How to Install a Marble Hexagon Tile Backsplash

How to Install a Marble Hexagon Tile Backsplash

Study the simplest technique to reduce and set up a marble hexagon tile backsplash so as to add a phenomenal backdrop to your house!

White IKEA Kitchen with Hexagon Tile Backsplash

Welcome again to tile week! On Tuesday we kicked issues off with our course of for selecting our tile. Right this moment we’re stepping into the nitty gritty particulars of set up. Be ready to search out out every little thing you ever wished to find out about the right way to set up a marble hexagon tile backsplash!

One factor it’s possible you’ll not find out about Donnie is that he’s the son of an engineer. Due to that, he thinks like an engineer, he approaches tasks like an engineer, and he’s positively uber-detailed like an engineer.

So once I requested him to write down just a little publish about how he put in our tile backsplash within the kitchen, he got here again with 4000 phrases on precisely how he did it! This publish is just a little prolonged. However our hope is that it offers you the data it’s essential to sort out your personal backsplash if and when the time comes! Right here’s Donnie…

Putting in a Marble Hexagon Tile Backsplash

An enormous due to for offering the backsplash tile for our kitchen renovation! Our favorable opinion of beautiful, high-quality tile is 100% our personal. 🙂 This publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks. For extra info, see my disclosures right here.


I used to be greater than just a little intimidated when our bins of hexagonal marble tile arrived at our door. The tile was completely beautiful and manner nicer than the ceramic tiles I’ve used prior to now. However the thickness of the tile was just a little scary. I do know this implies it’s a high quality product, however I used to be nervous about reducing the tile.

a sheet of marble hexagon tile

After doing a little analysis on-line I concluded that the “rating and snap” technique of tile reducing doesn’t work nicely with marble. Plus, the dimensions of the little hexagons would make getting sufficient leverage to snap the tiles almost unattainable.

Selecting the Right Noticed to Minimize Backsplash Tile

Once I did our major lavatory rework I used to be capable of borrow an enormous moist noticed. It had a heavy stand and water pump. It labored okay, but it surely wasn’t precisely consumer pleasant.

With this new mission I believed it was time to put money into my very own diamond bladed water noticed. I went with a tabletop model of the water noticed this time. And I used to be actually impressed with how nicely it labored for the job!

Setup took only a few minutes. It’s so good to have just a little transportable water noticed that I can place on any work floor. The noticed got here with a diamond coated blade, however I bought one other one for $30 to have readily available ought to it begin to uninteresting.

I appreciated that the model I bought lacked a pump — because the blade spins it’s immersed straight right into a reservoir of water. There’s a max fill line within the reservoir, and even after a full day of tiling I solely had so as to add just a little extra water one time. Not unhealthy!

cutting marble honeycomb tile with a saw
Organized Garage

7 Easy Beginning Factors: A Information to Beginning an Overwhelming Organizing Challenge

Click on the button under to request your copy of the free information, and prepare to get organized!

Instruments I Used to Set up a Marble Hexagon Tile Backsplash

How one can Lay Marble Hexagon Tile Backsplash from Begin to End

Prep the floor earlier than backsplash set up.

Through the kitchen demo course of I completely destroyed our drywall when eradicating the outdated backsplash. Ultimately, I ended up changing 90% with new drywall. It wasn’t what I initially deliberate, but it surely’s necessary to have a pleasant flat floor earlier than you lay your first tile.

For a kitchen tile backsplash, it’s alright to tile straight onto the drywall. In contrast to a bathe enclosure that sees fixed moisture, cement board or Hardibacker board is pointless for a kitchen backsplash.

the kitchen backsplash area after we demoed

Select a tile structure.

Earlier than I positioned the primary sheet of hexagonal marble tile, I had to decide on an orientation. Once I held up a sheet to the wall I flipped it round each methods – flat aspect up, in addition to pointy aspect up. To me, each orientations regarded nice. I requested Abby what she wished, and with out even wanting she mentioned “flat aspect up.” I assume it wasn’t actually a troublesome choice for her! The sharp aspect up nonetheless appears good in my view, but it surely’s extra of a dramatic honeycomb look.

As soon as the tile orientation was decided, I took a couple of sheets of the marble tile out of the field and held them up in opposition to the wall to resolve the place I wished to begin tiling. We’ve got a single nook with backsplash extending out in each instructions. I made a decision to begin there and work my manner out. This allowed me to offer the tiles an excellent “cut up” look within the nook.

