Skip to content
Person installing backsplash tile

DON'T BE A DUMMY: TOP 11 BACKSPLASH INSTALLATION MISTAKES

Looking to install a kitchen tile backsplash in your home, but feeling nervous about potentially making backsplash installation mistakes?

We're here to help! 

This is not a project that you should take lightly, and common backsplash mistakes frequently occur with beginners. 

Remember, a backsplash tile installation, if done correctly, acts as a piece of art in your home. To help you have the most successful outcome possible, let's go ahead and break down 11 common blunders people face when it comes to kitchen backsplash tile installation.

Don’t miss out on the best kitchen backsplash tile trends for 2023

Person placing spacers between backsplash tiles

BACKSPLASH INSTALLATION MISTAKES TO AVOID

Kitchen remodeling projects are complex, and can be quite a big interior design undertaking. 

From sifting through unique backsplash ideas and deciding on the perfect easy to clean backsplash tile type, all the way through to install, it’s important to take care and pay close attention at every step of the way to ensure you get a flawless result.  

And please, make sure to read all instructions and backsplash tile installation guides beforehand to avoid kitchen backsplash mistakes!

MISTAKE #1: NOT DOUBLE-CHECKING MEASUREMENTS 

One of the most common backsplash mistakes a lot of people make is simply not checking their measurements before installing backsplash tile. The best way to avoid disaster when installing kitchen tiles is by double-checking your measurements, including the backsplash tile size, before putting up the kitchen walls and grout lines.

The last thing you want is to start a project like this and then find out that you have way too much space between your cabinet and wall, or that your dream mosaic tile backsplash won’t fit the awkwardly-shaped space above your sink. Remember, always better safe than sorry.

Many backsplash installation mistakes stem from not doing basic measurements. Before you commit to kitchen backsplash tile, just make sure that everything is measured correctly.

MISTAKE #2: FORGETTING TO LOOSELY FIT THE TILE 

This is one of the most common backsplash mistakes for beginners, so don't worry if you have done this in the past. 

It's easy to forget about loose-fitting when installing a tile backsplash because there are so many other factors to keep in mind.

When you are purchasing tile, make sure that there is a little bit of wiggle room to allow the material to expand or contract without cracking your tile. There will be enough stress as-is with grout, and this simple step can eliminate some headaches down the road!

MISTAKE #3: USING GROUT THAT DOESN'T MATCH THE TILE 

Using a grout color that is similar to your tile color could make a world of difference in the way your backsplash looks. If you aren't careful about this step, the overall aesthetic of your kitchen backsplash design could get thrown off.

The good news is that there are plenty of tile grouts that match many types of kitchen backsplash tile, so it's important not to give up when shopping for the perfect color. 

For added convenience, shop our grout selection online. Choose from our wide offering of best selling neutrals, including White, Pearl Gray, or Avalanche

MISTAKE #4: NOT USING SPACERS WHEN INSTALLING TILE BACKSPLASH

Spacers help with alignment and maintain consistent gaps when installing your tiles. We recommend to use them if they come included, but you can always purchase them separately, too.

If your tiles are all different sizes and shapes without any spacers, it could make the process a lot more difficult and lead to installation mistakes. If anything, using spacers is going to make things go much faster because there won't be as many bumps in your road when installing tile backsplash. 

 

MISTAKE #5: TRYING TO CUT IT YOURSELF

In our opinion, overconfidence is one of the most common backsplash mistakes.

Don't go into this project thinking that you can just cut tiles easily without any experience. All it takes is one slip-up for your tile to chip and wind up completely destroyed! 

A kitchen backsplash is an extremely detailed installation to do by yourself – so much so that almost every kitchen tile company recommends hiring a professional for this type of job. 

This is due largely in part to the fact that different types of tile (ceramic tile, porcelain tile, glass tile, stone tile, and metal tile) require different cutting techniques and methods.

If you are determined to cut the tile yourself, know that it will take a lot of patience and time to get it right and steer clear of backsplash installation mistakes. 

MISTAKE #6: NOT USING ENOUGH GROUT 

When installing kitchen backsplash tile, grout lines need to be around a quarter-inch thick to ensure that the kitchen tile backsplash looks clean and professional.

If you don't use enough grout, it can be especially noticeable if your kitchen tiles aren't perfectly level or even throughout the entire space. This is a job for an expert, so take it seriously! 

MISTAKE #7: SKIPPING PRIMING

If you aren't going to prime the walls before installing your kitchen backsplash tile, there's a BIG possibility that the tiles won't stick on as tightly. 

To avoid backsplash installation mistakes from the start and make your new tile stand out for a long period of time, put a layer of primer on the clean surface first. This will help ensure that the kitchen tile backsplash stays in place for years to come.

MISTAKE #8: PLACING YOUR KITCHEN TILE BACKSPLASH BEHIND A STOVE

The heat that radiates from your kitchen appliances is enough to damage the grout and tiles of kitchen backsplashes, so it's best not to use them behind any kind of stovetop.

If you’ve already installed your kitchen backsplash behind your stove and you notice damages, there is a solution. You can add on a layer of protection for things like grease and constant heat decay.

MISTAKE #9: NOT LISTENING TO SOMEONE WITH EXPERIENCE 

If you are ever in doubt about what needs to be done when installing kitchen backsplash tile, ask a professional. Professionals are familiar with common backsplash mistakes, as they have seen kitchen tiles from all angles. They will be able to tell you what needs to be done before starting the process of kitchen backsplashes.

If this is your first time installing kitchen tiles or if it's been years since you last did so, then do yourself a favor and get an expert opinion. 

For best results, hire somebody that knows how to install a backsplash properly so that you can avoid backsplash installation mistakes altogether. 

MISTAKE #10: NOT BUYING EXTRA TILE

Before starting your kitchen backsplash project, it’s absolutely crucial to make sure you have extra tile on hand.

Extra stock will cover you in the event of unexpected issues such as damaged tiles, discontinued lines, or mistakes that force you to remove installed backsplash tile

As a rule of thumb, we always recommend purchasing an overage of 10-15% to safeguard your kitchen backsplash project. 

MISTAKE #11: THINKING THAT IT IS AN EASY DIY PROJECT 

Even though kitchen backsplashes aren't overly difficult to install yourself, they do take time and patience. 

If you aren't careful and don't work on kitchen backsplash tile with care, you run the risk of DIY backsplash mistakes occurring and your new kitchen tiles might not turn out how you intended!

Person installing backsplash tile

LOOKING TO GET NEW KITCHEN BACKSPLASH TILE? 

Whether you are interested in full kitchen wall tile or a simple tile install behind your sink or countertop, a kitchen backsplash is always a good idea, as it adds color, visual interest, and a unique design element to any kitchen. 

Make sure that your kitchen tile installation goes smoothly by avoiding these top backsplash installation mistakes! 


If you want to start browsing through different options, check out our backsplash tile inventory!

Previous article 9 Ways to Protect Your Shower and Bath Tiles After Installation
Next article 10 Tips to Upgrade Your Swimming Pool in 2022