Hello friends, well this post has been a long while coming. Its just one of those things on my to-do list that kept falling to the bottom. I’m excited to share our DIY kitchen backsplash with you today. I absolutely love how the kitchen turned out. Hubby and I had a great time working on this project together. We hadn’t worked with tile before ( except for the kitchen windowsill). The truth is he really did most of the work ( wink) Someone had to take the photos. So lets “dive in” and splish splash a DIY Kitchen Backsplash!
If you don’t recall or haven’t seen our kitchen before here are the before’s.
We selected pretty, but neutral tiles from Home Depot, these look great all together. I didn’t want anything “theme-y”.
We cleaned the walls and turned off the electricity in the kitchen, removed the old tile windowsill ( hubby installed new drywall for the windowsill) and removed outlet covers and light switch plates in the area to be tiled. We taped off outlets, cabinets and the area where the countertops meet the walls. We moved the fridge, and stove away from the walls a few inches too.
We created a template using some broken down boxes (re-use and re-cycle my friends). Hubby measured each part of the kitchen and cut the template pieces to fit well. Hubby marked where outlets and light switches were located so it would be easier to cut and work around. After we were sure the template was perfect we put the template on the counter and placed the tiles on the template. This makes it easy to mark which tiles need to be cut. It also allows you to just take each tile one at a time from the template and then install it on the wall. Patience is needed for this DIY.
After the tile pieces were all laid out and then cut (cut tiles are best hidden under cabinets if possible), the thin set was applied using a trowel with a comb edge. Remember this is the adhesive, so do the work in small batches. We worked on one section of the kitchen at a time, thin set dries quickly so small sections are best. Once the tiles were on the wall, spacers were placed on the areas that meet the countertops. Using plastic spacers creates a more precise alignment of individual tiles allowing for a nice straight grout line. This also helps you to assure equal spacing between the tiles.
After tiles are applied let it all set up for 24 hours ( or according to the thin set instructions). We did this project on consecutive weekends, so there was plenty of time to dry. Time to grout! Leave the spacers in place. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on mixing grout. Apply the grout diagonally using a grout float. Let sit for about 10 minutes then using a tepid water-soaked sponge to remove any residue grout from the tiles. Do Not wipe away any grout between the tiles, only the grout on the tiles. After you are done wiping all of the grout residue from the tiles. Allow grout to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then apply grout sealer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Let dry.
Our oldest granddaughter stopped by to check our backsplash progress ( her birthday is next month, she’ll be 19!). If you missed reading the bully post from 2012 it’s here if you would like to read it.
Almost done! remove the spacers and fill the spaces around the backsplash and the countertops with caulk (clear works well). Under the cabinets, where the tile meets the countertop, etc. Now clean up and re-attach the outlets and switch plates. Important note- you will need to use box extenders for your outlets and switches, so they can be level with your new tile.
The big taa daa is here!
I told you this was a long time coming. Over time we bought new appliances. A fridge, stove and microwave and hubby surprised me with the lovely etched glass pantry door.
Muffins cooling on our pretty windowsill.I hope you found the DIY kitchen backsplash easy to follow and that you won’t be hesitant to try tile work in your home. Have you put tile up on your own? Please share your experience with me in the comments.
DId you see the new giveaway? Whaaat–enter to win $150!