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How to Custom Design and Install a Nerdy Granite Tile Backsplash

by Marie Porter

…Now, I realize that the odds of anyone else tiling pi into their kitchen is fairly slim… but this tutorial is also good for anyone who wants to put in a new backsplash, but with a personal twist. The photos and specifics here are for pi, but the principles can apply to any design you can think up, with 2″ x 2″ tiles.

For instance..

- Using two favorite colors to create a custom checkerboard design, should you not be happy with the small amount of pre-fab options out there.

- If you look at the tiles as “pixels”, you can do pretty much anything you can come up with that is 9-10 squares tall, by however long you want.

- Tetris!

- Music fans or musicians could make an amazing “equalizer” type design!

I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to look at a finished, completely custom backsplash, and know that it is YOURS… and it wasn’t the difficult! On to the tutorial….

designing a custom tile backsplash

Decide on your design and color scheme. For us, we wanted to tile as many digits of pi as would fit around the areas requiring backsplash. The counters were a green granite, so we wanted the matching green granite 2″ tiles to extend upward from the counter, each vertical bar representing a digit of pi. The void space above each digits bar would be a contrasting color tile – we finally settled on a sand colored travertine tile.

Measure the area of your backsplash, both the total length, and the approximate height. Use this information to calculate how many tiles you will need. Buy em. Try not to have a heart attack at the price.

designing a custom tile backsplash

Cut one of the pieces of tile mesh – usually 6 tiles by 6 tiles, glued to a mesh backer – and use it to measure out where everything will be going. Start at the edge of wall you want your design to begin, make a tck on the wall between each tile. When you come to the end of one row, make a tick at the edge of the final tile, and reposition the strip to allow for the appropriate space in between – 1/8″, in this case.

When you come to corners, figure out how you want the tile to lay, and account for that when making your ticks.

Continue reading…

Filed under how-to design tile installation pi tiles!