Once upon a time on inspection day, our kitchen looked like this:
Two years later, we removed those view-blocking cabinets so that it could look like this:
One year later, however, I was still rolling out dough on this:
But after mercilessly ripping off the vinyl countertops and backsplash, our kitchen looked like this:
Then, thanks to a visit to Lowe’s and many moons later, our countertops looked like this:
And then finally after one steep tile estimate, one change in plans, and one week later, our kitchen backsplash looks like this:
Are you speechless??
As if having a spiffed up cooking space isn’t enough of a triumph, I did the tile backsplash myself thus saving Mr. Smith and I over $600.
HOW I TILED OUR BACKSPLASH
The only way I was able to pull of such a challenging project was friends, friends, friends!!!
My friends assured me I could do it (even though I was hesitant), my friends helped me cut tiles and my friends showed me which products to buy. Equipped with knowledge and encouragement, I went out and purchased the following:
- 40 sq.ft. of 3×5 white subway tile
- A large tub of ready-to-use Mastic (TEC brand)
- A large tub of unsanded, premixed grout
- A tube of caulk that matched my grout color
Since I don’t trust myself to get things right the first time, I traced tiles out on cardboard and played around a bit until I got the feel of things.
Good thing I did because, sure enough, I spotted a problem:
This silly outlet would have caused me a lot of needless strategy, so I (safely) removed it and then patched the wall.
To see my tutorial on how to patch sheetrock, click here!
To avoid being overwhelmed, I fixed all the whole tiles to the wall first so that I could get an idea of the amount and size of cut tiles I would need.
Working with the cut tiles was much trickier, but I made sure to do the crucial step of number-coding everything.
(If I had not have done this step, I’d probably be in a straight-jacket right about now.)
Things got a little hairy around the stove area, but nothing a few deep breaths and frequent breaks didn’t solve.
What I enjoy MOST about our new kitchen: The even counters!!
Before the reno, one section of the counter was several inches lower than the rest.
In addition to being lower, the countertop had a 12-inch overhang which meant access to the cabinets underneath was awkward and inconvenient.
One visit from the friendly carpenter fixed that!
Once our new 2cm quartz countertops were installed, the effect was complete!
Ever since I first laid eyes on this kitchen, I imagined a counter that was all the same height with endless space for rolling out sugar cookies and pie crusts. Three years later, guess what I’ll be doing this holiday season?!?
This is shaping up to be our most delicious project yet!
A BIG BIG BIG THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING FRIENDS WHO HELPED ME THROUGH THIS PROJECT:
Mr. Smith for trusting me to do this, all of you who said, “You can do it!”, Carissa for your referral, Aaron for your incidental help, Ronnie and Dusty for the carpentry, Rick for the instruction, tile and shopping help, Brittany for her informative tutorial on backsplash tiling and musician, Lindsay Katt, for capturing all the gorgeous photos of the final product!!