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Backsplash Q&A

My clients often ask a similar set of questions when preparing for a backsplash project. I thought it might be helpful to provide this Q&A article for them and anyone else considering a backsplash. I hope it helps!

Q: How long will it take to install my backsplash? A: The length of time is entirely dependent on the size of the area and the tile selection. Some backsplash installs can be completed in two days, some may take a full week.


Q: Why don’t you grout the perimeter?

A: No matter the age of your home, movement is created from materials expanding and contracting due to temperature and settling. An expansion joint is created around the perimeter of the backsplash and in all changes of plane to allow for movement. Without it, tiles and grout can crack or the bond could be broken. I use 100% silicone sealant that matches your grout in all expansion joints, making it look like a grout joint.

Q: Why is there a price increase for a glass tile or patterns like herringbone?

A: The time and skill involved contribute to my pricing. Glass tile takes much longer to cut due to chipping. And intricate patterns, like herringbone, take more time in layout, preparation, and installation, causing an increase in the price.

Q: What should I do with the 4 inch countertop backsplash? A: My personal opinion is that the counter backsplash should be removed prior to tile. I feel the space looks larger when the tile runs from the top of the counter to the underside of the cabinets. The only time my opinion changes is when the counter backsplash is already mounted to side cabinets. There is no guarantee that the cabinets will not be damaged when removing the counter splash. In those cases, I recommend keeping the 4 inch splash, communicating to my clients that I can’t guarantee the result should they choose to remove it.

Q: How should a backsplash end on a continuous wall?

A: It is completely the client's choice on where to end the backsplash. I typically recommend to end in line with the cabinets. Depending on your tile selection you have several options for the edges. The two most common are a profile trim piece, or bullnose/pencil tile. I am a huge fan of Schluter profile pieces. I generally use Schluter's Jolly Profile, pictured here. It’s very sleek, simple, and clean. They come in many different finishes and colors, as well as thicknesses to match your tile selection.


If the backsplash meets a side wall, I recommend ending the backsplash in the corner and not continuing it at the side. As long as it’s not a wet area, this tile is completely for aesthetics. Of course it falls to the clients preference, I personally prefer the look of keeping the tile on the back wall.

Q: Will splashes from cooking stain my grout?

A: I have never had a client have issues with staining. I only use high performance grouts that are already sealed when applied. They have excellent stain blocking technology and color consistency.

Q: How do you protect the counter from damage during installation?

On installation days I cover your counter with either cardboard or cloth to protect them from tile and tools. On grouting days I use plastic to protect the area from grout.


Q: Will I be able to use my kitchen?

A: Yes! I clean the area thoroughly at the end of each day, minimizing disruption as much as possible to your evening routine. I want to make this renovation as unobtrusive as possible.


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