2.18.2014

Project | Kitchen + 10 DIY Backsplash Tips

I'm going to try really hard to make this long story short…We bought this house 2 years ago. We LOVED LOVED LOVED everything about the house except the kitchen. And when I say except the kitchen I mean I HATED it. I hated the red walls, the cabinet color, the countertops, the 14 year old appliances, the lack of hardware. Cutting to the chase here…We have made some obvious changes…and a few things have stayed. As it turns out, 2 years of looking at this cabinet color…I rather enjoy it now. We have officially decided not to have them painted and distressed like originally planned. Who knew I would like light wood? Totally against the trend right now but we all know I march to the beat of my own drum anyway. The red paint has stayed as well!! Also a shock for me. But like the wood, it too has grown on me. With that being said backsplash and countertops were the biggest things we had left. After much discussion recently we decided we just didn't feel like granite is where we want to sink thousands right now. We opted for a more conservative route and bought a new dining table and backsplash and wanted to see where that put us. I'm thrilled to say the least. The changes make me hate the countertops 20% less…which means I only loathe them 80% now. (They will still be replaced but much further down the road) Ok I need to start getting to the point here.
We installed a subway tile backsplash. Ourselves.  Luckily, Tom had experience with tile work, otherwise I feel like we could have never sailed through this project like we did. 

Let's have a look, shall we?




 So we extended the tile up to the top of the cabinets on the sides of the window. This is where we have run into our one and only disagreement. I think we should go to ceiling but Tom thinks it ludicrous  since our cabinets aren't flush with the ceiling… oh and also the fact that he never wants to cut a tile again in his life.  I have asked a handful of friends which has ended us still in a tie. Please feel free to comment today and cast your vote.


I'm sure if you are looking closely you can see that we still have some detail work to do yet. like painting inside of window white…I know this should probably be tiled too but did you catch that we did this ourselves? Oh and my husband was in charge of cutting the tiles. Sooooo yeaaaaa…We sort of hit a point where we wanted the project to end sooner rather than later. We are NOT perfectionist type people. So for any of you who are, please just pretend that we are still planning to tile that! :-)  As my sister-n-law loves to say "if you can't get it done right, just get it done" To that I say, AMEN.

With all that said I wanted to share our:



10. If you have kids, hire a babysitter. (We did not.)
9. Give your husband visuals examples when you suggest something "outlandish" like tiling up the wall by the window. (his exact response via text message when I suggested it was: "please be joking")
8. Split this project up between at least two days. Stepping back and seeing the progress through refreshed eyes helped us make some good decisions and find better ways to do things.
7. If this project is split between days or even times of the day, remember to wash out your thin set bucket. Oh and also your grout auger.
6. Take advantage of Lowe's policy of 100 free "simple" cuts (that is if you buy your tile from them)
5. Choose a tile that comes in the mesh sheets. This a big time saver…however…
4. Don't be fooled by the mesh sheets and think this will make this project "quick." 
3. Beer makes this project more fun
2. Have one person responsible for cutting tile while the other person hangs the tile

AND OUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE….

1. Just don't even do this project.

Ok ok…in all honesty, Tom and I love doing projects together. We work really well together (except for when I stop working to bust dance moves or group text my friend Amber and her husband... That he does not appreciate when he wants to finish the project quickly) We have done numerous home improvement projects together over the last 6 years of home ownership. I think this backsplash install  gave a huge reward but was probably one of the most boring projects to execute. Not to mention the challenge of balancing this project with parenting our two children the entire time. If you and your hubs work well together then you I really wouldn't discourage you from doing this project. But if you are a perfectionist and/or can't survive a project with out mega fights then you probably need to hire this one done!

And finally, because I sort of want to curse bloggers for their perfectly staged photos I just have to keep it real for you all…My kitchen never looks this tidy. Hello!!! I have kids. Oh, and I have a husband.  So it's usually a mess. While I did remove the clutter of formula, bottles, papers on the island and so on..I was too lazy to wash bottles since I knew they wouldn't show in the photos! lol


17 comments:

  1. Um I totally love it. Surprisingly I agree with tom about stopping the tile at the cabinet line however I could be swayed with photos of what it would like otherwise. And I'm sure TOM loved the 3914578423754823 text he got while he was working on this :)

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    1. Oh yes…he was THRILLED at the amount of text messages he had waiting for him to read! loll

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  2. great job, looks fantastic but I fess up I am with hubby on this one, stop at cupboard.

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    1. Thanks so much!!!! I'm honestly totally torn, I do enjoy it where it is but I feel like it would be a out of the ordinary statement if we took it up :-)

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  3. Laughed my ass off through this entire post. It looks fantastic!!! We're tiling floor-to-ceiling very soon, so wish us luck! Buuut totally hiring someone after reading this post ;)

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    1. CANT. WAIT. to see your results. Yes, go with a pro.

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  4. I really like the backsplash. It came out great. I kind of agree with your husband on the tiling flush with the cabinets. Oh and great job on keeping it "real" with the bottles in the sink! LOL!

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    1. Thank you so much!!! I couldn't resist sharing the bottles. It was too funny that I knew they were just chillin in the sink the whole time! :-)

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  5. The backsplash looks great! But I love that you included the pic of the bottles - ha! Keepin' it real. :)

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    1. Thank you!!!!! I just can't sit around pretending like my house actually looks that tidy! hahah

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  6. Looks great! I love #3- true about a lot of things!

    Danielle @ Allusional

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    1. yes, you are right. Beer is ALWAYS a good choice for nearly all projects. hahahahaha

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  7. "Please don't even do this project"..HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA! This is how i felt about my tufted chair! It looks crazy amazing though! I am way jealous and I need to hire you to do mine next!

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    1. Totallly JUST like your tufted chair….it looks amazing but is like a super stressful thought of doing yourself. I don't think you or ANYONE could afford to hire me to do a backsplash! ahhahaha There isn't enough money in the world to get my to agree to do that again! LOL

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  8. Looks really good - stop now don't go to the ceiling. What would be the reason for a house to look magazine perfect? I believe in living in my home so you will never see the magazine look. Girl when Nascar starts you better just sit yourself down and admire your kitchen:-)

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    1. I know. I'm ready to just sit and relax for a while! :-)

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  9. Yes to the beer (and wine) for any project ;) and I love tip #1! Haha. I do agree with Tom though about stopping the tile. Plus, I love the splash of color at the top above the cabinets! The tile looks great an it really brightens up your kitchen.
    Eva Marie

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