As long as your wall is smooth and flat, you can install a ceramic tile kitchen backsplash directly over drywall or plaster with no problem.

Start by cleaning the wall to remove any grease, then apply thin-set adhesive, and set the tile. After the adhesive has set, apply grout, and you’re done.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Janine asks: I’m putting up a ceramic tile backsplash in my kitchen. Can I put the tile directly on the drywall, or do I have to tear it out and use a cement board?

Danny Lipford: If you’re talking about installing ceramic on a wall behind your kitchen countertop for a kitchen backsplash, no problem. You don’t have to tear out all of your drywall and install backerboard or anything else, if you have a fairly smooth and flat surface that you’re working with. And you can install the drywall right over ceramic or plaster.

Here, I have a little bit of a challenge, because I have to remove this wood trim. Probably have a little drywall spackling I’ll have to do there in order to create the right kind of surface. Then, I’m going to use a ceramic adhesive, a notched trowel to evenly spread the adhesive, put the ceramic in place, wait overnight, come back and grout it, and I’m done.

Hey, inject some personality in your kitchen by using some of the colorful glass tiles or some of the decorative ceramic that’s available.

22 COMMENTS

  1. I want backsplash back of my range about 60”x 30”.. but my drywall is 1\4 inch. the weight of the tile can support it ?? thanks

  2. i removed my old kitchen backsplash but I damaged the existing 1/2 drywall( lot of holes). I installed a 1/4 inch drywall over the existing 1/2 inch drywall and will install glass mosaic tiles.
    Will the 1/4 inch drywall hold weight of the glass mosaic tile?

  3. Well in that case you have countertop’s support but what if there is no countertop underneath and you just want to apply it to drywall directly with no support.

    • Hi, Dennis,
      As long as your wall is smooth and flat, you can install a ceramic tile kitchen backsplash directly over drywall or plaster with no problem.
      Textured drywall, then, could raise concerns.
      Thanks for your question!

  4. I know you can put ceramic tile as a backsplash in a kitchen on drywall but how about in a bathroom will it make a difference since there’s a lot of moisture in the bathroom

  5. I am redoing a bathroom that will have tile on all the walls throughout. I will start by gutting everything. I plan to use concrete backerboard or schluter board around the shower and drywall for the rest of the bathroom. If I am tiling directly over the drywall, can I use fiberglass tape at the joints with no spackle? Thanks

    • Hi, Barbara,
      Not if the “Formica” is part of the countertop, which is called “post form” countertop.
      With proper prep, it might be able to go over sheet laminate (the generic name for Formica) but it would probably be less work to remove the laminate.
      Good luck!

  6. HELLO CAN I PUT VERY LIGHT WEIGHT CERAMIC TILE ON PAINTED PANELING??..PLEASE HELP I ALREADY PURCHASE THE TILE…I DIDN’T THINK ABOUT THE PANELING.. IT SEEMS TO BE VERY STRONG AND IT’S NOT SMOOTH..CAN I SAND THE SURFACE AND PUT TILE ON IT?

  7. Hi, i want to put large tiles on the bathroom wall, which already has the green sheet dry wall attached. The large tiles pretty thick, maybe a quarter or 1/3 of an inch thick and pretty heavy. I am concern the wall cant support the weight.

  8. I have to tile a commercial kitchen wall which at present is a mortar plastered cement block finished with dry wall slicking and paint, can I apply tile cement over this surface?

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