Tin Tile Backsplash Installation

installing a tin backsplash

Pressed tin in a kitchen backsplash is quickly becoming a popular home decor trend. Our tin panels can provide a dramatic impact for little cost and installation effort. Tin provides dimension and visual interest and is available in a wide variety of finishes that allow for a range of traditional to sophisticated modern styles.

Because the average height of a backsplash is only 18", the smaller 6” repeating patterns are the most practical and visually appropriate. Choose our Nail-Up panel type for your backsplash or wall installations. Snap LockTM tiles are only intended for ceiling installations, and therefore are not recommended for backsplashes.

To install a tin backsplash, cut the panels to fit the necessary area. Coat the backside with Liquid Nails® or a comparable adhesive like Acryl Pro and position the panel in place, nailing every six inches around the perimeter. You can trim out the exposed edges with our matching J Channel molding or a wood molding painted to match or use a tin molding for a more dramatic look.


To install a backsplash, all you'll need is a construction adhesive, a tape measure, a marking pen, a T square or level, cone head nails, and a drill or saw if you're cutting J-channel molding or working around outlets. There are three tools that can be used to effectively cut our tin:

Tin Snips - Effective at cutting holes and edges, but time consuming and tiring on the wrist and hands. We sell the Aviation model online which is not available from your local hardware store.

Metal Shears - Tricky to use, but once you get the hang of them, they are great. They take a ¼ inch section of metal with them when they cut through the tin. They can be purchased at most hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s for approximately $160. Most consumers and contractors rent them from equipment rental stores including some Home Depots.

Guillotine Paper Cutters - Heavy-duty tabletop paper cutters similar to those used in schools and offices, our installers swear by them! Every job requires cutting of some sort.. We carry Martin Yale ‘Premiere’ model, 18” x 26” guillotine cutters, available for $189 plus $25 shipping and handling.

How to Install

how to measure for a backsplashMeasuring - Using a tape measure, determine the length of each wall segment to be covered. Let's say the distance between your cabinets and the counter is 18". For this example, we will say we have three areas with lengths of 10'-11", 5'-8" and 4'-6". Each of our Nail-Up panels is 24" x 24". The 10'-11" section will take 6 panels with 13" left over. The 5'-8" section will take 3 panels with 4" left over and the 4'-6" section will take 2 panels with the additional 6" being covered by the left over material from the 10'-11" section. The total number of panels needed for these areas will be 11. Now let' say you have another area behind your stove that measures 24" x 40". Here you will need an additional 2 panels. The total number of panels needed to complete your kitchen in this scenario would be 13 panels. We would recommend ordering at least 1 extra bringing your total to 14.

Cutting - To install these panels you will need to cut them down to 18" to fit the space between counter and cabinets. This can be done easily with tin snips, but tin snips don't make a very straight cut. If you can tuck the cut edge under your cabinets or if you are using some type of trim, this will not be visible. You may also consider taking your panels to a local sheet metal shop and having them cut your panels with metal shears. This will give you a perfect edge, important if you're trying to avoid using of trim. If you need to cut around outlets or other fixtures, measure from the previous tile's nail rail to the edge of the outlet. Transfer this measurement to the outside edge of the nail rail on the tile to be installed. Then, measure from the top of the installation area to the top of the outlet. Repeat this for the bottom measurement. Use a straight edge to outline your marks. Drill a hole in the center of the cut to create an insertion point and finish cutting out the marked area with tin snips.

installing a tin backsplashInstallation - We recommend using an adhesive like Liquid Nails or a resin based ceramic tile adhesive like AcrylPro or a combination of adhesive and nails which is sold at your local home center. Nails can be either brad nails or cone head nails. Please remember that these panels have a ¼" overlapping seam so you will want to touch up the nail heads. Apply adhesive around the perimeter and interior of your tile. Lift and stick the panel to the wall, applying pressure at the bottom and working your way up. Push and hold the tile for several seconds and your tile is applied.

Finishing Your Backsplash with Molding - A factory edge of the tin panel should rest on the countertop. This edge is commonly caulked to seal the bottom edge of the tile to the countertop. A cut edge will meet the bottom of the cabinets which can be trimmed, but because this edge generally is not visible, molding is optional. We recommend trimming the other edges with our matching J-Channel molding to give you backsplash a professional, finished look. Coordinating switch plates and outlet covers are also available for a truly seamless installation. If you choose, you can also use a small decorative wood molding like quarter round or shoe molding. Quarter round works well when your backsplash spans multiple corners. You can faux paint your wood molding to match our tin panel finishes using spray paints available at most hardware or home improvement centers.