How to Tile a Kitchen Wall + Inspiring Kitchen Wall Tile Ideas
October 3, 2019

Tiles have long been a popular option for kitchen surfaces. Made from a variety of natural and now synthetic materials, you can install tile in any shade or finish to suit your decorating style. Select options from natural stone, a beautiful and durable ceramic or even the translucent appeal of glass, and your kitchen walls are sure to be both tasteful and useful. Deciding to install a tile wall is a great idea and can easily be done with the right know-how and tools.

Not sure if you'll have the time to install tiles on your own? Easily find a local kitchen renovator and have a professional efficiently install your tiles for a great new look in your kitchen!


Why Are Tiles a Great Option For Kitchens?

The daily activity in a kitchen can be a lot of fun and it’s completely necessary to feed you and your family. However, it can also leave a big mess for you to deal with. On a daily basis, this is simply too much mess. Food spatter and grease buildup can make your kitchen look less than sparkling and can even result in damage. Tiled walls are a great way to make your kitchen easy to clean. 

Modern Kitchen Backsplash

No matter what type of tile you choose, it can be scrubbed and washed to eliminate any mess that comes from daily life. This way you can enjoy living in your kitchen with the confidence of knowing it is easy to clean up.


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The Step By Step Guide on How to Tile a Kitchen Wall

The Step By Step Guide on How to Tile a Kitchen Wall

1. Prepare The Walls 

For a tile wall, you can typically apply directly on level plaster or plasterboard. Make sure that it’s completely smooth for the best results. A professional plasterer can help with this step to ensure the surface is perfectly smooth, as any bump or dent will make your tiles uneven, and it could even break your tile.

Smoothing The Walls

After clearing the space, you’ll need to remove any receptacle covers and cover your counters. If your tile will not be supported by the counter or skirting boards, you may need to install temporary support such as a board to keep your tiles level until they are fixed.


2. Plan Your Layout

Tiling a kitchen wall takes some careful planning to do properly. Depending on your pattern, you may want to work out how it looks horizontally and vertically to be sure that there will be no narrow and difficult cuts to make.  

Since you’ll be working around cupboards, shelves and likely a sink, it’s important to lay out your work so it can be installed easily. 

Plan your layout

We recommend laying it out on the counter to see how it will look in your chosen pattern and to plan out your cuts. You may wish to dry fit your tiles so you can place them in the pattern ahead of time — but be sure that you are allowing space for grout. 

You’ll also need to have the proper spacing between your tiles and next to your counters and shelving. By taking the time to set it out, you’ll see if there are any awkward sections that won’t look right when they are applied.


3. Place The Tile

Now that both your walls and your tiles are ready, it’s time to install. Make sure you have the adhesive or thin set mortar recommended for your tiles and are using a wall grade grout. The right materials means you’ll have the best looking and long lasting results. 

With your mortar mixed and ready, apply it to a small section of your wall. It should be even with grooves from your trowel parallel for the best grip. After the mortar is in position, it’s time to lay your tile. 

Placing kitchen tiles

As you place your tiles, be sure to use your spaces so they are applied evenly. Set your tile with a slight twist so they grip the mortar properly. 

After your tile are placed and cured, it’s time to grout. Mix and apply, being sure to fill the gaps. Allow it to cure for the proper time and then wash excess off your tile surface with a sponge. You’ll want to be gentle as you do not want to scoop grout back out as you clean. After the grout is cured, make sure to seal it properly so it will last.


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Kitchen Wall Tile Ideas

Kitchen Wall Tile Ideas

1. A Timeless Classic

Always popular, choosing subway tile can make your kitchen walls look incredibly trendy but also timeless. It’s available in a variety of materials from ceramic to glass, porcelain to slate, all in this classic rectangular shape. 

Subway tile

You can also choose to mix and match the finishes for a truly unique look for your tiled kitchen wall. And remember that there is no set pattern for subway tile: use a traditional half or two-thirds offset or mix it up with the ideas we’ve listed below.


2. Interesting Patterns

There are many unique and interesting patterns to use with your tile so your wall will be anything but boring. From the classic offsets to diamonds to straight lines, nearly any idea you can come up with can be represented with your tile. 

Patterned Tiles

You can also take these ideas and give them a forty-five-degree turn to take a horizontal idea vertical. For more elaborate patterns that make a bold statement, consider using a herringbone or chevron.  

3. Cladding Your Walls

Your tiles aren’t limited to being installed as a backsplash. Consider using your herringbone or chevron pattern as cladding to accent a wall within your kitchen. 

Cladding Your Walls

Applying this about halfway up your wall allows you to have the peaks extend onto a painted wall for added visual interest. If you desire to have more tile in your kitchen, this is a great way to do it.


4. Explore Available Finishes

Tiles now come in a variety of materials to give you the perfect look for your space. Glass is a great option to make any kitchen wall look luxurious with its eye-catching shimmer. 

Mosaic Tiles

It can also come as a mosaic, which combines the look of small glass tiles with ceramic and stone mixed in. This is an easy way to install a variety of finishes for an interesting tiled wall.  



In a kitchen, tiled walls just make sense. It improves the look of your kitchen with great tile ideas and makes it so much easier to keep clean.

It’s time to make one of these great ideas a reality. No matter whether you have an existing wall covered in tile or are looking to tile a prepped surface, creating a clean and durable tile wall or backsplash is simple. Take the first step towards bringing your dream kitchen to life and submit a free request to get bids from top kitchen renovators!

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