Make a splash

Kitchens and bath­rooms are the most im­por­tant rooms in the house, and a lit­tle DIY can bring them bang up to date. CLAIRE SPREADBURY learns to tile

Solihull News - - YOUR HOME -

W hen it comes to DIY, some rooms are eas­ier to tackle than oth­ers. Kitchens are best left to the ex­perts, and bath­rooms – aside from a bit of re­seal­ing – can of­ten be the same.

One easy up­date that is sim­ple to do, how­ever, is splash­backs. They sit be­hind the sink and are es­sen­tial to stop wa­ter be­ing sprayed ev­ery­where when hands, fruit, veg­eta­bles and what­not are washed. It is tiling, but it tends to be quite a small area, so should be achiev­able for most peo­ple.

“Adding a splash­back is a great way to in­ject a touch of per­son­al­ity into your kitchen, by cre­at­ing a fo­cal point,” says Sian O’Neill, head of mar­ket­ing at Topps Tiles. “It’s also a very cost- ef­fec­tive way of up­dat­ing the ap­pear­ance of a room and giv­ing it a new look, just by mak­ing some small changes.”


There are a few things to keep in mind when tiling your own splash­backs. Firstly, says Sian, en­sure you have all the right equip­ment – in­clud­ing the cor­rect ad­he­sive, a notched trowel, safety gog­gles, spirit level, tile spac­ers and a cut­ter. Next, make sure you work out how many tiles you need by mea­sur­ing the area and adding 10% for any cuts and wastage.


“As splash­backs cre­ate a fo­cal point, they lend them­selves to more vi­brant colours or pat­terns to make a real state­ment,” notes Sian. “They also pro­vide the ideal can­vas to be brave with state­ment shapes, so con­sider the lay pat­tern be­fore you start.”

A her­ring­bone style, for ex­am­ple, can add real in­ter­est to the area and cre­ate a unique look.

“Block colours can of­fer a clas­sic and time­less look, while in­tri­cately pat­terned tiles cre­ate more of a con­tem­po­rary fin­ish,” she adds. “And when it comes to the type of tile, ce­ramic or porce­lain tend to be more favourable than the likes of nat­u­ral stone, as they are lower in main­te­nance – an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion given the fact your splash­back needs to be wa­ter re­sis­tant and less sus­cep­ti­ble to stain­ing.”


Not many of us have spent much time de­lib­er­at­ing grout, but there are dif­fer­ent colours avail­able and choos­ing the right grout can re­ally en­hance the over­all ef­fect. “It’s im­por­tant not to over­look the colour of the grout cho­sen, as this can pro­vide the all- im­por­tant fin­ish­ing touch. Darker grouts can of­fer lower main­te­nance com­pared to the tra­di­tional white, when used in ar­eas with high ac­tiv­ity or likely food splat­ters,” says Sian.


“When you have your tiles and all the nec­es­sary tiling equip­ment, pre­pare the wall to en­sure it is smooth, clean, com­pletely dry and free from any dust or de­bris,” says Sian. “Ap­ply an even layer of ad­he­sive to a tiling or notched trowel, and start­ing from the corner, spread the prod­uct over the area of two or three tiles at a time. Place the tiles firmly on the ad­he­sive, us­ing spac­ers to cre­ate an even lay­out.

“Al­low your tiles to dry for 24 hours, and then fill the spa­ces be­tween each tile, us­ing grout and a grout float tool. Push­ing the grout deep into the joints will pre­vent mois­ture from get­ting be­hind the tiles, which is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in kitchen ar­eas.

“Once fin­ished, wipe down your tiles with a clean, damp sponge, work­ing at a 45- de­gree an­gle down your sur­face.”

And that’s it! Leave ev­ery­thing to prop­erly dry, then show off your handy work to all your friends and fam­ily.

For fur­ther ex­pert ad­vice, trends and tips, visit topp­stiles. co. uk

A tiled splash­back is a rea­son­ably sim­ple way to up­date a kitchen Batik Patch­work Tile, £ 43.99 per m � , Topps Tiles

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