Giving Backsplash Tile a Metallic Finish

For a stylish look for your kitchen backsplash, and one that is easy to clean, try installing a metallic finish of faux tin tiles. You will find that installation of these tiles can be faster and less complicated than for the more traditional tiles. Another advantage is that they will be more durable and that they are usually available in a variety of designs. If you like the turn-of-the-century look of tin ceilings, you'll love these tiles. Follow the simple steps below to install them on your own.

Tools and Materials

  • Plastic adhesive
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Straightedge
  • Dremel tool
  • Painters tape
  • Permanent marker

Step 1 – Determine the Area You Want to Cover

Decide in advance of your tile installation whether you'll want to install your backsplash tile at a conventional height or whether you'll want to cover the wall from the sink or counter to the ceiling. Once you've made this decision, purchase your tile and accessories from a hardware store or home improvement center. Typically, you'll have a choice of individual tiles or tile sections. Installing tile sections, of course, will take less time.

Include in your supplies extra tiles you might need if you make mistakes in cutting or installing your tiles. If you plan to cover inside corners, you'll also need special double-edge trim.

Step 2 - Preparing Your Surface

To prepare your surface for installing these backsplash tiles, be sure the surface you'll be attaching them to be painted or is unpainted drywall. They will not adhere to wallpaper, so if your wall is covered with wallpaper, remove the wallpaper. You can do this more easily if you use a wet, soapy sponge to soak your wallpaper. Then, peel it off and use a putty knife to remove excess wallpaper glue. 

Step 3 – Attaching Your Tile to the Wall

Start attaching your tile by measuring and cutting your tile to fit any light switches or outlets. Peel off any protective plastic covering from the back of the tile you'll be installing. Lay your tile face down and use a caulk gun to apply a vertical strip of glue on the back surface of the tile. If you've installed corner trim, place your tile into this trim and press the tile against the wall. This will give your glue a better bond. To keep the tile in place while the glue is bonding, use painter’s tape (with one end of the tape on the tile and the other on the wall).

If you're attaching an additional tile section, apply glue and paste the section as you did the first one, but with the edge of your new section slightly overlapping the first section. Continue with this procedure, marking and cutting tiles or sections to fit over light switches or receptacles. At outside corners, fit your trim to allow less prominent tile trim to be covered by sections that are more prominent.

Step 4 – Covering Wall Plates

To match wall plates with your metallic backsplash, purchase and install stainless steel or chrome wall plates in place of your plastic plates. To avoid getting glue on these polished metal plates, cover them with painters tape while gluing on the tile.