I additionally began from the underside and labored my manner up. The countertop is completely stage and was information to work from.

My tile cutter has a very easy fence that made it straightforward to tear all the left aspect of the very first tile sheet so as to butt it up in opposition to the underside of the nook.

The primary reduce was quick and easy with no chipping! It is a small victory for those who’ve ever used a water noticed to chop ceramic tile. I’ve to say that the thick marble appeared a lot much less vulnerable to cracking and chipping than normal ceramic tile. I a lot choose working with this pure stone.

Decide a trowel (sq. or v-notch).

two different types of trowels side by side

I had a tough time deciding what kind and measurement trowel to make use of in spreading the mastic. I’m extra acquainted with the massive 1/4” sq. notch trowels. When you consider it, the sq. notch permits for extra mastic to be utilized when in comparison with a “v-notch.” This makes a variety of sense when laying huge 12”x12” or comparable measurement tiles.

With the little marble hexagons I used to be working with, it appeared like a big sq. notch would go away a lot mastic on the wall that when the sheet of tile was pressed firmly in opposition to the wall, I’d should take away a variety of extra mastic that squishes out between the entire hexagons.

See also  How We Updated Our Planked Wood-Look Tile

I selected a 3/16” v-notch trowel. This smaller notch is designed for small tiles. I debated this small measurement in my thoughts as a result of in a single sense I used to be working with tiny little tiles, however in one other sense I used to be working with very massive tiles when contemplating one full sheet.

The three/16” v-notch trowel labored completely. It is a frequent measurement you will discover at any ironmongery store. It didn’t depart an excessive amount of mastic to ooze up between the tile, but it surely was loads of materials to get a pleasant strong maintain.

Laying the First Sheet of Tile

For the primary tile, I unfold white mastic on the wall after which used my trowel to scrape off the surplus and create horizontal ridges. I feel horizontal strains higher forestall sagging and drifting of the tiles as every little thing dries.

After the mastic was utilized, I took my freshly reduce tile sheet and caught it to the wall. This primary one was tough. The mesh backing on the tile was nonetheless moist from the water noticed. And as I pushed the sheet round to get every little thing lined up and spaced completely, a few of the little hexagons got here unfastened from the backing. Not good.

Ultimately I used to be capable of get every little thing lined up, but it surely took some time due to tiles transferring across the moist mesh backing just a little.

the first sheet of the marble hexagon kitchen backsplash installed

After that first tile I spotted that I ought to not be putting in tile sheets with a moist and even barely damp backing. I needed to alter my technique.

After reducing the following few sheets of tile, I positioned them facedown outdoors in direct daylight. This system labored however was just a little sluggish. In full daylight, the backing nonetheless took over quarter-hour to dry out and agency up once more.

About midway by way of my first wall of tile I discovered a greater resolution…

A Faster Technique for Putting in Hexagon Backsplash Tile

I used to be bored with ready round for tile sheets to dry, so finally I solely left full tiles connected to the sheet. I might maintain up a sheet to the wall and see if any cuts have been vital (wall, outlet, gentle swap, and many others…).

If there have been some non-full tiles required for the actual sheet, I might use a utility knife to chop the backing and fully separate the non-full tiles from the sheet. Utilizing this technique, I might reduce tiles individually and wouldn’t should moist all the tile sheet. It was truly just a little simpler to chop tiles individually.

  • Keep away from putting in with a moist and even barely damp backing. The glue that holds the marble to the backing loosens a bit and every little thing slides round with even the slightest stress.
  • Solely hold un-cut tiles connected to mesh backing.

Ought to I take advantage of spacers with hexagonal tile?

I like utilizing sheets of tiles like our hexagon marble as a result of I didn’t have to fret about spacing between each little tile. However as a result of I opted to take away all partial tiles from the sheet and reduce them individually, I needed to be very cautious concerning the spacing between these tiles.

Sadly, the spacing was not a regular quantity. I purchased a wide range of little tile spacers hoping to search out the proper measurement — no luck. I needed to eyeball it.

You might be considering it’s loopy to put in tiles with out utilizing any spacers. For sq. or rectangle tiles, you’ll be appropriate. The bare eye can instantly spot non-straight strains, but it surely wouldn’t catch the slight variations in spacing.

