How to Install Backsplash Around Outlets

Written by Milan Jara on 14th Oct 2022

Backsplash Around Outlets

Do you want to install backsplash around outlets in your home? Read our complete guide to help you through the process.

When installing a backsplash on a wall, you're likely to come across an area with an outlet. By the end of the installation process, you want a clean, tidy look around the outlet and along the entire wall. To achieve this, you must be well-prepared and careful during the process.

This article discusses how you can install a tile backsplash around outlets. Read on to find out more.

Equipment You’ll Need

When installing a tile backsplash around outlets, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Pencil
  • Tile snips
  • Tile saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Adhesive (for attaching tiles to the wall)
  • Eye protection
  • Electrical tester

Electrical Outlets

Before doing any work on the outlet, it’s essential to turn off the power around the area you're working on. Then, use the electrical tester to ensure there's no voltage going to the wall outlet to prevent an electrical shock. You should only begin working after you're sure the area is safe.

How to Install

Follow these steps when installing backsplash around outlets.

1. Determine the Type of Backsplash Material to Use

Before beginning any installation work, it is crucial to determine what type of backsplash material you will use. There are many to choose from, including tin metal, tiles, porcelain, wood, marble, granite, stone, and glass, among others. Visit Decorative Ceiling Tiles to learn more about the best backsplash material for you.

2. Removing the Outer Plate

Next, unscrew and remove the outer plate that encases the outlet using a screwdriver. Remember, the outlet design could be slightly different, especially for a double outlet. So, inspect the outlet, locate the screws, and remove them before beginning the backsplash installation process.

Remove The Outer Plate

3. Loosen the Outlet

After removing the outer plate casing of the outlet, use the electrical tester to be sure the outlet is not receiving an electrical current. Always check if there are loose wires to protect yourself from an electrical shock.

Next, loosen the outlet and move it to match the finished backsplash. To do this, locate the screws attaching the outlet to the electrical box behind it. Typically, each outlet has a screw on the top and bottom. Using a screwdriver, loosen these screws to bring the outlet outwards to a point where the backsplash tile will fit behind it.

4. Measure the Outlet Dimensions

Now that the outlet is loose, measure its width and height. Typically, outlets are two inches by four inches. But be sure to measure your outlet because you will use these measurements later when cutting the backsplash tiles to fit the area.

5. Cut the Backsplash Tiles

Using the measured dimensions, cut the backsplash tiles to fit around the outlet. Usually, when laying tiles around the outlet, you'll realize that four tiles cover the entire area and you will have to create a space for the outlet by cutting the tiles in L-shapes.

Using a pencil, mark the area along the edges of the outlet. These are the parts of the tile that you will cut. Then, use the tile snips or a tile saw to cut the marked areas.

Note: You should wear eye protection when cutting tiles to protect your eyes from debris.

6. Trim Around the Tile Edges

The tile snips might not cut perfect edges. Sometimes, they extend past the marked area, preventing the screws from fitting perfectly. You'll have to trim those edges to ensure that the tiles hold the outlet perfectly and the screws fit appropriately.

7. Apply the Tile Adhesive

Now that you have perfectly fitting L-shaped tiles, it's time to put them in place around the outlet. Do this by applying mortar or glue to the backsplash tiles, then fitting them into place. Be careful when doing this, and always ensure that the outlet flanges sit perfectly over the tiles without interfering with the screws. You should also hold the outer outlet casing on top of the outlet opening to ensure that the edges are covered perfectly without leaving gaps.

8. Wait for the Adhesive to Dry

After ensuring that the backsplash tiles sit perfectly in place, let the adhesive dry. You might need to wait between 12 and 24 hours, but it can vary depending on the adhesive you use.

Waiting allows the backsplash to set and grout, ensuring the kitchen tile backsplash looks perfect around the outlets. It also makes the outlet re-attachment process easier.

Backsplash Looks Around Outlets

9. Re-attaching the Outlet

When the backsplash is well attached to the wall, it is time to reassemble the outlet. Start by replacing the plate and screws. Next, tighten all screws on the outlet using a screwdriver to hold it right about the backsplash tile. It is essential to ensure that the outlet flanges do not apply pressure on the tiles, as this could damage the backsplash tile structure.

When the outlet is set perfectly on top of the outlet, it's time to re-attach the outer plate enclosing the outlet. Now replace and tighten the center screw to hold the plate in place and inspect the wall to ensure everything is perfect. Then you can turn the power on and enjoy your new backsplash design.

Re-attaching The Outlet

Tips for Installing Backsplash Around Outlets

Several tips can be used when installing a backsplash around outlets to ensure the final results look wonderful. They include:

  • Be careful when using the tin saw to cut the L-shaped tiles around the outlet opening, as it tends to mess up the cuts. Unless the tile is very hard or you have extra outlets, it is best to use tile snips because they do a better job, and you'll have an easier time smoothing the edges.
  • The L-shaped cut does not have to be straight or smooth, except for around the flanges and screws. The only thing that matters here is that the outlet edges sit perfectly on the tile edges. Once you add the adhesive and screw in the outlet, you will cover any small spaces on the tile edges, and your backsplash design will look flawless.
  • There is a possibility that the screws attaching the outlet to the electrical box will not be long enough after leveling the outlet to the backsplash tiles. Typically, the backsplash tiles pull the outlet out at least ¼ inch. Therefore, you might have to purchase longer screws (of the same diameter) to attach the outlet to the electrical box properly.

Final Words

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand how to install backsplash around outlets. During the process, it is vital to ensure that you are safe from electrical shocks or other accidents that may result from electricity. Turn off the power before starting, use an electrical tester to ascertain that the power is off around the outlet, and wear protective clothing and eyewear.

Are you ready to narrow down your choices and find the best home backsplash design materials for your home? Visit Decorative Ceiling Tiles today for everything kitchen-backsplash related, or find a professional backsplash installer.

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