Only 3 months of living in our brand new home and our kitchen was already coming together. The kitchen cabinets went from a dark brown to a brilliant blue and the countertops went from a cheap looking brown laminate to an upscale soft grey. We also replaced the tiny stainless steel sink with a large modern dark grey granite composite sink. Next on the to-do list, installing a backsplash.
Now, my husband and I have never installed a backsplash, but I can honestly say anyone can do it. Once we decided on which subway tile we wanted everything just fell into place. We were lucky to have a blank slate to start with, which meant very little prep work was required. Basically to begin we removed all the outlet covers, took down the cabinets we were planning on replacing with open shelving, and painted the wall where those cabinets were. We chose to paint this area first so we wouldn't run the risk of dripping paint on the freshly installed backsplash. We also slid the stove out so we could run the tiles straight across from counter to counter.
From there we installed the backsplash. We, my husband and I, developed a pretty good system that made the process go quite quickly. We began by laying down a thin layer of mortar with a trowel in about a 3 foot square section. I then placed the tiles starting at the countertop working my way up making sure to place 1/4" spacers in between each tile. Then when I reached an outlet I held up the tiles to the wall a marked the pieces where my husband needed to cut them. While he was busy cutting the tiles I continued up until I reached the cabinets, then when the tiles were cut I fit them into place.
My husband said the easiest way to cut the tiles was to soak them in a bucket of water for a minute before cutting. He used this handy little Ceramic and Porcelain tile cutter for home depot for all the straight cuts and used his miter saw with a tile blade for any corner cuts.
It only took us a few hours to lay the backsplash and about another 36 hours to let it cure before applying the grout. The grout process was a little more time consuming because I needed to make it perfect. My husband would a apply the grout with a grout float smoothing it over the tiles and I would follow behind with a sponge wiping off the excess. I also ran my finger along the crevice smoothing out the lines. The grout sets pretty quick so be sure to smooth out any imperfections before it's too late. Once we were happy with the look we let it cure for a full 24 hours before washing the surface.
We are so pleased with the outcome and cannot believe the transformation a few simply white tiles can make to the overall aesthetic of the kitchen. I can't wait to install the open shelving and really bring the whole space together.
----------------------------------------Home Renovation Part 4 (Open Shelving)------------------------------------------
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Inspire to Gather
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