The best way hexagon tiles match collectively makes it straightforward on your eyes to identify incorrect spacing. Every part will get manner out of kilter. So when putting my particular person reduce tiles onto the wall, it was straightforward to get the spacing appropriate and match them into the sample.

Right spacing wasn’t situation for me, even with out utilizing spacers. The one place I used spacers was alongside the countertop line to make sure there was sufficient room for a bead of caulking as soon as the tiling and grouting course of was full.

front view of the the finished hexagon marble backsplash with white grout

Ought to I put mastic on the wall or on the tiles for marble hexagon tile backsplash?

Each different time I’ve put in tile in our house (till this mission!) I’ve unfold tile mastic on to the ground or wall after which positioned the tile straight onto the mastic, urgent firmly and evenly to set the tile. That’s how I began this mission.

close up of prepped backsplash area with mastic on the wall

The issue was that I used to be hardly ever capable of unfold sufficient mastic to use a number of sheets of tile on the similar time. There was at all times reducing and measuring that slowed me down.

To me, it made no sense to use mastic to the wall, stick on a tile, after which scrape off all of the remaining mastic from across the sides of the tile. This was much more tough due to the form.

For this mission I transformed to making use of mastic on to the tile, utilizing the v-notch trowel to create the ridges, after which sticking the tile to the wall. This was an enormous time saver, as I didn’t should scrape extra mastic off the wall.

And let’s be sincere, when making use of the entire particular person reduce hexagons in and round my different full sheets, there’s no potential manner I might get a trowel onto the wall to create the ridges.

mastic on the back of the hexagon marble tile

Now, if I used to be tiling a ground would I take advantage of this similar method? Completely not. If you happen to’re strolling on a floor, you higher be completely certain that the mastic is unfold evenly with 100% protection underneath the tile, lest you stroll on an unsupported tile and crack it!

With our marble backsplash I used to be very cautious to get 100% protection on the again of every tile, and since nobody could be strolling on our backsplash, I felt snug with my method.

If I used to be doing a subway tile backsplash or one thing extra sq., I might’ve stayed with the tried and true mastic-to-wall method.

How lengthy does it take to put in a tile backsplash?

In our small kitchen, the tile reducing and set up course of took about 10 hours. Professionals would do it half that point, and somebody that’s by no means tiled earlier than or used a water noticed ought to add two or three hours to my time.

See also  How to Build a Custom Tilt-Out Trash Cabinet

Execs and Cons of Putting in Marble Hexagon Tile Backsplash

Going into the mission I used to be frightened about working with a pure stone like marble. It seems that marble is great to work with! Our tiles have been good and thick which made cracking whereas reducing virtually non-existent.

Marble is far simpler to work with on the noticed than ceramic tile, which is extra brittle, cracks extra simply, and leaves little shards of ceramic all around the noticed, making getting a easy reduce harder. The marble was a dream to work with!

The problem of this set up was the form of the tile. It was my first time working with hexagons, and it was just a little tough– positively extra time consuming than rectangles or huge squares.

However don’t let the form scare you away from doing an identical mission. It could take just a little longer, however the outcomes are beautiful!

Creating Transitions with Marble Hexagon Tile Backsplash

When laying tile, it’s at all times exhausting for me to know what to do with transition areas. It was straightforward on one aspect of our backsplash — the place two partitions come collectively. It wasn’t really easy on the opposite aspect of the backsplash the place the decrease cupboards finish mid-wall to make room for the fridge.

For this transition, I reduce the tiles in a straight line to finish proper the place the countertop ended after which weighed my choices.

After some analysis, I discovered that for the sort of transition, pencil tiles are the best way to go. I made the error of not ordering the matching pencil tiles once I initially positioned my tile order, so I needed to go to our native house enchancment retailer and see what choices I might discover. Happily, our grey and white polished marble is the commonest marble selection, so I used to be capable of finding some marble pencil-tile trim items.

As soon as house, I held the pencil tiles as much as the wall and realized that they have been too thick to look good as the ultimate transition piece of our backsplash. These are lengthy, skinny, and delicate little tiles, however I knew that if I might rip 1/4” of off the again of every pencil tile, it could be an ideal match. I purchased a couple of further so I might afford to waste one or two attempting.

