Cool Tools: A hassle-free way to tile backsplash


Few design elements make a visual difference in a room like adding a tile backsplash. Installing glass, ceramic, or stone tiles gives regular countertops and bathroom fixtures a finished look and adds instant appeal, but having one professionally installed is a pricey prospect.

Even avid DIYers tend to shy away from installing traditional tile backsplashes because of the mess involved in mixing and applying adhesive and grout. Using traditional tile preparation methods can also be labor-intensive. Fortunately, there is now an easier way to effortlessly install real tile. Using two innovative products from Custom Building Products – SimpleMat and SimpleGrout – installing a backsplash doesn’t have to be messy or time-consuming. Ahead, learn how these tile laying products can help you create a backsplash that will transform your countertop from monotonous to dramatic.

Simple surface preparation

SimpleMat, a double-sided adhesive mat, comes in 9″ x 18″ panels and can be cut to fit any size slashed back with scissors. Reversible sheets come in size 10 in a box, and a single box covers 10 square feet of wall. The only requirement is that the area must be clean, dry and flat before putting the mat in place. Wipe off dust or debris, use a household all-purpose cleaner to remove stray spots, and then let the wall dry. If necessary, fill any holes with putty and smooth sand before using SimpleMat.



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Not many DIYers take on tiling projects due to the hassle of mixing thinset mortar. Mixing thinset requires waiting for the product to reach a certain consistency before using. Both thinset and mastic (another type of adhesive) require application with a notched trowel, and the correct slit size varies based on the specific tile, so it gets complex. With SimpleMat, there is no mixing, no spread, and no clutter. Simply measure the wall, cut the rug to fit, peel off the backing, and tape the rug in place. Unlike using typical tile adhesive, you won’t have to coat your work surface and floor to protect them from spills.

Install at your speed

Installing a tile backsplash with thinset or adhesive involves spreading the mixture onto the wall and then installing the tile shortly afterwards – if the phone rings or the dog jumps off the fence and you have to take a break – you may come back to the wall with a hard mortar that needs to be scraped off. SimpleMat provides a stress-free solution for those who need to break the project down into shorter periods. You can cut and install the rug at your leisure – just leave the clear plastic outer liner in place until you’re ready to start installing the tiles.

Get rid of waiting time

With a standard tile adhesive (thinset or mastic), users must wait 24 to 48 hours before they can begin grouting. With SimpleMat, you can start grouting as soon as the tiles are in place on the mat, but always within 24 hours. This means that instead of spreading out a tile project over two weeks, you can finish it in one weekend — or even a day.



Avoid mixing messy plaster

Adding too much water to the grout powder can make a liquid mess that doesn’t solidify properly, and not adding enough water can dry out the ineffective grout powder. With SimpleGrout, you are already confused. Simply stir and apply the product as you would other types of grout – using a slurry float. Simple grout resists cracks and shrinkage, and is also stain-resistant, making it among the best choices for kitchen backsplashes. It’s available in a range of colors to complement new tiles and decor.

Make cleaning a breeze

Like other types of grout, it is a good idea to remove as much excess grout as possible during the grouting process, using the edge of a grout float to scrape it off the tiles. While the grout is still wet, use a clean, slightly dampened grout sponge to wipe the tile surface clean. After 4 hours, you can remove any remaining dry mist with a soft, dry cloth. By using SimpleMat and SimpleGrout instead of following old tile preparation techniques, you can install a real tile backsplash in no time and achieve professional-looking results.

This content was brought to you by Custom Building Products. facts and opinions.

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