We’ve been doing a kitchen makeover [I’m ecstatic, because I REALLY didn’t like my kitchen]!
Here’s what it looked like BEFORE [above]; this is after a new window and after tearing off the old backsplash (which was the same material as the countertop).
PROGRESS: To date; we’ve painted walls, installed new window, built a frame around the window, and applied a countertop transformation kit (see details on that here).
Now we’re installing a backsplash (I’m super excited for this part!). A backsplash can completely change the look and feel of a kitchen.
I love the look of white subway tile. I think it looks clean, fresh, timeless, and farmhouse-ish.
And, it’s one of the least expensive options available!
We used the sheets of tile rather than individual tiles because this is our FIRST TIME TILING!
There are lots of tutorials for tiling a backsplash on Pinterest and YouTube, I recommend reading and watching a few of them before you get started so you’ll know what you’re in for and what products and supplies to purchase.
I decided to use a darker grey grout because I wanted the individual tiles to stand out and give my kitchen a little more character. The color of grout is called Pearl Grey by MAPEI (I purchased it at Lowe’s). I actually think I may have liked it a tad bit darker better because I really liked the color when it was wet, but this color matches the little flecks of grey in my countertop and I’m happy with it.
Here’s what the tile will look like with just the mortar (above). And here’s after being grouted and sealed (below)…
So pretty huh!? Just wait until I have the caulking done and the outlet covers back on!
Note: we purchased caulking that is the same color as the grout.
After all said and done I noticed we didn’t have much wasted tile, so that was really awesome- I’d prepared for the worst I guess and was able to return 9 sheets of tile (yeah for cash back in my pocket!).
Tips for the first time tiler:
- If we can do it, you can too (this was our [me and my husband] first time tiling).
- Look through several tutorials (there are lots of great ones out there, so I’m not creating one for you).
- We did NOT use a tile saw! We used a Dremel tool with a tile saw blade on it (we didn’t have too many cuts to make). If a tile saw scares you then hopefully a Dremel tool will seem manageable. There are also a few other tools out there that score and break tile.
- Use the same or similar color of mortar as grout. We used a light mortar and a dark grout and wished we’d used a darker mortar since there were a few spots that were a pain to cover.
- Buy extra tile and supplies and return the unopened leftovers; there’s nothing like having to run to the store in the middle of a project (I was fortunate I got to return some supplies and get some $ back!).
- After paying for ALL the supplies: tile, spacers, mortar, grout, caulking, trowel, grout float, sponge, tile sealer, a couple five gallon buckets, and the spiral mixing arm; the cost was still under $200 (for approx 31 sq ft of space tiled).
- You can purchase premixed mortar and premixed grout; it’s more spendy. Don’t be afraid to mix it yourself, it’s not hard. It’ll save you $.
- I’d estimate it took 20 man hours to complete the labor; plan for at least that and be happy if it takes you less time.
IT’S WORTH IT! I LOVE MY BACKSPLASH SO MUCH!
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