How to make a backsplash using Dollar Tree marbles?

I made a backsplash in my bathroom yesterday with multi-colored flat-backed marbles I bought for $1 a bag at DollarTree. I must say it was really simple to do and looks very pretty. However, this morning when I looked at it I was horrified to see that it does not match my newly painted vanity. Also, it would have been far better using a glue gun instead of messy tile adhesive that I had to put on with a trowel. Upon reflection, instead of using so many colors I think it would have looked much better using only one, or maybe two colors. Also, I realize now that it is about as permanent as you can get, so there's no way of going back! It will be there for the duration.

So If you are thinking of doing this project (there are quite a few videos on line) you might like to take all my mistakes into account and do yours right the first time. I was so eager to get it done I didn't visualize what it would look like when it was finished.

It does make a really cheap and pretty backsplash though.

  3 answers
    • Sally Alter Sally Alter on Sep 01, 2018

      Hi Debker,

      Yes, this is one of the videos I watched and I did, in fact, achieve the same result with the addition of a few amber marbles dropped in. The main problem I had was with the tile adhesive. I did ask for Mastik at the store but was recommended to Mapei Type 1 tile adhesive instead. This was very hard to work with and I ended up with a lot of it squeezing out between the marbles so now have to try to remove it from their surfaces. I called their tech. department and they said to use mineral spirits. It is now dry, so I shall try that tomorrow. Then apply the grout.

      But now that I have watched this video again and taken another look in my bathroom, I see that my backsplash isn't so bad after all!

  • A glue gun will not hold up to bathroom heat, humidity and regular cleaning, they would just pop right off the wall. The link Debker provided should help. 3 colors is optimal. Basic design principals. We have all lept (yes old English!), into a project without thinking or planning ahead or doing the necessary research at one time or another. Thanks for sharing your pitfalls! 🤗

  • Sally Alter Sally Alter on Sep 01, 2018

    Hi Naomie,

    I was careful to do this backsplash as a trial run in a spare bathroom that is rarely used. I basically only use it to wash my hands when I am doing art work in the adjacent studio. Humidity is not really a problem in there.

    As an aside, this trial run was because I intended to do another backsplash behind my newly painted 'to look like granite' counter tops. I bought some cobble stones in Walmart to see how they would look. (You can buy tiles exactly the same on line for $15.99 a piece!) The other day, I had some tiles fixed on the kitchen floor and the man told me that it would be very difficult to get these stones to stay put because they didn't all have flat surfaces and some were very small. After much thought, I have abandoned that idea and gone back to planning on doing 'Peel and Stick Tiles'. I did learn a lot from the trial run, though, and when I repaint the vanity I think that backsplash will look fine.