How far to space backsplash tile? A complete guide for you

  • By: Sam
  • Date: February 3, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

How far to space backsplash tile?

Backsplash tiling is an essential part of your tiled kitchen backsplash. After all that tedious measuring, cutting, laying mortar, and then grouting, it’s the last thing you want to do.

But it finishes off the job nicely and makes sure that all your hard work won’t be ruined by accidents with spilled drinks or errant saucepans.

How far to space backsplash tile? This is a very frequently asked question. In this blog post, I briefly discuss the right way to space backsplash tile.

How far to space backsplash tile? It’s up to you, but we recommend 2cm or 3cm between tiles! If you’ve got big tiles then 1/2″ (12mm) gaps look great too.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really a set answer for this as it depends on the size of the tiles and also what kind of look you’re going for. The larger the gaps between tiles, the easier it’ll be for spills to make their way underneath, but the more modern and airy your kitchen will look.

If you want a tight layout with barely any gaps between tiles then that’s just fine too – it’ll be easier to clean but will also give your kitchen a more cluttered and old-fashioned feel.

What is the minimum space between backsplash tiles?

The absolute minimum gap between tiles is approximately 1/8 inch (3 mm), but unless you’re using very small tiles this probably won’t look very nice and it’ll make cleaning up spills much harder.

What is the maximum space between backsplash tiles?

The absolute maximum is around 1 inch (25 mm) which may sound like quite a lot of space, but when you’ve already got large tiles in place it can leave relatively little room for errant saucepans!

Anything above 1/2″ (12 mm) will create a nice and professional look and is definitely the minimum you should go for.

The more common recommendation of 3/8″ (10mm) or 1/2″ (12mm) between tiles looks very good too, but if your tiles are larger than about 10″x10″ (25x25cm) then it might start to look a bit too tight – you can always experiment though to find out what works best for your situation.

How to measure space backsplash tile?

There’s no need to get out the measuring tape every time there’s a spill. Simply use a pencil and put an X at each spot where the tile and countertop meet and rotate the pencil so that each mark lines up with the next mark. Then make a line connecting all of the marks and this will be your baseline for spacing the tiles later on (see pictures above).

How big should grout joints be?

Grout is a great material for filling in the gaps between tiles. It’s not as strong as mortar but it’s much easier to work with and cleans up more easily, which makes it ideal for tiling backsplash tile.

The standard size of field grout joints is 1/8 inch (3 mm), but if you’re using larger tiles then you should go for at least 1/4 inch (6mm). If your tiles are very large then 1/2″ (12mm) will definitely look professional and be much easier to clean!

Apply silicone sealant around the edge of each tile before you set them into place to give your tiled backsplash extra protection against spills and keep dirt out from behind the tiles.

What are the disadvantages of spacing backsplash tiles too close together or too far apart?

If your tiles are spaced too far apart then it’ll be much harder to clean and any dirty water or grout on the countertop will seep underneath and make a mess on the wall.

If the joints between tiles are very large (e.g. 1 inch or more) then dirt can get in between them too and this won’t look very nice.

If your tiles are spaced too tightly then they’ll be much harder to clean when things spill onto them and it can also give you less space for decorating the walls behind the countertop (e.g. there won’t be room for an oven or stove in some kitchens).

I installed my backsplash tiles too far apart, can I do something about it now?

Yes, you can always grout the gaps (or as much of them as possible) to make your kitchen look a lot nicer! If there’s a very large gap between tiles then you might have to do this every time you clean up a spill too because dirt will get underneath and accumulate.

I installed my backsplash tiles too close together, can I fix it?

You can try pulling out some of the tiles but this requires quite a bit of force so be careful not to break any – if you’re worried about damaging your counters then it might be better just to leave things as they are or re-tile from scratch.

Conclusion

So, how far to space backsplash tile? If you’ve got big tiles then 1/2″ (12mm) gaps look great too. Whatever you decide on it’ll definitely look nice and professional and the cleanup won’t be as hard as with smaller gaps! For a more detailed guide on tiling, it is recommended to read more guides and watch YouTube videos on installing backsplash tiles.

Happy tiling! Hope this helped.

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