The kitchen is a multi-function place that has to look good, while standing up
to the rigours of heat, steam, food preparation and hungry hordes. One part of
the kitchen that many home-improvers renovate is the splashback tiles.
The first step is to select the type and style of tile for your job. A visit to
a tile specialist, like CTM, is an ideal way to start because you’ll see many
styles on display, you can get expert advice to suit your particular job and
home, and you can get all the materials and tools while you’re there.
You won’t need truck-loads of tools and materials either, just tiles, adhesive,
grout, grout sealer and a toolkit (tape measure, tile cutter, nips, tile
spacers, glue spreader, grout squeegee, sponge, bucket).
Step 1: Set out your tile pattern. Faye centred her splashback on the wall, but
if this will leave small cut tiles at each end, it might be better to shift the
tiles one way or the other. Check the level of your bench top, overhead
cupboards and window sills, so you know if you’ll have to make any allowances
Step 2: Prepare walls by removing paint, dust and moisture. Then apply your glue
using a spreader. Apply enough for about six tiles at a time. Press the tiles
into the glue and separate them with tile spacers. These little plastic crosses
and tees are ideal for keeping your grout lines perfectly straight. You can use
wedges to adjust your tiles for wobbly or sloping bench tops.
Step 3: Lay out tiles to mark them for feature tiles. Use a felt-tip pen or
china graph pencil to mark the tiles, allowing for the grout line. Cut them
using the tile cutter or nips.
Step 4: When the glue has set, it’s time to grout. Mix the grout into a slurry,
then force it into the gaps using a rubber squeegee. Wipe away excess as you go,
using a damp sponge. Leave the grout to dry, then polish the tile surface with a
soft cloth, removing grout residue as you go.
Step 5: Spray the grout with Sureseal Grout Sealer. This will prevent moisture
and cooking grease from discolouring the grout. Also seal between the bench tops
and tiles with a flexible sealant like Selleys No More Gaps for Kitchens and
Choose darker colours for an intimate feel in a large kitchen, or a lighter and
brighter colour to create light and the illusion of space in small, dark
If you can’t make up your mind, shift into neutral (such as white or beige) and
create highlights with accessories such as appliances, food containers and