Installing a copper kitchen backsplash is a beautiful way to add a bold and metallic, yet cozy, warmth to your kitchen. Working with 4”x4” plain copper tilesthat are created by the same artisans who craft our SoLuna hand hammered copper sinks, these instructions will be a helpful guide for your copper kitchen backsplash installation: Materials
- Clear silicone tile adhesive
- Cardboard shims
- Tape measure
- Copper Tiles
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Cutting tool (chop saw, miter box, hacksaw, and/or jigsaw)
UThe underside of a copper tile
- Take a look at some popular examples of metal backsplashes, and decide on the style, color, texture, and pattern of the backsplash you prefer. [This installation will use 4”x4” SoLuna copper kitchen backsplash tiles. Our tiles have approximately 1/4" high lipped sides but are hollow. See image to the left. ]
- Determine how much copper material you’ll need. The quantity will depend on your budget, surface area, and how you use your kitchen space. It is always a good idea to order some extra tiles in case you measure or cut incorrectly.
-Multiply the height of your workspace by the width in inches to get a surface area in square inches. - Divide your workspace surface area by the surface area of one individual tile to determine how many tiles you need. - Example: We are using 4”x4” tiles, which have a surface area of 16 sq. inches (4x4 =16). If our workspace surface area was 24” x 72”, we would need at least 108 tiles. [(24*72)\16]=108. - Prepare your surface. The wall onto which you’ll adhere your backsplash should be dry, flat, smooth, and primed with an oil-based primer.
- Practice the layout. You’ll want to determine your pattern on a flat, practice board with the same dimensions as your workspace to see where you might need to make cuts. You want to adjust your layout for the most pleasing look, according to color matching, a particular pattern, centering on existing countertop grout lines, etc. Best practice is to begin laying out tiles centered in the bottom of the focal point of your backsplash, and work your way outward. This way, cuts will only need to happen on the top and sides where they are less noticeable. Remember that metal tiles do not require grout spacing, as grout lines take away from the metallic look.
- Turn off power to your live outlets in your workspace for safety. Remove your electrical outlet covers.
- Rest your first row of copper kitchen backsplash tiles on thin cardboard shims on top of the counter, which results in a small gap between the counter and the first row of tiles. Later, you’ll fill this gap with a bead of clear silicone caulk. This same method should be used anywhere two walls of tile meet, like a corner.
- Squeeze 4-5 drops of clear silicone adhesive to the back of your metal tile, staying ½ inch from the edge to prevent leakage. Press firmly onto the wall. If adhesive squeezes out, wipe it off before it dries.
- If tile cuts are required, use a chop saw, miter box, or hacksaw for straight cuts. Use a jigsaw for any corner cuts. Place blue tape over your cut line, and cut tiles face up to prevent burrs, and so that any lip that forms will be on the back of the metal tile. After you’ve measured twice, and cut once, use fine grit sandpaper to carefully smooth the metal edges. Make sure you use eye protection and clean up your cutting work area to avoid cutting yourself on leftover metal shards.
- Work outward placing tiles from your starting point in sections of 3’x3’ so that you can make slight adjustments before adhesive completely dries.
- Apply a thin line of clear silicone caulk around any gaps or edges of your backsplash, and allow plenty of time to dry.
Be sure to compliment your new copper kitchen backsplash with coordinating copper electrical outlet covers. Enjoy!