Installing a Tile Backsplash Using a Self-Adhesive Mat
By: Danny Lipford
Installing a tile backsplash using a self-adhesive mat, such as SimpleMat, is much faster and easier than using thin-set adhesive. Here’s how to go about it.
Using a self-adhesive mat for tile:
- Smooth Drywall: Remove any lumps or bumps from the drywall so that the surface is smooth.
- Clean Drywall: Clean the drywall to remove any grease or dirt and allow the surface to dry.
- Mark Surface: Mark the area to be covered, making sure the lines are plumb and level.
- Apply Adhesive Mat: Peel the backing from one side of the adhesive mat and stick it to the drywall flush with the lines.
- Adhere Adhesive Mat: Drag a rubber tile grout float across the mat to press the adhesive firmly into the drywall and remove any air bubbles.
- Apply Tile: Peel the backing from the front of the adhesive mat, and press the tile in place, cutting any tile as needed to fit. Use the rubber tile grout float to firmly press the tile into the adhesive mat.
- Apply Grout: Use the rubber grout float to apply grout to the joints between the tile. Use a damp sponge to remove any excess grout, and allow the grout to dry.
The tile used were Jeffrey Court French Palace Stone Marble Mosaic Wall Tile (model# 99433). Watch this video to find out more.
- SimpleMat Adhesive Tile Setting Mat (video)
- How to Install a Mosaic Tile Backsplash (video)
- Installing a Ceramic Tile Backsplash (video)
- Tools Used to Cut Ceramic Tile (video)
- How to Cut Tile Around Electrical Outlets (article)
When you begin a tile backsplash using a self-adhesive mat, you must first remove any bumps from the drywall surface, then clean and dry it well.
Mark the area to be covered, and peel the backing from the mat to apply it. The edges should be plumb and level which is hopefully parallel to adjacent cabinets, counters, and walls.
Once it’s in place, pull a rubber grout float across it firmly to press the mat down and remove any air bubbles. Now you’re ready to remove the film from the mat and apply the tile.
The pattern and spacing will depend on the specific tile that you use. When the tiles are in place you can use the grout float again to firmly press them into the mat.
Because the adhesive doesn’t need to dry, you can apply your the grout immediately. Use the float and spread it across the surface at diagonals to the grout lines, as would on any tile project.
Clean up the excess, and your project is complete.
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