It seems that I used to be capable of lay the marble pencil tiles on their aspect and simply rip the required depth off of the again with the diamond bladed tile noticed! I did crack one of many tiles, but it surely was after the reducing was full.

Pencil tiles are delicate to begin however change into much more so after slicing them in half. I feel this resolution appears fairly good!

close up of the finished marble hexagon backsplash and pencil tiles on the edge for the transition

How one can Grout a Marble Backsplash

After our tile was put in, Abby and I each thought that white grout would look the perfect. Early within the course of, we thought-about grey as a result of we thought it could disguise stains higher, however after the tiles have been up, it was clear that white grout would actually make the grayish marble stand out.

the finished backsplash including the moulding that is up against the cabinets

Deciding Between Sanded and Non-Sanded Grout

In all of my different tile installations, I might simply purchase any outdated sanded grout within the appropriate colour. I’d solely labored with ceramic prior to now, so it wasn’t a lot of a fear. Polished marble is a distinct story. It’s a softer pure stone, so I wasn’t certain if sanded grout would scratch the tile.

Taking a look at sanded grout on the retailer, I noticed that totally different grout firms used several types of sand. Some used silica sand and others used quartz sand. I’m undecided if these several types of sand would scratch the marble or not, however as a result of the grout line on our sheets of hexagon tiles was lower than 1/8”, I made a decision to make use of non-sanded grout for the primary time.

Right here’s the “vivid white” non-sanded grout I purchased from our native house enchancment retailer.

a box of non sanded grout and a sponge on the counter

You’ll save some huge cash by buying unmixed grout from the shop. Just a little bucket of pre-mixed grout can simply run you $45, whereas a field of un-mixed grout that equals the identical quantity might be round $15 or $20. The distinction? Water.

Mixing the Grout Appropriately

The field of grout I purchased had the clearest directions I had ever seen! I purchased two bins however solely ended up utilizing one. It’s at all times simpler to purchase an excessive amount of and return the additional in your subsequent journey to the shop than it’s to should run out and buy extra whilst you’re coated in grout.

the back of the box showing the grout instructions

Anybody that has blended grout earlier than is aware of that utilizing the exact quantity of water is tremendous necessary and likewise just a little tough. You may be mixing grout and it appears technique to clumpy and dry. Then you definately add a teaspoon of water and it modifications every little thing and the grout is ideal. I’m exaggerating just a little, however as soon as the grout is near the proper consistency, watch out when including extra water. It’s very easy to go overboard and add an excessive amount of.

I feel most individuals have the tendency to combine the grout a lot too moist. Not solely will the grout not remedy as nicely, however it’s going to fall off the wall as you’re spreading it. I blended the grout to a consistency that it could simply persist with the wall and wouldn’t droop and run down the wall.

Making use of the Grout to the Backsplash

I’m at all times nervous at first when spreading grout as a result of in my thoughts it seems like a time-crunch, that if I don’t unfold it quick sufficient every little thing will dry and the backsplash might be ruined! Happily, the grout is fairly forgiving. You may take your time, work grout into one space with the float, scrape off the surplus, after which transfer on. No must rush.

When it got here time to wipe off the “grout haze” protecting the tiles, I used a barely damp sponge to wipe every little thing down. It took a pair rounds of wiping and cleansing off the sponge to get the marble shining. It’s straightforward to go overboard with a soaking wet sponge.

See also  How to Install a Vertical Shiplap Wall

Grouting (even hexagon marble tiles) will take a fraction of the time it takes to really lay the tile. Taping every little thing off, mixing the grout, and getting my instruments prepared took about an hour. The precise grouting took about two hours.

How one can Seal a Marble Backsplash

24 hours after grouting, it was time to seal the tile. This being the primary time I’ve labored with a pure stone tile, I did just a little little bit of analysis. Ought to I seal my marble tile earlier than or after grouting? What kind of sealer ought to I take advantage of on a marble backsplash? I wasn’t certain.

I referred to as our tile producer, Daltile, to ensure I used to be sealing their tiles appropriately. An knowledgeable picked up the cellphone instantly. I advised him what kind of tile I used to be utilizing and he suggest I seal the tile after the grouting was full and to make use of any of the frequent manufacturers of a penetrating pure stone sealer, versus the sealers that depart a sheen proper on the floor of the tile.

