Given the popularity of home improvements shows, you may be feeling inspired to undertake a home renovation on your own. While a complete overhaul may be taking the DIY trend a bit far, tackling a more manageable project such as adding a tile accent in your bathroom or kitchen can be an excellent place to start.

If you are curious what it takes to install tile without hiring a professional, read on to learn the necessary steps.

Step 1: Organize Your Materials and Collect the Necessary Tools

To complete a tiling project on your own, you will need:

Step 2: Make Sure the Power Is Turned Off

  • Safety goggles
  • Your chosen tile (An excellent option to consider is faux brick panels. Faux brick panels make a classic, timeless statement.)
  • Tile spacers
  • Your selected grout
  • Plastic sheets
  • Gloves
  • A wet saw / tile cutter
  • Ledger board
  • Sponges
  • Cleaning solution
  • Power drill
  • Mixing paddle
  • Notch trowel
  • Several buckets
  • Joint Knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Joint compound
  • Permanent market (if desired)


Head to your circuit breaker and turn off the power supply to the area you plan to tile. Also, remove any outlet covers in the tiling area.

Step 3: Protect the Surroundings

Protect any exposed countertops with sheets of plastic. Cover outlets, countertop edges, and cabinets with painter’s tape.

Step 4: Move Any Appliances Away From the Wall

Pull any appliances in the tiling area away from the wall.

Step 5: Attach a Temporary Ledger Board

Screw a ledger board into the drywall to indicate exactly where you should quit tiling.

Step 6: Make Sure the Wall Has Been Properly Cleaned

Before beginning, use a cleaning solution mixed with water to wipe down the walls. If the wall has a glossy finish, you will need it sanded or deglossed.

Step 7: Complete Any Necessary Wall Preparations

If the surface of the wall is uneven, spread a layer of joint compound onto it, let it dry, sand it down until it is smooth, and apply a primer.

Step 8: Determine the Center of the Wall

Using a tape measure, measure the length of the wall to find the center and mark it with a pencil. This is where you will want to begin laying your tile, working your way away from the center.

Step 9: Mix Thin-set Mortar

Mix thin-set mortar by following the manufacturer’s directions. It should have a consistency that is similar to peanut butter.

Step 10: Apply the Mortar

Spread a patch of mortar on the wall and comb over it using a notch trowel.

Step 11: Start Tiling

Install the first piece of tile and gently apply pressure to it using a rubber grout float.

Step 12: If Needed, Cut the Tile

If a piece of tile needs to be cut, use a permanent marker to mark it before cutting it with a wet saw.

Step 13: Install The Rest of the Tiles

Install the remaining tiles, checking frequently to make sure they are level and making sure to leave a one-eighth of an inch gap between the bottom of the tile and the countertop.

Step 14: Wait 24 Hours

Wait 24 hours to allow the mortar to fully set.

Step 15: Mix the Grout

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix the grout (it should have a consistency similar to cake batter).

Step 16: Use a Rubber Float to Apply the Grout

Spread the grout evenly onto the tiles, ensuring that it gets into every gap. Rub it into the tile at an angle for the best results.

Step 17: Clean Up any Excess Grout

After 10 minutes, use a wet sponge to wipe away any extra grout on top of the tiles. If a haze develops, eliminate it with a layer of haze remover.

Step 18: Complete the Tiling

Apply the grout sealer after allowing it to dry for the specified amount of time and add caulk to the expansions between the tile and the countertop.


Hopefully this breakdown helps to make the job of a DIY backsplash seem more manageable. If instead it has just scared you away from ever considering it, then look into the aforementioned faux wall panel option. This option involves zero grouting, spacing, or mess. Just a few simple cuts on panels that cover more area at a time and some glue and voila! Plus, with a large variety of faux stone and faux brick panels, you’re sure to find something to your liking.