Kitchen Backsplash

The first thing I thought when I saw our new kitchen was “wow, this is nicer than I expected.” My second thought was “it needs a backsplash!”

Tiling. Not something I ever thought I would learn to do. But when a friend asked me to help with her backsplash I thought it was as good a time as ever to learn! Mess up hers so I could get mine right. (I didn’t say that).

There are several changes I want to make to my kitchen over the next few years, but this was the biggest and scariest project – so of course, I tackled it first.

I’m a big believer of backsplashes and the value they can add to a kitchen if done properly. They are also much easier to clean and hide dirt better than a painted wall. So, the interior designer in me started to plan.

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(Our kitchen before we bought the house – note different counter tops)

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(Our kitchen prepped for backsplash)

I went to Home Depot several times to look at options for the backsplash. It needed to look classy and timeless, while remaining within my budget. My budget for the entire project was about $500, and I believe we managed to stay within it (for once). This even includes the small RIDGID wet saw Andy insisted on buying for our one tiling project.

I had an interesting color scheme to work with. My preference would technically be light cabinets and medium granite counter tops, but beggars can’t be choosers. So I was left deciding how to lighten up the kitchen some, while not contrasting too greatly with the existing color scheme.

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The first few samples I brought home simply did not work – too light, too dark, too brown, etc. Finally, I found a combination I really liked. Here is the sample I brought home…

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Only problem? Andy had serious doubts as did a couple of my friends. Only my sister was able to see the potential, but we all know she could have just been lying to make me happy. So regardless, I was stuck with a vision of greatness that no one could see. But luckily my stubbornness persevered.

Andy and I often have trouble working together on projects – especially when we have the same level of knowledge (i.e., none). We are both type-A personalties and we are quick to snap at each other or get impatient. Luckily, we quickly found an arrangement that worked for us with this project – he stayed outside cutting for the intricate spots like around the outlets, and I stayed inside and laid the tile. Here are a few progression shots…

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Looking pretty good, right?! Let’s just say that Andy was finally starting to see the light.

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Finally day one was done. We had to wait an entire day to let the mud dry and make sure the tiles were holding strong. Unfortunately (for Andy) I had a meeting the next night, so he ended up grouting solo. But he did a great job!

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FINALLY, a day later, we were able to caulk and seal the tile (as required for natural stone tile) and grout! I still can’t believe how great everything turned out!

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Hopefully, Andy will never doubt my interior design skills again.

Another DIY success story 🙂

 

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