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 on bigger projects in the past.
I was wrong…
That assumption resulted in my one real mistake during this makeover (which I couldn’t fix) .
But before I move on, I’d like you to look closely at the photo below.
You will note that behind the sink’s faucet there is a small wire shelf. Removing this will be the first step for installing the tile backsplash.
But before we start installing the new tile backsplash;
I want to point out all the changes I have already made to the Casita.
Step 1: Removal of Wire Storage Shelf
Removing the storage shelf was easy. I simply pulled the shelf off the rivets, and then snipped the rivets off the wall.
As you see in the photo below, this step leaves two small holes where the rivets use to be. Since I will be tiling and grouting the wall, I just left them as you see in this photo.
Step 2: Installing the Glass Tile Backsplash
I was originally going to line the backsplash with those faux tin (plastic) embossed panels found at your local home supply store.
I’ve seen these panels used in a lot of vintage campers (they are lightweight and look great), but a panel is a few inches too small for the backsplash of the Casita.
Since I only needed a couple of inches from a second panel, I was concerned about it properly adhering to the wall, and the overall look.
Furthermore, I didn’t want to spend the money on an entire panel when I would only need a few inches.
Because of this problem, I chose to go with glass tiles; specifically, self-sticking tiles.
I decided to work with self sticking tiles, versus regular tiles, because I wanted to avoid having prep the backsplash.
The idea of the tile just sticking to the wall sounded like the perfect solution. My only concern was if they would actually sick — they do! In fact, very well!
HOWEVER, because of their strong grip, and because the backsplash of the Casita is slightly curved, you have one shot at aligning it properly! I wish I knew that before putting up the first piece!
My first Mistake
If you look carefully at the top row, you can see how the small individual glass tiles curve up. This happened when I attempted 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 working with two people; one person to slowly pull the paper off the back of the tile, while the other person 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 was designed to do.
Step 3: Finish Adhering Tiles to Wall
It only took four tiles to complete the backsplash. 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. Ugh!
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.)
Applying the Grout:
Even though these tiles are self adhesive, you still have to grout them to fill the spaces between the small pieces of glass.
To grout the tile, I chose a sanded adhesive grout formula in white.
Since these tiles have a faint aqua color, I took out the amount of grout I needed, about a standard bowl size, and sprayed a little teal paint into the grout to give it a slight aqua blue cast.
This is a very subtle effect, and the camera does not capture it well, but I feel it made a difference.
Now you can apply the grout. Just spread it over 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 and let dry.
Once the grout is dry, you can remove the residue on the glass with a damp rag.
With the self-sticking tiles now held on by an adhesive grout, I feel confident that nothing is going to cause those tiles to bounce off the wall.
The luck would have it, 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 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.
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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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