In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva demonstrates a fast, no-fuss way to tile a kitchen backsplash.
1. Snap a chalk line onto the backsplash wall 5½ inches above the countertop.
2. Use a utility knife and steel-rule straightedge to cut five ⅜-inch-wide strips of tile adhesive. Notch the adhesive strips, if necessary, to fit around obstacles.
3. Peel off the protective membrane from the back of the tile-adhesive strips and press them to the wall just below the chalk line.
4. Cut the glass-tile sheets into 5½-inch-wide strips by slicing through the mesh on the back of the sheets with a utility knife. Repeat to cut enough tile to cover the backsplash wall.
5. Use a wet saw to square-cut the end of the first glass-tile strip. Allow the tile strip to dry completely before proceeding.
6. Peel off the protective membrane from the tile adhesive on the wall.
7. Lay the steel rule on the countertop and up against the backsplash wall to create an even grout-joint space beneath the tile.
8. Lightly set the first tile sheet into place against the tile adhesive. Once satisfied with its positioning, firmly press the tile to the wall. Repeat to install the remaining tile sheets.
9. Next, apply 1½-inch-wide masking-tape strips along the top and bottom edges of the tile backsplash, and to the sink faucet.
10. Use a rubber float to force premixed tile grout into the joints between the tiles on the backsplash wall. Scrape away excess grout from the countertop with a margin trowel.
11. Allow the grout to firm up for about 10 minutes, and then wipe the tiled surface clean with a sponge and clean water. Peel off the masking tape.
12. Wait about 5 hours for the grout to harden, then use a slightly dampened cotton cloth to buff off any hazy grout residue from the tiled surface.


See how readers are engaging in crafts and hobbies, whether it’s weaving, winter gardening or fairy-home building!
Winter is the season to be a homebody, whether due to frigid weather, shorter days or simply the natural rhythm of the season. Recently we asked readers to show us their winter hobbies at home, and the spaces where they do them. See some of their responses below. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to pick up a new skill, or revive one you haven’t turned to in a while.


Did you know your home’s design can affect your bank account and love life? Try these feng shui tips based on the ancient art of balancing energy.


A kitchen is often described as the heart and soul of the home, and for good reason. This is an area that is often used for family gatherings, for entertaining friends and for everyday living. You may begin mornings talking to your family in the kitchen about plans for the day, and you may end the day preparing a meal together while you discuss the day’s events. This is also a room that receives a great deal of scrutiny by buyers when you list your home for sale, and its style can have a direct impact on property value. In fact, in some areas of the country, homeowners may recoup more than 80 percent of the cost of a remodel in an increase in property value. With this in mind, you may decide to remodel your kitchen soon. By following a few tips, you can more easily walk through the remodeling process and get the kitchen you want.

Do: Create a Plan
Some homeowners will throw together a kitchen remodeling project by the seat of their pants. They may work on the back splash one weekend, and they may decide to do flooring a month later. This can create a hodge podge look to your kitchen, and it also makes it more difficult to budget properly. The best idea is to create a thoughtful, well-researched plan up-front before you begin any aspect of the project. Pick out all of your materials up-front so that they look great together, and you can even order them ahead of time so that your project is not delayed.

Don’t: Make Hasty Design Decisions
Your kitchen design will stay in your home for years to come and perhaps even a decade or longer. It will influence the style of your home, your property value and more throughout this time period. Consider if you have plans to sell your home during this time period, and if you do, choose materials and an overall style that has greater appeal to the masses. In addition, make design decisions that add to the functionality of your space. For example, you can move the appliances in different locations for better flow.

Do: Prepare a Remodeling Budget
A kitchen remodeling project may range in cost from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 or more, depending on the size of the kitchen, the quality of the features and other factors. Costs can easily mount, so it is important that you create a budget and tally all costs. If you plan to keep your existing appliances in place, you may want to get them serviced. Review your home warranty to see if your appliance work is covered in an effort to reduce remodeling and repair costs.

Don’t: Forget to Plan for Kids and Pets During the Remodel
In the days leading up to the start of your kitchen remodeling project, think about the scope of the project and how this will impact your daily lives. Your pets, for example, may need to be kenneled in the days while workers are in your home so that they do not get underfoot. You may need to move your fridge to the garage so that you and your kids have access to cold foods as needed. You may even consider asking a nearby friend or relative if the kids can stay with them for a few days while this process is completed. Because of how frequently used a kitchen is, a remodel can cause upheaval in your home that needs to be planned for.

Do: Seek Financing If Needed
The last thing you want when remodeling your kitchen is to run out of money halfway through the project. Financing is available in a variety of forms to help you pay for the high cost of a kitchen remodel. For example, some will put the expenses on a credit card, and others will apply for a short-term installment loan. If you have equity in your home, you may be able to access that equity through a home improvement loan. Explore the options with your bank to better determine which financing option is right for you.
A kitchen remodel is an excellent idea for older homes or homes that lack superior style. However, this is a major undertaking, and you want the project to be completed without a hitch. These helpful tips will assist you in completing your project without hassle or delay.

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