Marble is absorbent, so the thought is that you just use a penetrating sealer to replenish the pores within the stone so {that a} stain has a tougher time penetrating the floor of the marble.

sealer materials needed for the marble backsplash

I utilized two coats of this pure stone sealer. For polished marble, one tiny bottle is all you want. I brushed on the sealer with an outdated brush, waited 10 minutes, after which wiped any extra off with some heavy responsibility workshop paper towels.

I might inform the marble absorbed a few of the sealer, because the tile is now each so barely darker.

showing the gap between the tiles and the under side of the cabinets

How one can Set up Trim The place the Backsplash Meets the Kitchen Cupboards

You may see in a few of the images that there’s a small hole between the tile and the underside of the cupboards. It simply didn’t really feel proper to tile and grout up in opposition to the cupboards, so I deliberately left about 1/4” hole all the best way round. The ultimate step of the tiling course of concerned trimming out the cupboards to cowl the hole.

I regarded on-line for footage of comparable tasks the place tile meets the underside of the cupboards. Some tile and grout proper as much as the cupboards, others use varied trim tile items, and others cowl the hole with some easy wooden moulding. I selected the latter possibility.

I picked up some MDF shoe mould from the ironmongery store — to not be confused with quarter spherical. It’s extra of a “quarter-oval.” I selected MDF as a result of it’s cheap however can also be straighter and more true than wooden quarter spherical on the low value I used to be searching for. Additionally, MDF is much less vulnerable to splitting when connected with a nail gun.

two pieces of white moulding cut to go around the edge of the marble backsplash

Reducing and putting in the trim is a fairly easy course of. All you want is the MDF shoe moulding, a noticed able to reducing 45 diploma angles, tape measure, pencil, nail gun, and wooden glue.

Attaching the Trim

One of many causes I appreciated this a part of the method is as a result of it gave me one other excuse to make use of my cordless brad nailer. It’s so good not having to tug a compressor round with me to make use of a nail gun!

ryobi brad nailer and nails

I used 1” brads. This appeared like the proper size to drive by way of the shoe mould, however not to this point into the underside of the cupboard frames to pop by way of on the within.

As you connect the trim items, ensure you use wooden glue for each inside and outdoors corners. With trim, these are the areas that are inclined to separate and get unfastened over time. Wooden glue will forestall that. Reducing and attaching the trim solely took about half-hour.

showing the tiny wholes in the moulding that need spackling

For filling the tiny little holes on this trim, spackling is just a little simpler to work with than wooden putty. Only a press just a little bit together with your fingers into every nail gap. Every part will nonetheless look unfinished till you caulk the gaps the place the trim meets the backsplash as wall because the underside of the cupboards.

An Straightforward Trick for Caulking the Gaps

It’s humorous that what looks as if a easy job (caulking) may be extra irritating to me than some other a part of a job. I’m simply not good at laying down an ideal bead, I find yourself making a multitude, and it simply by no means appears as good as I would really like.

Happily, I discovered a trick that makes an novice like me look just a little higher — 5 oz. squeeze tubes. An enormous tube of caulking and a gun can get just a little unwieldy and exhausting to handle. I really feel like I may be rather more exact and go slower with the squeeze tubes.

Marble Hexagon Tile Backsplash: Last Ideas

This mission made such a dramatic distinction in our newly put in kitchen. The marble hexagon tiles are actually the focus of all the room.

Putting in a tile backsplash is just not a simple mission, but it surely’s a mission that anybody can do. Actually. With two folks you might knock out all the mission in a weekend.

And for these afraid of working with a pure stone like marble, don’t be! I a lot choose the thick and forgiving marble to ceramic tile.

finished kitchen hexagon marble backsplash


I used to be virtually skipping round our home with glee whereas this complete mission was happening. From the primary day that Donnie began putting in the marble hexagon tile backsplash, I knew it was going to be the proper “wow” issue for our kitchen, and I couldn’t be extra thrilled with the way it turned out!

Putting in Marble Hexagon Tile Backsplash: Often Requested Questions

Thanks a lot for following alongside! Have an exquisite day!

Abby Lawson, Just a Girl and Her Blog

An enormous due to for offering the backsplash tile for our kitchen renovation! Our favorable opinion of beautiful, high-quality tile is 100% our personal. 🙂 This publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks. For extra info, see my disclosures right here.

Source link