Tuscany Inspired Backsplashes

The Tuscan kitchen is a warm, inviting and rustic place where people love to gather. The color scheme is a richly sunny palate of marigolds, terra cotta, and ecru, accented with playful reds and greens. Heavy pottery populates the shelves and the minimal window treatments add to the openness of the most favored room in the house.

Perfect Accent for a Mediterranean Kitchen

Small details like Tuscany inspired backsplashes add the final touch to create an authentic Mediterranean feel. Creating your own Tuscany inspired backsplash is a medium level project that can be accomplished over a few weekends. This particular backsplash is created by using tiles that you paint yourself.

Tiled Tuscan Backsplash

Measure the area around the stove and sink that you wish to tile. This will be the part of the wall from where the countertop ends to the underside of where the cabinets start. Once you have the area measured, you will know how many tiles to purchase.

If you decide to paint the tiles yourself, select a tile that has a satin glaze and choose a design you would like to paint on them. Most Tuscan tiles have grape leaves, vines, flowers, or other Italian designs. When you find an image that you like, transfer the design to each tile with a wax pencil. Don’t worry if you aren’t exact. This part of the project allows for creativity and individuality.

Arrange the tiles on a flat surface and see what they look like. If you like what you see, you are ready to paint. Paint the tile with a glossy-oil based paint. You can pre-paint the tiles before they are installed, but allow the paint to cure for at least two weeks before cutting or grouting the tile. This wait period allows the paint to get sufficiently hard so that cutting and grouting will not ruin the paint.

If you don’t feel comfortable painting the tiles yourself, the local home improvement center should have a selection of Tuscan inspired designs. Look for deep blues, terra cottas, yellows or stone colors with simple designs.

Applying Tiles

Installing a tile backsplash is a two-part job. You install the tile first, let it set, and then grout the joints between each tile. Use thin cement to adhere the tiles to the wall, starting the first row along the countertop. To keep additional rows straight, use a chalk line.

Make sure that there is about 1/8th of an inch between each tile to accommodate the grout. To apply the cement to the back of the tiles, it is best to use a tool that has ridges. This is called buttering the tiles. Make sure to get good coverage on the back of the tile before applying to the wall. Once you are finished, let the cement dry for twenty-four hours before applying the grout.

Grouting a tile backsplash doesn’t require a lot of effort. Mix the grout so that it is the consistency of bread dough. Press small amounts of grout into the spaces between the tiles. Complete one area at a time and then gently wipe off the excess grout with a damp sponge. Continue until the all the tiles are grouted.

Let the grout cure for twenty-four hours. Be careful not to get any food or liquids on the tile or grout while it is drying. Once the grout has cured, you are ready to seal the backsplash and enjoy this new addition to your Tuscan kitchen.