How to Install Tile Backsplash (the Easy Way)


August 20, 2023

I'm a Latina DIY mom living in Texas.  I'm a retired RN and autism mom using DIY as my creative outlet.  Join me on this journey as I learn and share the things I am learning along the way. Thank you for being here!
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wet bar with reeded cabinets
DIY reeded cabinet fronts
The Before

This wet bar needed a little something. After building my reeded cabinet doors I tackled one of my biggest DIY challenges – tiling. Before starting this project, tiling used to scare me. This backsplash project taught me that with the right supplies and steps it doesn’t have to be that hard. This is how I installed a tile backsplash (the easy way) using Musselbound Adhesive!

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Supplies for this Project

Musselbound Adhesive

There’s basically 2 ways to install tile. You can go the “traditional” route and use mortar, or you can use Musselbound Adhesive. Musselbound is less messy and works like huge double-sided tape. I decided to go with this method because I had heard so many great things about this product. It seriously is SO easy to use. Start by making sure your walls are clean. Then stick it onto the wall like wallpaper and use a joint knife to help put even pressure throughout. Once you get to the bottom of the wall, you cut it with a blade. It’s that simple!

installing musselbound
Use a joint knife to press adhesive on wall
installing musselbound
Use a utility knife to cut adhesive

Installing the Tile

There are so so many choices when it comes to tile! But I knew I wanted to #1 – make this an affordable project and #2, pick a white subway tile that was not perfectly rectangular. In other words, I wanted the edges to be a bit rough. I went to Floor and Decor because I knew they had a wide selection of tile and I found the perfect tile. It was a white Ceramic tile by Villa and at the time was only 97 cents a tile. Perfect!

white ceramic subway tile

I used spacers to help me evenly place my tiles onto the tile adhesive. When sticking the tiles onto the adhesive mat, I would score the mat and peel away the backing section by section. It was so easy to do!

spacers between tile
peeling back musselbound

Cutting the Tiles

For the first part of this project, I used a wet tile saw because I needed to make some detailed cuts around the outlet in the wall. Side note: I bought this wet tile saw on major sale. Remember, the brand of the tool doesn’t matter – what matters is that it helps you accomplish the job!

using a wet tile saw

Now I’m going to warn you – wet tile saws are messy! My friend had warned me about this but I wasn’t sure what she meant when she said she recommended I wear a bib. I was like, for real? Nah. Well I’m here to tell you, WEAR A BIB. And safety glasses! As you are cutting the tiles the water is going to sprinkle all over your chest, face, arms. . . after that day I went the route of using the tile cutter instead.

using a tile cutter
A tile cutter is not as messy as a wet tile saw

A tile cutter is easy to use but #1 you can only make straight cuts with it and #2 it can be frustrating. You need to take your time as you cut the tiles because if you work the tile too fast, it will crack in the wrong places (ask me how I know).


I chose to use pre-mixed grout because I didn’t want to deal with the mess of mixing grout. And, not only was it my first time using a tile saw but it was also my first time grouting! Grouting is easy! Just work in sections and use a grout float to push all the grout in between the spaces in the tile, then “wipe” the surface with the float at a 45 degree angle. Wipe off the excess grout with a grout sponge – one actually came inside the pre-mixed grout container. Then do one last “wipe-down” before moving on to the final step – sealing off the perimeters.

cleaning excess grout

Sealing the perimeters

My final step was to seal off the perimeters of the tile with silicone sealant. If you add painter’s tape to the edges it will help you create a cleaner install.

tile backsplash before sealing with silicone
sealing edge of tile job with silicone

Add the silicone and then immediately remove the tape. Use baby wipes to spread out the silicone sealant around the edges and done! That’s it! See? It’s not that hard to tile! If I can do it, so can you!!

Final Thoughts

To say I am super proud of this project would be an understatement. I’m SO super proud I tackled a tiling job! Learning how to install tile backsplash is actually a lot easier than you think! For the longest time I was so intimidated to even try it. I’m glad I went for it. Once I wrapped up the tiling job I added a new faucet to finish off the space. Let me tell you, if I can do it so can you! Look how beautiful my wet bar area turned out!

Speakman Neo kitchen faucet
wet bar with tile backsplash and reeded cabinets

Here is the Instagram reel of how it came together. I hope sharing my experience empowers you to give tiling a try. Si se puede!

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