Adding a Touch of Class to Your Vanity Area
Dear Eric Spurt: I want to spruce up my bathroom vanity area. I’ve heard that backsplashs can do the trick. What’s your take on this? I have a backsplash in my kitchen and it looks good so I’m thinking of putting one in my bathroom. Do you have any helpful backsplash tile ideas that I can use. Vera Miles, Florence KY
Dear Vera, you are right about backsplashes, they can really spice up your bathroom vanity area. The trick is to select just the right one to fit with your bathroom decor. The good thing about backsplash tiles is that they are not much different from regular ceramic tiles and just about anyone can install them.
I would say the most important thing that you should take into consideration is to have a resilient glaze applied to your backsplash to guard against the everyday ravages of personal use.
You’d be surprised just how effective a durable glaze performs in protecting your backsplash tile from stains, cleaners and personal hygiene chemicals that normally get splashed onto your tiles as you perform your daily duties in your bathroom.
It should also go without saying that the tile wall needs to be clean, smooth and free of defects before you apply your backsplash.
Fortunately there are hundreds of tile designs available to construct your bathroom backsplash, from standard bullnose finishing to custom made tiles there’s something for just about everyone’s backsplash design needs.
Create Professionally Finished Counters With Glazed Edges
Here’s a tip that you need to take note of, as silly as this seems, most people forget to buy edge tiles with glazed edges, don’t forget to place these at the outer edges of your tile pattern to create a more professional finished look to your backsplash.
Another thing that you should be aware of is that the type of tile that you purchase will determine the mastic you apply to fasten your tile to your bathroom wall, two common adhesives are organic mastic and cement thinset.
A special note when using organic mastic is to apply the mastic to individual tiles as you attach them to your wall, this is done because organic mastic dries fairly quickly (8-10min) and will not bond properly if a thin dry film is formed on the surface of the adhesive, so use it as quickly as possible.
Cement-based thinset typically takes around an hour to set so you can apply it directly to your bathroom wall before placing on your tiles. Either way plan ahead to work effectively and don’t forget to remove any excess adhesive from between the tiles so that the grout will be able to easily flow between the tiles for a durable seal.
And Vera, as an afterthought, make sure you wait at least one day for the adhesive to set and harden before you apply any grout. If you are required to create spaces between your backsplash tiles then use plastic spacers to even out the gaps.
Another trade secret is to use coins if you run out of spacers, it all depends upon the amount of gap you want based upon your design preferences. When all is said and done use a damp sponge or cloth to remove any excessive residue off the face of your backsplash for a shiny clean professional finish. Hope this helps.