7 Simple Steps to Planning a Tiled Kitchen Backsplash

Create a kitchen backsplash that is out of this world. Here are a few simple steps to guide the process of planning and executing a tiled kitchen backsplash design that inspires every day.
Appliances$800 - 10,000
Stove$200 - 2,000
Cabinets$10,000 - 60,000
Flooring$1,000 - 12,000
Countertops$2,000 - 5,000
Handmade Tiles$400 - 2,500


1. Create a Vision for Your Tile Project

There are hundreds of tile designs, colors and concepts for you to choose from, so the process can sometimes feel overwhelming. When creating the vision of your tile project, we recommend researching projects that catch your eye in books, magazines and the Internet. Your local bookstores and libraries carry a great selection of magazines and home improvement books. Clay Squared to Infinity has a small library of historic and contemporary books to get ideas. We recommend utilizing Clay Squared, Pinterest, and Houzz websites. When you’re ready, bring in clippings or digital ideas and color schemes you like.

Cosmic Mural Kitchen Backsplash

Cosmic Mural Kitchen Backsplash


2. Ask Yourself Questions

What style do you want to create in your space? Do you own a period home, i.e. Mid Century, Bungalow, Arts & Crafts, Tudor, Victorian, Rambler, or Contemporary? If so, working within a historic era can guide decisions and help narrow choices. Are you more eclectic and want to make room for art in the space? If so, working with themes and color ranges will help the design.

3. Set Timelines

We recommend that you begin planning for your tile needs near the beginning of your remodel, before other things are installed that could limit your tile choices and design. Order time for tile can b. You will also want to make sure that you have your tile when your tile installer is scheduled, unless you are installing the tile yourself.

Vermont Kitchen Backsplash

Vermont Kitchen Backsplash


4. Hire a Pro or DIY

Designers and architects are people who understand space, design, and color. They typically cost 15% of a project but, when you have large projects, their insights and knowledge can save you more than their fees. If you don’t have the budget for a designer and feel you need some help, Clay Squared will help you find your vision and pull it all together. Artist/owner Josh Blanc has been working with tile since 1995 and is the designer and maker of the handmade tiles at Clay Squared to Infinity. We offer a design service as well. Click here to see all the details. 



Basic DIY Instructions

Hire a Pro

Northshore Arts & Crafts backsplash with Stone Hollow Tile accent

Northshore Arts & Crafts backsplash with Stone Hollow Tile accent

5. Find Electrical & Other Backsplash Obstacles

Electrical outlets in the kitchen backsplash are required by code every 4 feet. Kitchens generally have many light sources requiring light switches. An alternative for both the electrical outlets and the light switches is an undercabinet power strip mounted to the bottom of the wall cabinets at the back, by the wall. This will totally eliminate any switch plates on your backsplash.

Many times it will be recommended by your fabricator to add a 4” lip of your countertop material to the backsplash. If you are intending to install a tile backsplash, the lip is not necessary and could actually limit your tile design and choices.

A potential obstacle when designing your backsplash is the placement of a pot filler faucet, usually located behind the cooktop. Consider all the other items you keep on your countertop: coffee makers, cappuccino makers, utensil crocks, butcher block knife sets, cookbooks, toasters... the list goes on. The location of these, when designing your backsplash, can effect your design options.

6. Allow Time to Design

Now that your have addressed concerns that might restrict your tile design, you can start playing with the tile! Your intuition can be an integral part of the design process. Contemplate colors and try new combinations; let the mood and personality of your home guide your choices. Come to the showroom and, at no cost, check out tile samples to help you determine color and size. If you are out of the area, you can order one of our sample packs on our website, or call us.

7. Place Your Order

  • If you can figure out how much tile you need, great. If you have a tile setter installing the tile, they can determine the amounts and sizes for you. If you need assistance, we are happy to help.
  • Visit or call 612-781-6409 our studio/showroom in NE Minneapolis. We recommend bringing in a drawing with as many dimensions and details as possible. Digital pictures of the room or area are also helpful.
  • Order online without leaving the comfort of your home.
Ceramic switch plate detail

Ceramic switch plate detail

How to Calculate Square Footage

  1. Create a thumbnail drawing (or if you have an architectural rendering, that will also work). Grid paper can be helpful, but not necessary.
  2. Measure the length and width of each area in inches.
  3. Multiply length x width to determine the total area.
  4. Divide total area by 144 (the total number of inches per square foot) to derive how many square feet you need for each section.
  5. Add the standard 10-15% for additional error and future replacement tile.
  6. Determine how many tile are in a square foot:
Claysquared sample tiles

See our tile in your space and lighting