Depending on the age of your home and whether or not you’ve ever done any remodeling, you probably have wanted to change a few things about your kitchen. For many people, a complete kitchen remodel isn’t really an option as it can be a long, messy, and expensive process that can cost thousands of dollars.
Installing a tin backsplash in your kitchen is an excellent option for someone who wants to make some changes but doesn’t want to invest the time and money into a complete redo. We will tell you everything you need to know about installing a tin tile backsplash.
What’s the Purpose of A Backsplash?
While a kitchen tile backsplash may not be on your dream list of things you’d like to change in your kitchen, it’s a simple way to keep an area clean and to add a little character to your kitchen. If you don’t already have a backsplash in your kitchen, you should definitely consider installing one.
Backsplashes are designed to protect the wall behind the countertops and sink from any water damage or daily wear and tear in a busy kitchen. In some kitchens, there is a backsplash installed behind the stove to protect the wall from grease and other food spills that are inevitable with cooking.
A backsplash can be made from a variety of materials; tile is one of the most popular, but the materials that go into today’s backsplashes are a little more unique and eye-catching. The primary function of a backsplash is to protect areas in your kitchen, but the secondary purpose is to add a little decorative touch; practicality and function can be unique and attractive.
If you already have a backsplash, now may be a great time to update it, especially if it’s difficult to clean and doesn’t add any character to your kitchen.
Shopping for Tin Tiles
Visit any local antique store or even sites like Etsy or eBay, and you’re likely to find some unique looking tin tiles. While these vintage tin tiles would look great in any kitchen, they aren’t as durable (or as inexpensive) as the tin tile replicas that are available today.
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One of the many reasons why people love the look of tin backsplashes is because it’s a design feature that works in a variety of design styles from Farmhouse and Victorian to Eclectic and Industrial. The tin tiles that are available today come in a variety of sizes, designs, and colors, so it’s easy to find the perfect one for your kitchen backsplash.
Before you go out and buy the first tin tiles you come across, take the time to browse online and at your local home improvement stores; consider checking out some of Lowe’s backsplash options.
If you can’t decide how much of a backsplash you want, measure out the maximum size you might want to install and browse for tiles based on the amount you need; this will give you a good idea of how much you’ll need to spend.
Consider the Maintenance
Cleaning and caring for tin tiles is relatively easy, and the key is to clean often to prevent grease buildup. Tiles with an intricate design may be more difficult to clean but may hide dirt and natural wear and tear a little easier. A tile with minimal design may be easier to clean but may be more prone to dents and scratches. Consider the maintenance before selecting a tile.
Before You Install A Tin Backsplash
Now that you’ve selected and purchased your tiles, there are a few important things to do before you set aside a weekend to install a new backsplash. Whether or not you already have a backsplash, may extend your full plans into a two-weekend project; it all depends on how fast you work and how much time you can devote to your project.
Like many DIY kitchen projects, installing backsplash is relatively easy, but you still need to be fully prepared before you get started.
If You’re Planning on Removing Old Backsplash
One of the nice things about tin tile is that they can be installed directly to any existing tile backsplash. If you do decide to remove the old backsplash before installing a new one, you need to allow for a little extra time and work.
Depending on the type of old backsplash you have, the removal process may be different. We will give you some quick tips on how to remove an old ceramic tile backsplash to create a clean and flat surface for the tin backsplash.
1. As with any DIY project, always wear safety glasses and have all the tools you need before getting started.
2. Using a small chisel and rubber mallet, pound the mallet against the chisel to remove grout. Do this slowly and carefully.
3. Once the grout is gone, use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the tiles from the wall. You may find that a putty knife works better. You may need your rubber mallet, too.
4. After all the tiles are gone, sand the wall with sandpaper. If you have a sanding tool, like a Dremel with a sanding bit, it may ease the process just be sure to use a fine grade sandpaper.
How to Install Your Tin Backsplash
Now you should be ready to install your backsplash. We will give you the steps to install a basic backsplash but keep in mind that your kitchen design may require a few extra steps. While this is an easy DIY project, don’t hesitate to ask a professional or a home improvement store employee for some pointers.
All you should need for tools for your tile installation are the tin tiles, a measuring tape, tin snips, a drill, adhesive for the tiles, a level, and safety goggles and a pair of gloves. You may also want to consider throwing down a drop cloth to make clean up easier. Even though this project is easy enough for one person to do, it may not hurt to have someone help.
Preparing for Installation
Before you can install your tiles, you will need to do a little cleanup. Remove anything hanging on your wall where you’re planning on putting the backsplash. Remove all switch plates and turn off the power to the area where you’re working.
If you’re installing the tiles directly to an existing backsplash, clean the surface with an all-purpose cleaner and allow to dry completely. After you’ve cleaned the surface, use your level to ensure that your lines will be straight (especially when you’re not installing directly above a counter or sink.
Cutting the Tile
The next step is to measure and cut the tile to fit the space dedicated to the backsplash. While some people use a full sized tin tile for a backsplash, there’s a good chance you’ll need to do a little customizing and trimming.
Since the edges of the tin are very sharp, especially during and after cutting, you should plan on wearing heavy-duty work gloves (just make sure they fit well, so you have a good grip on tools and other materials).
As you should when measuring for any project, always measure a few times to ensure that your measurements are accurate. When you’re ready to cut the tile, place the tin on a flat surface and mark your measurements (a straightedge or level can help). Use tin snips to cut on your marked line.
Don’t forget to cut out holes for outlets or switch plates. An easy way to cut out these areas is by using a drill to start a hole that’s big enough to fit the tip of the tin snips into. Take your time and be careful.
Installing the Tile
Once you’ve prepped the area and cut the tile, you’re finally ready to install the tile. In most cases, people use adhesive to apply the tiles to the wall. A good adhesive to use is a construction-grade adhesive.
After you place a tile on the wall, gently slide the next tile under the other; the tiles are designed to kind of “lock into” one another.
While adhesive provides a more streamlined look, some people may want to add a little extra security with screws. If you decide to use screws, always use the right type of screws and try to place the screw in an inconspicuous area.
After all the tiles are up, use silicone caulk around the edges, especially if the tin backsplash is located behind the kitchen sink. The caulk will prevent water from getting behind the tile.
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Follow any directions on the adhesive or caulk to allow for proper drying time before putting switch plates back on or moving appliances back in place.
Last update on 2021-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API