Mosaic Glass Tile Backsplash

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 05/23/2014 - 13:26

UPDATE: Congrats to megcaton for winning this giveaway! This giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered!

A very Happy Friday to you!  

I'm so delighted today to share with you one of my favorite sawdust-free projects with you that we've done on the Momplex.  Of course, I'm partial to all things made of wood - but really, the same basic skills that help you make wood projects nice, translate to other mediums - like tile!

We've been working hard at DIYing this kitchen - off and on as parts and pieces arrive over the last month.  We love how it's coming together, but it just seems a little bland, no?

Definitely needs a backsplash!

The backsplash will not only add color, texture and be reflective (since this is the shared wall between the duplex, there's no windows on this wall), but it will be wipe clean.

First, up, prep the space.  We removed all the electrical outlet covers, and also covered the countertops with paper, and taped off under cabinets.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know we picked this glass mosaic with the stainless steel to tie in the dark gray base cabinets, and white upper cabinets.

The mosaic tiles are placed so they look random, but they interlock.  To start, we need to cut the tiles off square on one edge.

Our friends at Ryobi sent me a new tabletop tile saw (I'm using it with a stand).  We cut the tiles off square to start.

Then we mixed up the mortar.  If there's anything I've learned about tile, it's this - get your mortar mixed to the right consistency.  And definitely, mix your own mortar.  Then you have more control over the mortar (as opposed to a premix).  Not too runny, but not too thick (which makes it hard to apply).

Then we applied the mortar with the notched trowel, and pressed the tiles in firmly.

And then just kept going, one row at a time.

The mosaic tiles are one of the easiest to install, in my opinion, for a few reasons:

- They are small in height, so you can easily cut around electrical outlets by just cutting the mesh back and then trimming only where you need to at the start of the electrical outlet.

- Because of the very random pattern, the tiles are forgiving.  If you get a little "off" it will be hard for the human eye to pick up.

- You most likely won't have to do any ripping with a tile saw as you can just cut the mesh back on the tiles to adjust your overall height (for example, you need to go up 2 1/2 rows, you would just go up 2 rows, and then for the 1/2 row, cut the mesh backs in half.

- It's easy to fill in in little places like ends or around outlets with little pieces.

But there are a few things to consider:

- You have to keep the pattern since the interlock is so random.  So when you cut out around outlets, you discard the portion where the outlet is. Kinda like drywall, where you just drywall right over the window, and then cut the window opening out and discard it.

- I won't lie, those little stainless pieces were not as fun to cut.  We actually ended up having to hot glue a few of the stainless pieces back on.

- It's expensive.  This backsplash cost 4 times as much as the subway tile one we did on Momplex Unit B.

Once the tiles were all set, we let them dry overnight (per mortar instructions).

Then we grouted (again, I recommend mixing your own grout to the right consistency).  

After about 15 minutes (per our grout's instructions) we wiped the excess grout off.

Isn't that looking pretty???

I thought so too!

Once the grout dried fully, we then sealed the grout with a grout sealer.  That way it will look this pretty for a long time!

So you ready for the before and after?



Isn't that an amazing transformation?

Here's a few more pics!

This project took us a few hours over a few days to complete (day 1 we tiled, day 2 we grouted, and then we sealed a few days later).  It would be a great project to take on over the summer when you can cook and eat outside and cut tile outside!

I was so excited about my new tile saw and this backsplash, that I asked my friends over at RyobiNation to giveaway this same tile saw to one of you!

Yep, win my tile saw!

It's so easy to enter this giveaway -

If you are already a member or Ryobi Nation, just sign-in here.

And if you aren't yet a member of Ryobi Nation, just sign-up here.

For those of you new to Ryobi Nation, it's just a fun community where you can share your projects, earn prizes and tools, and get exclusive access to cool projects!  

So good luck to you and happy backsplashing!

Have an awesome Holdiay weekend!

XO Ana + Family

Fine Print: Ryobi will handle the giveaway.  More details on the giveaway can be found on sign-in/sign-up.

PS - Thanks for your advice and recommendation on the knobs!  I say glass, he says classic - who do you think is going to win this one?