This Kitchen Back Splash project was one of three I undertook to get rid of my surplus tiles left over from tiling the basement. Here it is after completion, detail images follow, as well as the design of the layout. It took about 3 days to complete.
The TOOLS TEQUIRED ARE:
a DIAMOND WET SAW (buy a small one at Home Depot, about $50 or rent a 10 inch saw from a local tool rental)
a protractor or a 45 degree square.
a supply of tile, mine was 13 inches square at about $2 each
a supply of plastic spacers, thin cardboard, tile cement.
Those of a courageous Do-It-Yourselfer (using the diamond saw.) Believe it not, the blade apperently does not cut skin!
A high respect for safety precautions
Step 1: Show Off! This Is the Source of the Surplus
Sorry, I couldn't resist since I was really proud of this.
Step 2: The Design
The design is a simple basket weave pattern at a 45 degree angle to the floor. Each individual square, shown in yellow, is 2-1/2 inches square. The basket weave, in green, is 5-7/8 x 9/16 inches. The border is 1-1/4 inch. The length of the border is variable but I tried to keep it at 13 inches, since that is the width the tile I used. Notice the mitered joints of the border tiles, this will explained shortly. The grout is designed to be 1/8 inch. The grout at the borders will be at a minimum. The idea is that the tiles are set to continue across borders
Step 3: Tile I Used, Matches Tile Used by Builder
The tiles I used were 13 inch square, but size is not really an issue.
Cut the edges off the tile at 1-1/4" inch. This cuts off the dimpled edges, which look great as a border, but would not work with the squares or basket weave pieces.
After cutting the edges off, start to cut as many 2-1/2 inch squares as you can. Us the leftover pieces to cut the basket weave pieces at 9/16 inch x 5-7/8 inches.
After much discussion with my co-designer and wife, we decided to make the back splash monochrome. You may wish to design to use multiple colours.
Step 4: Methodology
This image is the portion of the back splash behind the sink. Begin by enclosing the sink area wall with a 1-1/4 inch border. The top will use standard mitre joints at the left and right corners, those at the bottom will require a double mitre to continue the border pattern into adjacent areas. See the next steps for details.
Note the pile of squares and basket weave tiles in the lower right of this image.
Step 5: Detail of Border Double Mitre
You can see the way the double mitre keeps the adjacent areas of the splash back in a continuous pattern. Note the grout is maximum of 1/8 inch. Notice also that the join to the border uses a minimum grout line. This is to emphasize the continuity with the tile patttern in the adjacent area on the other side of the border. I used a 45 degree layout of the basket weave tiles. I pasted up one or two basket weave tiles at a 45 degree angle to the floor, inserted a square tile, supported the tiles until the glue was firm, then continue. I could have used Thinset, but chose to use a tile glue that would set up quickly. Use lots of spcers to keep the pattern square. I worked from bottom to top as the next image indicates.
Step 6: Behind the Sink Progress
This is the area behind the sink, just about finished. I chose to proceed from bottom to top to keep the 45 degree pitch. You have lots of room in this design to alter the grout line width and even the angle of the weave. Just make sure that the basic design element size is equal to 2 x(square width + grout line width) + basket weave width.
The reason why the pictures concentrate on the back of the sink is that I didn't take pictures of the other areas until the job was done.
Step 7: The Power Outlets
This shows the Back Splash on the right of the sink. This area of the counter is logically separate from the sink area if for no other reason that the cupboards are at a different height, thus the border tiles. The power outlet is mounted flush with the tile surface. This can be accomplished with a box extender, or by resetting the box in the wall. I reset the box. The damage from the reset is readily repaired and, there is tile covering the plaster repair. My co-designer was quite firm on this
Step 8: More Details of Completed Job
This shows the area to the left of the sink and the area behind the stove. Both areas are treated as seperate areas. I chose to end the area behind the stove to end evenly with the edge of the stove rather than the end of the counter. The reason is that that the upper cabinets and the stove hood both end cooincident with the stove edge. Opinion? or Comment?