How to Tile a Kitchen Wall (or Splashback) like a Pro

Tile a Kitchen Wall - How to Tile a Kitchen Wall (or Splashback) like a Pro

Adding tile to your kitchen walls is a fantastic way to enhance both its aesthetic appeal and functionality. 

You might already have picked out your new tiles. You’ve spent time on Google checking out designs. And you’ve cleared the weekend to dive headfirst into a DIY project.

There’s just one thing left to figure out…

How do you tile a kitchen wall or splashback?!

We’ll answer that question for you in this handy guide. Whether you’re looking to create a trendy backsplash, protect your walls from splatters and stains, or simply update the overall look of your kitchen, installing wall tiles can do wonders. 

Read on for our step-by-step guide to tiling a kitchen wall.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary supplies and materials. Here’s a basic list of what you’ll need:

  • Tiles: Choose tiles that complement your kitchen’s style. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are popular choices for kitchens due to their durability and ease of maintenance.
  • Tile Adhesive: Select a high-quality adhesive suitable for the type of tiles you’re using. You may also need a trowel for applying the adhesive.
  • Tile Spacers: These will help you maintain consistent gaps between tiles for grout.
  • Grout: Choose the colour of grout that complements your tiles and kitchen decor.
  • Tile Cutter: If you need to cut tiles to fit your wall, a tile cutter will be essential.
  • Notched Trowel: This tool is used to spread the adhesive evenly.
  • Level: Ensure your tiles are installed straight and level with the help of a level.
  • Sponge and Bucket: You’ll need these for cleaning excess adhesive and grout.
  • Tile Sealer: After the tiles are installed and grouted, a sealer will help protect them from stains and moisture.

How to Choose the Best Tiles For Your Job (The Simple Way)

Step 2: Prepare the Surface

Before applying the tiles, it’s crucial to prepare the wall surface. Clean the wall thoroughly to remove any dirt, grease, or residue. If there are any imperfections or holes in the wall, patch them up and let them dry before proceeding. It’s essential to have a smooth, clean surface for the adhesive to bond properly.

Wall Preparation: The Complete Pre-Tiling Guide

Step 3: Plan Your Layout

Plan the layout of your tiles before you start sticking them to the wall. Start from the centre or a focal point and work your way outwards. Use tile spacers to ensure uniform gaps between tiles, and double-check your measurements to ensure the tiles fit correctly.

Step 4: Apply the Tile Adhesive

Using your notched trowel, apply a layer of tile adhesive to a small section of the wall. Spread it evenly, creating ridges with the notches of the trowel. This will help the tiles adhere securely to the wall. Be sure to work in manageable sections, as the adhesive can dry relatively quickly.

Step 5: Install the Tiles

Place the tiles onto the adhesive, pressing them firmly and aligning them with your layout plan. Use your level to ensure that the tiles are straight and even. Continue applying adhesive and placing tiles in sections until you’ve covered the entire wall.

Step 6: Add Tile Spacers

As you place each tile, insert tile spacers between them to maintain consistent gaps. The size of the spacers will depend on your desired grout line width.

Step 7: Allow the Adhesive to Set

Give the adhesive ample time to set and dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically takes 24 hours, but it can vary depending on the type of adhesive and environmental conditions.

Step 8: Grout the Tiles

Once the adhesive is dry, it’s time to grout the tiles. Mix the grout according to the package instructions and apply it to the gaps between the tiles using a grout float. Make sure to press the grout into the gaps and remove any excess.

Step 9: Clean and Seal

After the grout has partially dried, use a damp sponge to clean the excess grout from the tile surfaces. Once the grout is completely dry, apply a tile sealer to protect your newly installed tiles from stains and moisture.

Step 10: Enjoy Your New Kitchen Wall


You’ve successfully installed tiles on the wall in your Sydney kitchen. 

Your kitchen now has a fresh and attractive look, and you’ve added a layer of protection to the walls. Enjoy the enhanced beauty and functionality of your revamped kitchen space.

Looking to tile your bathroom next? We wrote the guide on it (literally).

How to Tile a Bathroom Wall

Additional Wall Tiling Tips

Tile Selection

When choosing tiles for your kitchen wall, consider both the aesthetics and practicality. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are popular choices due to their durability and ease of cleaning. You can also explore a variety of shapes, sizes, and patterns to create a unique look for your kitchen.

Mixing Tile Patterns

Get creative with your tile layout by mixing patterns. You can create a focal point by using a different tile pattern or colour for a specific area, like behind the stove or the kitchen island.

Proper Maintenance

To ensure the longevity of your kitchen wall tiles, follow a regular maintenance routine. Clean them with a mild detergent and water solution, and avoid using abrasive cleaners that can scratch the tile surface. Additionally, periodically reapply tile sealers to maintain their protective barrier.

Hiring a Professional

While installing kitchen wall tiles can be a rewarding DIY project, it’s important to acknowledge your skill level. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the installation process, it may be wise to consult with or hire a professional tile installer in Sydney. They can ensure that the job is done correctly and that the tiles are securely attached to the wall.

Consider the Grout Colour

The colour of the grout you choose can significantly impact the overall look of your tiled wall. A contrasting grout colour can make the tiles pop and add visual interest, while a matching grout colour can create a seamless, subtle appearance. Take your time to select the grout colour that best compliments your kitchen’s design.

That’s It! You’re Ready to Tile Like the Pros

Installing tiles on your kitchen wall is a rewarding DIY project that can transform the look of your kitchen. 

With the right materials, careful planning, and attention to detail, you can create a stunning tiled wall that will be the envy of all your visitors. 

So, roll up your sleeves and get started on this exciting home improvement project today! Whether you’re aiming for a classic, modern, or eclectic look, the versatility of tiles allows you to bring your kitchen design vision to life.

Oh, and if you decide you’d like to spend your weekend on something else, save time, and avoid any potentially costly mistakes, we’re happy to do the job for you.

NHK Tiling Can Help With Your Next Project

At NHK Tiling, we understand the importance of keeping your stress levels down and minimising disruption when tiling your home or business. That’s why, as a family-owned business supporting our Sydney clients for almost 30 years, we treat every project like it is our own home and let the results speak for themselves.

All of our installers are licensed, insured, and accredited to take on any tiling project, and we back all of our work with 100% customer satisfaction and quality guarantees. If you’re looking for fast and reliable tiling that will stand the test of time, get in touch and speak to a member of our team.

Request a free quote for your project today by calling 0402 462 570.

Request a free quote on 0402 462 570, or simply enquire online.