Installing a Tile Backsplash in my Casita Travel Trailer
I thought the tile backsplash would be one of the easier projects to complete since the space is small, and I have worked with tile and grout before.
I was wrong about that assumption, and it resulted in my one real mistake (i.e. can’t fix) during this makeover.
If you have followed along as I makeover my Casita Travel Trailer, you will note in this “Before” photo, there has already been big changes from the chalk painted cabinet doors, and teal paint added to the cooktop, fridge, and mirror.
You might also take note that the wall behind the sink’s faucet has a small wire shelf to hold supplies. The first step I needed to take was to remove the shelf in preparation for the tile.
Step 1: Removal of Wire Storage Shelf
Removing the storage shelf was easy; simply pull the shelf off the rivets, and then snip the rivets off the wall. As you can see in the photo below, it leaves two small holes where the rivets use to be. Since I would be tiling and grouting the wall, I just left them as you see in this photo.
Step 2: Adhering Glass Tiles
Originally I was going to line the backsplash with the faux tin (plastic) embossed panels you find at your local home supply store. I see these panels being used in a lot of vintage campers (they are lightweight and look great), but the panel was a few inches too small for the backsplash of the Casita, and I didn’t want to have to cut a second piece that would end up being only a few inches wide (I was concerned about it properly adhering to the wall, and the overall look). Because of this problem, I chose to go with glass tiles; specifically, self-sticking tiles.
I decided to work with self sticking glass tiles, versus regular glass tiles, so I did not have to prep the backsplash. The idea of the tile just sticking to the wall sounded like the perfect solution. The only concern I had was if they would actually sick — they do! In fact, very well!
Because of their strong grip, and because the backsplash of the Casita is slightly curved, you get one shot at aligning it properly; I wish I knew that before putting up the first piece. If you look carefully at the top row, you can see how the small individual glass tiles curve up (in my attempt to stretch it to the wall and fill the space on the left edge). I did attempt to pull the tile off and try to reposition, but immediately realized that this wasn’t going to work, and would only make things worse.
If I were to do this again, I think a better solution would be to work with two people, with one person slowly pulling the paper off the back of the tile, while the other places the tile. Unlike adhering tile with grout, where you can slide and push the tile a little, once the adhesive touches the surface it wants to stay there, which is exactly what the product is designed to do.
Step 3: Finish Adhering Tiles to Wall
It only took four tiles to complete the backsplash, and as you can see in the picture below, my lines did not line up well because of the problems I had with the first tile. Oh well, I will learn to live with it…I guess. (Also note the teal painted range cover from my last post, and that the glass tiles have a slight aqua blue cast to them.)
Even though these tiles are self adhesive, you still have to grout the tiles to fill in the spaces between the small pieces of glass.
To grout the tile, I chose a sanded adhesive grout formula in white. I took out the amount I felt I needed, about a standard bowl size, and sprayed a little of my teal paint into the grout to give it a slight aqua blue cast to help pull out the aqua blue cast of the tiles. This is a very subtle effect, and the camera does not capture it well, but I felt it made a big difference.
From there, you just need to spread the grout on the tiles, making sure it fills all the gaps. I used a small wallpaper spreader to do this. Once the gaps are filled, wipe down the surface (it will leave a residue that you can completely take off once grout is dry).
With the self-sticking tiles now held on by an adhesive grout, I feel pretty confident that nothing is going to cause those tiles to bounce off the wall. Oh, and I found this vintage 1970’s spice rack at an antique store. It is perfect for the small space, and I use it for spices and other small items; it also does a pretty good job of concealing my mismatched tiles. 🙂
This whole project cost me less than $50.00, and I love the results! Adding the glass to the Casita added a nice sparkle to the interior.
Mrs. Padilly’s Series on her 17′ Spirit Deluxe Casita Travel Trailer’s Glamping Makeover:
Casita Glamping Makeover:
- Chalk Painting Cabinet Doors
- Adding Teal Paint to Accent Surfaces
- Installing a Tile Backsplash
- Installing Wood Vinyl Flooring
- Decorating the Screen Door
- Window Treatments
- Dressed for Glamping
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