float and lightly push the tiles in to the same plane. Then rub your hand over the tile and adjust any tile that sticks out/up. Because of the prep work required, this was all that was completed on the first day. Wedge and use scrat tile so when you continue, the tiles will fit. Of course you always have your grinder and turbo blade if you need to adjust the size of any tile. Notice the little red wedges. You might have to wedge some tiles slightly to keep the lines straight.

OK we are ready to finish the rest of the wall. We have out tiles all laid out.

The rest went very fast with only the top of all the cabinets where we had to cut tile to fit. Fit your tiles tight like it grew in there.

For the sink wall we only went half way. Here we had to make bullnose for the top of the tile and around the corner.

As a closet decorator, at first I thought the granite and travertine clashed. Like a guy at the beach wearing two different plaids. In the end I think the tops took a back seat to the backsplash.


This web site contains almost 70 pages and more than 700 photo's, about everything tile

Creative Tile & Marble ------------------------