How to Install a Glass Tile Backsplash in a Kitchen

If you’re looking to DIY your kitchen’s replacement glass tile backsplash, but have no idea where to start, follow along our step-by-step guide. Doing it yourself should be relatively inexpensive, with moderate skill level, and it should take about a day or two to finish.



Step 1 – The Planning: 

Doing this project yourself is a great way to increase your skill level and save on money. Hiring a professional to do this might cost you around $20/sq. ft. and the project will be done quickly, and skillfully. If you are looking to have your backsplash installed in a timely manner and with little effort, consider hiring a professional. However, if you’d like to challenge yourself to some handiwork, then try it yourself! 


  1. Your first step is to lay out the plan of what you’re going to do. You’ll want to plan out your tile layout. This is important to do before going in without a laid-out plan, as it’ll ensure the tiles are all properly and proportionately set.  
  1. Begin by measuring from the top of the counter to the bottom of the cabinet, and plan out your tiles. Also, be sure to incorporate accent tiles that you intend on using within your design.  
  1. Next, mark the centre point of the wall, and using your level, you should draw a horizontal line across the wall from end to end.  
  1. Then, to determine the amount of tile rows you’ll be needing, measure up from the finished countertop to the bottom lip of the upper cabinets. This makes a grid plan for you, but be sure to include your grout lines of 1/8”.  


Now that you have the basic plan in place, you can visually see how many tiles you’ll be needing, and you can go based on this.  

Step 2 – The Shopping of Materials and Required Tools: 

Many people make the mistake of completing this task prior to measuring out their space. This results in either wastage with too many tiles bought, or a panic of not enough bought. Having your grid in place will give you a much better idea of what materials you’ll be needing. This is the basic shopping list of both tools and materials that you’ll need to finish this project: 



  • Level 
  • Sponge 
  • Bucket 
  • Tape measure 
  • 1/8” tile spacers 
  • Rubi cutter 
  • Wet saw,  
  • Grinding stone 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Float 
  • 3/16” square-notched trowel 



  • Unsanded grout 
  • Thinset 
  • Speed square 
  • Polyurethane 
  • Glass tiles 


When you’re shopping for tiles sheets, you can choose from loose glass tiles, or mosaic sheets, which are already arranged tiles on a mesh backing. If you’re planning on buying the sheets for faster installation, make sure you consider any accents that you might want to add in.  


Step 3 – The Preparation: 

You’ve already prepped the walls with your measurements and markings, a step that is much easier done ahead of time. Before you install the tiles, clean up any grease splatters visible on the wall, as mastic won’t adhere to grease. You can wipe away the stains with a sponge dipped in a mixture of water and mild dishwashing soap. After the walls have been cleaned, you’ll want to mask off the countertops and any upper cabinets. Next, cover the countertops with newspaper or a drop cloth. Make sure the power outlets are turned off, and remove the cover plates.  


Step 4 – The Installation: 


  1. Use a utility knife to cut five 3/8 inch wide strips of the tile adhesive. Notch the adhesive strips, if necessary 
  1. Peel off the protective membrane from the back of the tile strips, and press them onto the wall 
  1. Cut the glass tile sheets into 5.5-inch-wide strips. You can do this by slicing through the mesh on the back of the tile sheets. Do this for all the tile sheets you’ll need to cover the wall 
  1. Next, use a wet saw to square-cut the end of the first glass-tile strip. Make sure the strip is completely dry before you move on 
  1. Peel off the adhesive protective membrane from the tile on the wall 
  1. Lightly set the first tile sheet into place against the tile adhesive. Firmly press it into the wall, and repeat on remaining tile sheets. 
  1. Then, apply 1.5-inch-wide masking tape strips along the top and bottom edges of the tile backsplash 
  1. Use a rubber float to force premixed tile grout into the joints between the tiles on the backsplash wall. Scrape away excess grout from the countertop with a margin trowel.  
  1. Let the grout firm up. This will take about 10 minutes. Then, wipe the tiles surface clean with a sponge and clean water. 
  1. Peel off the masking tape 
  1. Wait about 5 hours for the grout to harden, and use a damp cotton cloth to buff away any residue or grout from the surface. 


Your glass tile backsplash is now in place! 






Speak Your Mind