installing tile backsplash, where to start

I'm ready to install 4x4 tile for my backsplash in the kitchen. It is approx 11 feet wall to wall, 18" high, and has a stove on the same wall. My question is where would be the best place to start? I'm thinking find the midpoint of the wall, then test out the tile to see if I end up with equal cuts on each end and adjust if necessary, right? Also, I wanted to start with full tiles on the bottom granite countertop, and butt them up against the bottom of the wall cabinets, whether they end up as full tiles or not does not matter since you can't really notice them. Is this right? And I'm assuming i run the full 18" tile behind the stove, right?
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Mikepier wrote:

    You are correct in trying to lay out the tiles. If the backsplash behind the stove is taller (and most are) than the area under the cabinets, I would center the tiles on that area. This area behind the stove is the first area viewed when looking at that wall, and you would be wise to have it symmetric.     As for the starting of full tiles above the countertop: I would try to do this unless you ended up with a sliver of a tile on the top of that area. If that was the case, cut some of the lowest tile so that the difference is split between the lowest and the upper tile. Taking time to lay out a ceramic tile job is something you will never regret. Once the tile is applied, you do NOT want to remove it due to a mistake.
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Fortunately i just have a microwave over the stove, plus my stove has a high back with the clock, controls,etc, so this will be the smallest visible part of the backsplash. What is better, mastic tile adhesive in a bucket or regular thinset mortar? I have plwood on my backsplash wall now.
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Mikepier wrote:

    I would use the mastic. Adhering ceramic to concrete is best done with thinset, but to wood or drywall I would use mastic.
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Are you sure you want a tile backsplash? I know a lot of people do it to save money over having the same granite/quartz material as the counter, but you'd be suprised at how wet the backsplash around the sink can get. Having standing water on the grout may cause you to regret installing a tile backsplash.
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Yeah, I thought about it, but I already spent a lot on the countertops, also I got a good deal on the tiles. Wouldn't the stove stick out 1 1/4" also if I used granite behind the stove?
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Mikepier wrote:

    I am sure you realize that a sealer exists for the grout? Nothing is perfect, but it helps.
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wrote:

Yeah, I thought about it, but I already spent a lot on the countertops, also I got a good deal on the tiles. Wouldn't the stove stick out 1 1/4" also if I used granite behind the stove?\\
Yes that's why the Granite Splash doesn't go behind the stove
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So what goes behind the stove? Tile, laminate?
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