Loose tiles are common in older houses and a small splashback with no plumbing and electrical outlets is the most simple.
• It is essential to wear safety goggles.
• Start with removing tiles by hand with an old chisel and a hammer. Don’t rush to damaging the bench top or the existing tile bed as this will give a nice flat surface to attach the tiles to.
• Once all the tiles are off, make sure surface is flat. Put some primer onto the wall to help the adhesive stick to the wall. Let the primer dry which usually takes about four hours.
• Lay the tiles out dry to work out where all the cuts will be. Tile cutters can be hired for less than $40 for a half day. With this splashback, the cut tiles are directly under the cupboard line, out of the line of sight.
• Use a mastic glue to put on tiles - as it is a non – slump adhesive (it won’t slip off the wall.
• If re-tiling with a larger format tile, spread the adhesive on the back of each individual tile. With smaller tiles, glue up to half a square metre of wall and direct stick the tile.
• Put a nice even pressure over the tile.
• Keep a nice even consistent gap between tiles by using spacers.
• Let adhesive dry for 24 hours before grouting.
• To grout, mix up the grout to a toothpaste consistency and wipe it over the tiles. Use an even downward pressure motion to get the grout right into the tiles. Get a wet sponge and wipe off the excess before it dries.
• Use a mould resistant silicone, not grout, when the tiles meet the bench top, to have flexible joint that won’t crack. To finish off the silicone joint, to give it a smooth finish, spray some soapy water on and run your finger across.
• Allow the grout to dry for 24 hours.
To store your tiles – store them on their edge, rather than flat to avoid breakages.
When buying tiles – ensure that the tiles can be cut and buy a few extra for replacements in the future.