Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kitchen Remodel: Glass Tile Backsplash on a Budget

Hello ladies! Thanks for stopping by today.  I’d like to welcome all my new followers and I hope I offer you good tips, ideas, and plenty of inspiration.  I appreciate each and everyone of you and love to hear from you so please leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Today I’m going to share with you how to have a glass tile backsplash on a budget.  Here is my after picture of the backsplash.


What you’ll need for this project.
12” x 12”  mosaic tile
(mine contained glass, granite, & marble in white & gray tones)
subway tile
bull-nosed subway tile
glass mortar
glass grout
tape measure
mortar trowel
grout float
box cutter
tile cutter
cement backboard

First let’s talk about picking out your tile.  This is where you can save a lot of money and still get the glass tile you want. 

You need to pick out a glass mosaic tile in 12” x 12” sheets on a mesh backing like you see in the following picture.


You will cut this in three equal strips of nine squares that you will use to make a solid horizontal border around your backsplash. Doing this will cut your cost for glass tile to one-third of what it would cost to use the whole piece.

Here are some pictures to show you what I mean.



Then to go with your center glass tile strip you buy the low cost subway tile. I was able to cover my kitchen backsplash for less than $150!

Now let’s get started.  First put up your cement backer board.  This is necessary for a kitchen to protect against water and heat.  You will also need to move your light switch and plug boxes out so that they are even with the backer board or your covers will not work.


I was so glad to finally get all matching plugs and switches! I had black, off white, white and they weren’t even straight! Drove me nuts.

Next step is to take the first section to be tiled and measure, measure, measure to find the center point horizontally and vertically.  This is where you will set the center of your first tile strip. 
Making sure that this first tile and the first row are exactly centered this is VERY important because if it is not the entire project will be off and make your work much harder.

Next mix your glass mortar according to instructions on the bag.  We used the following product.


We chose a bright white to go with our mostly white and clear glass tile. The grout was the same brand for glass in gray.  Using the glass type is important as the regular kind has sand in it and  would scratch your tiles.


We mixed the mortar according to package instructions to about the consistency of (you guessed it) peanut butter.  After spreading it onto the backer board a little wider than the first strip of mosaic tile you go back through it with the portion of the trowel that will make the appropriate size lines in the mortar. 

Apply your first tile using a square and anything else you might need to make sure the first tile is perfectly level and straight. (Have a said that enough?)


Once you have that first tile and row done it is fairly easy to finish the project.

If you want larger grout lines you will need to buy the appropriate spacers. These look like little x’s that you stick in between each tile and you would only use them between the subway tile and between the mosaic and subway tile.
We butted the subway tiles against each other as they have a natural small grout space that is made in the same width as the mosaic tile spaces.


By the way if you have never used these mosaic tiles the mesh backing comes with a light weight plastic on the back that needs to be removed.  Your tile will not stay up if you put it up with this backing left on.

Now when applying your subway tiles be sure to start the first one with the center point being the center of the tile and on the next row the end of the tile being the center.


Here is the finished backsplash before grout.  You can see the how the subway tile is placed with the end of a tile in the center of the previous row tile. 

On the ends of the back splash where the backer board sticks out further on the wall we used a bull nosed tile placed vertically to cover the edges.


After all your tile is up you wait at least 24 hours to allow the mortar to set before applying your grout.

I chose a gray grout because I thought it would look good with my color choices and because it would be easier to clean than white.


Before I give you the details on applying the grout here’s a tip I learned the hard way.  If you are using a mosaic tile with marble in it you need to seal the tile first with a marble sealer.  If you don’t the grout will alter the color. You will notice how I had more white my tiles at first and after grouting they were more gray.

Mix your grout according to package instructions and using the grout float apply it to tiles pushing the grout firmly into the spaces between tiles and scraping off as much excess as possible.  Let dry about 15 to 30 minutes.  Using a wet sponge or rag scrub off excess grout from tiles.  This is the worst part of the whole job to me it takes a lot of elbow grease to get all that grout off those tiles!

After seventy two hours when the grout is completely dry and set, apply a sealer to the grout.  They have a sealer now that you just spray on and what is sprayed on the tile will just evaporate so you do not have to worry about cleaning it off of the tiles.

And now you are finished! Yeah! A glass tile backsplash for much less.  I hope this inspires you to take this on as a weekend project it is really not all that difficult and so worth the results.


By the way in this picture you are getting a sneak peek of the upper cabinet trim before paint and a little tease of the butcher block counter top before stain & sealing.

I’ll be sharing the how to make those money saving butcher block counter tops soon.


Maureen Wyatt said...

I've often made that suggestion to decorating clients who are on a tight budget. Use the pricey decorative tile as an accent and you get the look without the cost. Your backsplash looks great! ~ Maureen

Kathleen said...

Peggy, your kitchen renovation is fabulous! The back splash is lovely. You are doing a great job. I can't wait to see more!

Jana@Transformations From the Heart said...

Looking good~looking good! Can hardly wait to see the finished kitchen and your butcher block counter tops.

Andrea @ Decorating Cents said...

I like that you used the mosaics with the subway tile.

Rachael said...

Looks great. Love the white and the mosaic that you chose.

sheri said...

i love the look of the glass mosaic mixed with the subway tile, classic yet current! I am considering using it above my tub surround in my master bath. Yours turned out great!
Found you via The Picket Fence!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Great tile choice - really pretty!

At The Picket Fence said...

So pretty and such a great tutorial! I love the detail in the glass tiles. Thank you for sharing your project with us at Inspiration Friday!


Unknown said...

I have read your post, now anyone can renovate his/her kitchen very easily due to these glass tiles. The installing process of these tiles is that much easy, we don't need to hire a professional. Thank you for this great post.
marble tile sale

marufhosen said...

Looking good~looking good! Can hardly wait to see the finished kitchen and your butcher block counter tops.
Glass Tile and Mosaic Tile

Total Pageviews


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...