How to Waterproof a Splashback

Ensuring you have a tight seal against the ingress of water is important to any tiling project. If water falls behind, it can create mould and rot which over time will damage any room. But what’s the easiest way to prevent this? By using a suitable silicone sealant and correctly applying it to the join between your tiles and the worktop.

waterproofing a backsplash

Easy Steps for using Sealant

  • Make sure the area in which you are working is clean and dry. Your bottom course of tiles should be sat on 2-3mm spacers and allowed to fully adhere to the wall.
  • Match the colour of your sealant to your grout and ensure it’s for sanitary use to prevent any mould or discolouration.
  • It may be easier to use a gun to apply the sealant to ensure an even bead is created. Load the sealant tube into the gun and snip the end of the tube at the tip to a 45 degree angle.
  • Starting from one side or corner, hold the gun at a 45 degree angle and apply gentle even pressure to the trigger, pulling back as you move the gun at a consistent speed along the entire length of the seal. If you need to stop to reposition (around a tap or the like), just start the bead again where you left off.
  • Once your bead of sealant is applied, mix a bit of water with washing up liquid in a spray bottle and wet the entire length of sealant.
  • You can use a tool like a sealant shaper to run along the length of sealant to remove any excess or wet your finger with the solution to do the same (although this method tends to be a bit messier – be sure to have paper towels nearby to wipe any excess off your hand). Using even pressure, run your finger or the tool along the seal to smooth it out, taking care not to pull the sealant from the surface.
  • The sealant will start to form a skin with around half an hour so you want to move fairly quickly to ensure your bead is nice and even and smoothed out and any excess is cleaned away from the tiles before this happens.

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As a multi-award winning interior design content creator, Kimberly Duran is an Interior Design-obsessed American ex-pat, who chronicles her decorating journey and dispenses interior design advice in her personal blog, Swoon Worthy. When she’s not helplessly drooling over all the latest trends in design, she’s adding things to the imaginary ‘shopping basket’ in her head, she likes to get messy tackling DIY projects with her partner in crime, Wayne, stalking eBay for vintage bargains and filling her home with her favourite neutral – gold.