We have all been to the garage sales with the random tiles left overs from past home improvement projects. The people are so desperate to get rid of them, they hardly charge anything for them. This could be what you are looking for to create a new back splash in your kitchen.
Where To Start
Buy the random tiles from garage sales and put them all into a large box. Take an old blanket and lay it over the tile. Hit the blanket with a hammer, breaking the tile into hundreds of pieces. Make sure that when you remove the blanket, you shake it over the box and over the garbage can before putting it into the laundry to get all the shards out of it.
Go buy a toothed trowel, a tile float, and premixed tile adhesive and grout. Buy the same color grout and adhesive. This will save you a tremendous amount of time later on in your project.
Because you are dealing with sharp pieces of tile, you may want to invest in a pair of gloves to protect your hands during the project. even if you already have work gloves, gloves worn for this project should be clean and free of debris.
Prepare The Surface
Make sure to clean the wall surface wit ha damp, clean rag. If wall paper exists on the area you are going to install the tile, it must be removed before tiling. If the back splash is going to end at certain points, like at the edge of an upper cabinet, you need to trace a line that is even with the edge of the cabinet to the top of the counter top. A straight board or level can be used for this.
Remove any outlet/switch covers and unscrew the outlets/switches from the outlet boxes. It is always a good idea to shut off the electricity to the outlets before handling them to avoid electric shock. Wrap electric tape around the outlets/switches wear the wires attach to the screws before switching the power back on.
Put some adhesive onto your toothed trowel and spread it onto the wall in a small areas about 6 inches by 6 inches. Use the flat portion to spread it, then use the toothed portion to create a notched surface. Pick a piece of tile and press it into the adhesive. Repeat this process until you have filled that area with tile. Continue working from the center of the back splash to the edges making sure to keep as consistent of a gap between tile as possible.
Once you have finished tiling, wash all of your tools and let the tile dry for 12 hours.
Take your tile float and apply the grout to the tile. Be sure to run it along the surface as you press the grout into the spaces between the tile. Make sure you go over the tile surface thoroughly as you do not want to miss any gaps in the tile. Use a damp sponge to lightly clean the surface of the tile. Do not worry about major cleaning as this will be done in 12 hours.
Clean the tile with the dry grout with a damp cloth taking the mist off of the face of the tile. Then use a dry cloth over the tile surface again to remove most mist. You may do this several times around the next week to fully remove the mist from the tile surface.
This type of back splash is totally customized by your creativity and will be something you can be proud of you years to come. It will also make clean up a lot easier.