Ask Danny Videos

Can You Install a Ceramic Tile Backsplash on Drywall?

By: Danny Lipford

As long as your wall is smooth and flat, you can install a ceramic tile kitchen backsplash directly over drywall or plaster with no problem.

Start by cleaning the wall to remove any grease, then apply thin-set adhesive, and set the tile. After the adhesive has set, apply grout, and you’re done.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Video Transcript

Janine asks: I’m putting up a ceramic tile backsplash in my kitchen. Can I put the tile directly on the drywall, or do I have to tear it out and use a cement board?

Danny Lipford: If you’re talking about installing ceramic on a wall behind your kitchen countertop for a kitchen backsplash, no problem. You don’t have to tear out all of your drywall and install backerboard or anything else, if you have a fairly smooth and flat surface that you’re working with. And you can install the drywall right over ceramic or plaster.

Here, I have a little bit of a challenge, because I have to remove this wood trim. Probably have a little drywall spackling I’ll have to do there in order to create the right kind of surface. Then, I’m going to use a ceramic adhesive, a notched trowel to evenly spread the adhesive, put the ceramic in place, wait overnight, come back and grout it, and I’m done.

Hey, inject some personality in your kitchen by using some of the colorful glass tiles or some of the decorative ceramic that’s available.


Please Leave a Comment

20 Comments on “Can You Install a Ceramic Tile Backsplash on Drywall?”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  • Ben Says:
    April 21st, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Hi, i want to put large tiles on the bathroom wall, which already has the green sheet dry wall attached. The large tiles pretty thick, maybe a quarter or 1/3 of an inch thick and pretty heavy. I am concern the wall cant support the weight.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    March 26th, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Hi, Tay!
    What kind of paneling is on the wall?

  • TAY LARKIN Says:
    March 23rd, 2019 at 5:05 am


  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    February 24th, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Hi, Barbara,
    Not if the “Formica” is part of the countertop, which is called “post form” countertop.
    With proper prep, it might be able to go over sheet laminate (the generic name for Formica) but it would probably be less work to remove the laminate.
    Good luck!

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    February 19th, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Hi, Barbara,
    Please include a photo with your question so we can understand the situation.
    We accept photos at
    Thanks so much!

  • Barbara Says:
    February 18th, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Can ceramic tile be put on back splash that is a Formica covering?

  • Robert Tiedeman Says:
    November 25th, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    do i have to prime new moisture restistant sheet rock before installing cermaic tile

  • maria Says:
    November 16th, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    I want to install glass mosaic tiles on my wood counter tops, do i need to put down backerboard?

  • Kenny Says:
    November 15th, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    What about painted drywall

  • Gary Says:
    October 28th, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I am redoing a bathroom that will have tile on all the walls throughout. I will start by gutting everything. I plan to use concrete backerboard or schluter board around the shower and drywall for the rest of the bathroom. If I am tiling directly over the drywall, can I use fiberglass tape at the joints with no spackle? Thanks

  • Pam King Says:
    April 8th, 2018 at 6:32 am

    I know you can put ceramic tile as a backsplash in a kitchen on drywall but how about in a bathroom will it make a difference since there’s a lot of moisture in the bathroom

  • Arun Says:
    March 27th, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    What about a porcelain that’s 18″ x 36″? It feels like 10 lbs

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Says:
    March 2nd, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Hi, Dennis,
    As long as your wall is smooth and flat, you can install a ceramic tile kitchen backsplash directly over drywall or plaster with no problem.
    Textured drywall, then, could raise concerns.
    Thanks for your question!

  • Dennis Says:
    March 2nd, 2018 at 10:41 am

    The drywall behind over the counter top is textured, can I put subway tile on top of it?

  • Kyle Says:
    January 28th, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Removed old backsplash and drywall paper is grey and i need to seal that first..or what is the prep process

  • faisal Says:
    November 28th, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Well in that case you have countertop’s support but what if there is no countertop underneath and you just want to apply it to drywall directly with no support.

  • Gerardo Nayve Says:
    December 29th, 2016 at 7:33 am

    i removed my old kitchen backsplash but I damaged the existing 1/2 drywall( lot of holes). I installed a 1/4 inch drywall over the existing 1/2 inch drywall and will install glass mosaic tiles.
    Will the 1/4 inch drywall hold weight of the glass mosaic tile?

  • Ron Leggett Says:
    May 17th, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Does plasterboard have to be sealed before applying adhesive? Thanls

  • danielle lemire Says:
    May 14th, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I want backsplash back of my range about 60”x 30”.. but my drywall is 1\4 inch. the weight of the tile can support it ?? thanks

  • dave Says:
    December 17th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Danny & Crew,
    Thanks for all the help u post with video, it makes it a lot easier to understand.

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at

 characters available

Can You Install a Ceramic Tile Backsplash on Drywall?