Inspiration and DIY How to Install a Ceramic Tile Backsplash in Your Guest Bath

Photo features Fashion Accent 190 Arctic White Travertine Listello with Semi-Gloss in Arctic White 4-1/4 x 4-1/4 backsplash tile.

Photo features Fashion Accent 190 Arctic White Travertine Listello with Semi-Gloss in Arctic White 4-1/4 x 4-1/4 backsplash tile.

 
 

How to Install a Ceramic Tile Backsplash in Your Guest Bath

Installing a ceramic tile backsplash in your guest bathroom is a big project, but it's probably not as difficult as you'd imagine. All you really need to create an amazing tile backsplash is time to complete the project—and the right tiles, of course.

Start with a strong design idea, and then you can easily turn your vision into a reality with a little hard work. Here are the steps to install a backsplash in your guest bathroom.

Photo features San Michele in Crema Cross-cut 12 x 12 on the floor and Vein-cut 12 x 24 on the wall.

1. Gather Your Tools and Materials

Before installing tile in your guest bath, make sure everything you need to complete the project is readily available. This will include all the tile, mortar, grout, a trowel, and any other tools you need to complete the project.

2. Prep the Area

Cover the countertops to protect them from debris, mix your mortar, and take the right measurements. If you're using a light-colored tile such as San Michele, choose a white or very light mortar to ensure that nothing distracts from the beauty of your tile.

3. Clean Up the Walls

The wall where you plan to install your ceramic tile backsplash should be clean and smooth, so patch any holes as needed. Then clean the walls with a mixture of mild soap and water, and make sure they're dry.

4. Do a Dry Run

Before you make any permanent changes, place your tiles on the wall to see how many you'll need and how they line up with your design plan. If you're using tile embellishments, such as tiles from the Fashion Accents line, it's important to lay out your tile design before you start placing it on the wall. Once you know exactly how the backsplash will look, and where the tiles should go, your design vision will come to life easily.

Photo features Fashion Accents in 100 White Travertine Tumbled Stone Listello with Semi-gloss in 6 x 6 100 White field tile. Counter features Crema Marfil Marble slab with Ogee rounded edgework.

5. Place the Mortar

Spread your mortar with a trowel in thin, even coats, and tackle one small area at a time. You want to work in 2- or 3-foot sections so the mortar doesn't dry too quickly. Press each tile firmly into place after you spread the mortar, and clean excess mortar as you go. If you go with the stylish Jewel Tide line of mosaic tiles, for example, you want to make sure that each tile is free of excess mortar so that your backsplash shows off the full mosaic effect.

6. Complete Your Backsplash

Let the mortar dry for 24 hours before you add grout. Make sure you choose a grout color that will either complement your tiles or contrast against them, depending on the look you're going for. For instance, the colorful, shiny Cristallo Select tile looks good with almost any grout color, but other types of tile may look more stylish when paired with a certain shade.

Clean off any excess grout as you work. Once the grout is dry, wait another 24 to 72 hours, and then apply sealant to the grout to prevent staining and to keep your tile design looking great.

Creating Your Own Ceramic Tile Backsplash

Now that you have the know-how, you can bring your design ideas to life and show off your personal style by creating your own backsplash from start to finish. Your guest bathroom will shine, and your guests will enjoy the time they spend in the space.