How Long Does it Take to Install a Backsplash?

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A kitchen is not immune to spills and splashes, and that is a good reason for having a backsplash. Beyond protecting the walls from splashes, backsplashes have increasingly served as a beautifying addition. Are you looking to install a backsplash?

Then you may ask, how long does it take to install a backsplash?

The installation of a backsplash can take about 3 to 4 days, depending on the area and type. The major time is needed for the mortar and the grout to dry. More days may be needed if the area is large.

Getting a backsplash done is going to take a few days, and you can either do it yourself or hire a professional. Either way, here is some key information that will guide you through the process.

Read more to know about the time for the backsplash to set and other things that may be needed.

How long does it take to install a backsplash with grout?


The overall time required to install the backsplash is related to the amount of work needed to be done. In many cases, there may be a need to first remove the old tiles from the wall. This alone can take a few hours to days.

There is an extended time if the installation needs a backer board. Some homes just need old tiles to remove and the new ones put in place. Many others just need a new tile fixed and the grout added. It is then not plausible to have a uniform time for each of these scenarios.

Each step of the process is further discussed later in this blog, and the corresponding time for each is discussed. But on average, the installation of a backsplash with grout can take up to four days. More or less of this if one or two steps are in or out.

How long does it take a tile backsplash to set?

One of the things that account for a long time in fixing a tile backsplash is time to set. Mortar is used to attach the tiles to the wall. This takes time to set and become fixated. Mortar is a mix of cement, sand, and lime with water.

The mortar mix is used to attach the tiles to the wall and allowed to set for up to 24 hours. This time is to allow the mortar to dry and become watertight. This drying must be allowed to complete before the application of grout is done.

Is it hard to install a backsplash?

The word hard can be relative in terms of doing some household chores. For someone that is handy around the house, installing a backsplash may not be a big deal. But it may be too much for someone that is just coming to the world of DIY.

It is easy to install tiles that have simple shapes like squares and rectangles. This becomes easier when there is no need for the removal of an existing tile layer on the backsplash surface. The removal may make the job harder than it would have been.

Removing old tiles is not an easy DIY project. It may involve the use of a chisel and hammer and, if not done properly, may damage the wall.

This, in turn, will call for more repair, more time, and more money. Considering this, it is not such an easy thing to do.

Without the need for removing an old tile layer, fixing a new backsplash tile is easy. It is about mixing the right amount of mortar, then using it to affix the tiles to the wall, and waiting for the mortar to dry for up to 24 hours.

The grout application is usually the last step.

How is a backsplash installed?

The process of installing a backsplash can be simple and a bit complex depending on the situation. It can be easy if the surfaces are prepared already. It may require hiring a professional or getting it done by yourself.

These processes are the main steps required to complete the job. The steps may be slightly more elaborate than I have discussed. Below are the steps involved in installing a tile backsplash.

Removal of old backsplash and preparing the surface

The first step in installing a backsplash is to remove the existing one if any. Removing old tiles may cause some damages to the wall that may need minimal repairs. This can take up to two days to complete. The surface is also prepared to accommodate the new backsplash layer.

Fixing a backer board

A backer board is needed to protect the wall and serve as a layer the backsplash tile will sit on. More details about the types of backer board available are discussed later in this article. The type that fits the location is installed on the wall before the tiling. This is a simple step that should not take more than 1 or 2 hours.

Getting the materials together

Mortar will be used to affix the tiles to the wall. The mortar will need to be mixed and prepared for the tiling process. It is important to have the materials gathered at the site of the project. This makes it easy to get the job done. This should take an hour or less.

Fixing the tile and waiting for the mortar to dry

The tiling is the main work, and this can be done within a few hours. Depending on the space the backsplash is to cover, it can take between an hour and three. Once the tiles are fixed, the mortar needs to be allowed time to dry. This takes between  12 to 24 hours.

Grouting and sealing

Grout is added to the tiles, and the tile surface is cleaned. The grout is allowed to dry within one or two days. The grout lines are sealed, and this can take between 1 to 3 hours, depending on the tiled area. Some tiles may not need sealing. Epoxy grout, for instance, does not need to be sealed.

Do I need a backer board for my backsplash?

A backer board is important for fixing a backsplash. This layer of protection is first attached to the wall before fixing the backsplash material on it. The backer board used for backsplash are of three types with different purposes and applications. These types are used for different areas and conditions.

One type is the green backer board which is used for wet areas. The green backer board is a waterproof drywall material. Another type is the fire-grade backer board.

This is the type that is preferred to be used when installing a backsplash behind a stove. The board is fire-resistant and hinders the spread of fire through the wall.

The last type of backer board is the cement backer board. This is the specialty for installing marble or stone backsplash. The board is made of cement and wire mesh. It is heavy and not easy to install, but it is fire and waterproof.

In closing

Installing a backsplash is a worthy project as it makes a kitchen look modern and attractive. The time for getting this done is largely taken by leaving mortar and grout to dry. The main fixing does not take so much time. Hiring a professional can also make it faster than you think.

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