Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

How to Install Kitchen Backsplash on Drywall: 9 Easy Steps

Gabriela Connell
5 minute read

There are a wide variety of choices for kitchen backsplashes. But, if you want something truly one of a kind, you should think about putting up a backsplash on drywall. It’s not as difficult as it sounds and can really make your kitchen stand out from the rest. In this blog post, we will show you step-by-step instructions on how to install kitchen backsplash on drywall.

Although you’ll need a few more tools than for traditional backsplash installation, it’s still a relatively easy process. It is not a difficult project and can be completed in a weekend.

Why Install a Backsplash in Your Kitchen?

To express your individuality and create a focal point in the kitchen, consider installing a backsplash. It can also be useful since it prevents water from damaging your walls. When it comes to installing backsplash tile, there are several options to choose from. The most efficient method of installing a kitchen backsplash depends on the materials you choose, the style of your kitchen, and your budget.

Kitchen Backsplash Installation Cost

Cost to install kitchen backsplash varies greatly by region. Depending on the size of your kitchen, the tiles you choose, and whether or not you employ a professional to install them, the cost is between $200 and $400.

If you’re considering doing the work yourself to save money, I have shared simple steps below that can help make the process easier.

How to install kitchen backsplash on drywall?

Backsplash problems can arise during tile installation, power tool use, cut tile work, and tile glue application. To avoid these issues, it is important to understand the proper techniques for installing a kitchen backsplash on drywall. With the right tools and materials, as well as a little patience and attention to detail, you can achieve professional results without any major complications.

Install Kitchen Backsplash On Drywall

Tools and Materials

In addition to the backsplash tiles and tile glue, you will need a few other tools and materials for this project. A utility knife, measuring tape, level, straightedge, wet saw or scoring tool with a diamond blade, Notched trowel small enough to fit inside grout joints (1/4″ x 3/16″), latex-modified thin set mortar mix (for walls), 4″ wide putty knife or margin trowel for applying thin set mortar mix to wallboard surface & removing excess from joints between sheets of drywall. Mixing paddle attachment for drill. 1-1/4″ hole saw with mandrel (optional – if running electrical outlets behind backsplash).

Drywall Installation

  1. Measure the area where the backsplash will be installed and cut the drywall accordingly. It is important to make precise cuts so that the edges of the drywall are flush with adjacent surfaces such as cabinets or countertops.
  2. Install any outlet boxes that will be needed behind the backsplash using a hole saw and mandrel (or have an electrician do this step).
  3. Affix strips of masking tape along all outside corners at least 2″ away from each edge – this will help prevent cracks in the finished product caused by expansion & contraction of building materials during temperature changes.
  4. Mark reference lines on wallboard at top center and bottom center of installation area using a level – these lines should be perfectly horizontal so use caution when making your marks! If necessary, shim bottom edge of first sheet until it is level before marking reference line(s). It is not necessary to install backer board when installing ceramic tile over drywall in kitchens as long as good quality thin set mortar rated for use on walls is used instead. This type of thin set has better shear strength than traditional types used for floors, which makes it ideal for bonding heavy duty ceramic tiles often used on kitchen counters and back splashes.
  5. Mix up small batches no more than what can be applied in approx 20 minutes time – follow instructions provided by manufacturer regarding water ratio as too much water added can cause weakening of bond between bonds coat layer and substrate material.
  6. When ready, apply a generous amount onto marked areas, starting at the top middle section, working down both vertically and horizontally towards the lower section. Then go back up, applying downwards strokes going across horizontally, making sure there are no air pockets underneath.
  7. Once the entire surface has been covered, stop the application. Allow the initial setup process according to the bond coating manufacturers stated time frame, then come back. Take a putty knife and start at one corner, pulling off any ridges that have formed.
  8. Move to the opposite side, repeat the process once all excess is removed, and allow it to completely cure again [according to] the manufacturer’s specific recommendations, which typically takes 24 hours but may vary depending on the product brand name chosen.
  9. Take the next sheet and place it directly over the recently completed curing process, continuing the exact same method until the entire desired coverage is achieved.

Trimming and Finishing

After the tile has set and cured, you can trim and finish the edges with a utility knife. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when trimming the tiles. Next, use a wet saw or scoring tool with a diamond blade to cut any necessary holes for outlets or other fixtures. Finally, apply grout to the joints using a small notched trowel dipped in water (this will help prevent shrinkage cracks). Wipe away excess grout with a damp sponge and let it cure before caulking.


After the grout has had sufficient time to cure, you can caulk any gaps between the backsplash and countertop or wall cabinets using silicone caulk in a color that matches your grout. Apply painter’s tape around areas that should not be caulked if needed. Use your finger or a putty knife to smooth out the bead of caulk, then remove the tape immediately while it is still wet.


Once the backsplash is installed and caulked, you should apply two coats of sealer to help protect it from stains and moisture. It is important to choose a sealer that is compatible with your grout type.

After you have learned the procedure and put it into practice. I hope this article on how to install a kitchen backsplash on drywall has been helpful. Perhaps it will give you the confidence to tackle this project yourself or at least provide some useful tips if you do hire someone to do it for you.