You guys!!!! I am SO excited to share with you my kitchen backsplash today. About a year ago, we started making plans to redo our hideous kitchen. We aren’t quite done yet, but we are getting close. Today I am going to share with you step by step how I installed our backsplash.
You will need the following supplies:
Tile of your choice (I used the Kirkland)
Rubber Gloves (FYI I don’t like using gloves, personal choice, so I didn’t).
A few giant sponges
A few large buckets
Appropriately sized tile spacers
White Prolastic with Liquid Prolastic
Tile cutter (a wet saw would be better, but I already owned the cutter)
Flexible Grout Admixture
Tile and Grout Maintenance Kit
1. Head to The Tile Shop and peruse the aisles to select the perfect tile. Scan them all for a half hour while your husband tries to keep the kids contained. Listen to the little voice that says “This one is pretty, Mommy!” That’s right, Emmy found the tile I ended up selecting. The tile she found is Kirkland, which is a gorgeous recycled glass mosaic. I loved the colors and the fact that it is recycled!
2. Back at home, design your layout. Find the center of your design and mark it on the wall. That’s where you want to start from, working your way out. I centered mine between these two windows and I knew I wanted my tile to go up to the midline of the windows (where open shelving would start).
If you look closely below, you can see my center mark on the wall. Right above my skillet and spatula from making my egg….. protein power!
3. Draw a line where the tile will stop (unless of course you are working under cabinets or going all the way to the ceiling). Use a level to help create this line to make sure it is straight. Draw a line perpendicularly through your center.
4. Lay your design out somewhere you have plenty of room to work. I used my kitchen floor because I had the help of straight lines in existence. At this time, I only laid out the center area, and not any of the areas where tile would need to be cut, to save room for error.
5. Continue to lay it out, and step back and admire your tile and matching boots. (It was a rainy day, perfect for an indoor DIY!) Use your spacers to keep everything evenly lined.
6. Before you get really messy with adhesive and grout, change clothes. I like to put on my trusty worn out paint splattered jeans and my dad’s college sweatshirt…. My parents are a huge DIY inspiration to me, so this sweatshirt summons that spirit in me. I believe in the magic of the sweatshirt.
7. Working in an area of about 2 feet diameter, use the trowel to apply your mixed prolastic adhesive.
Chris snapped this picture of me applying it long after I had started.
10. Once all of your tiles are in place, take a shower… you will be sweaty after all this labor! Then admire your work and allow it to set overnight.
11. Because I had the paper back mosaic tile, I had to remove the paper before I could grout, but AFTER the tile has set. To do this, Fill a bucket with warm water. Use a sponge to saturate the paper, working in one area at a time. Once it is wet enough peel the paper off.
As you can see below, some areas peeled better than others, and some left me with a lot behind to clean. I continued to saturate and used a razor to scrape it all off. This part was probably the most tedious.
Also, because this tile is glass it is see through. Below you can see where a piece of the paper ended up folding behind a tile and was on the wrong side. I used a screwdriver to pry this tile off the wall and then reapplied it, with another tile that came off while I scrubbed.
12. Reapply any tiles that may have come loose using the adhesive. Now, I know you are supposed to let it set another 24 hours, but I didn’t have the time, so I let it set for two hours before I got to work grouting. Just want to be honest with you! I think for one or two tiles it’s OK, but I wouldn’t recommend that for an entire wall!
13. Mix your grout and flexible admixture and apply grout working at a 45 degree angle to get into all those spaces. Use your float to do this and use your muscles- apply pressure to really get in there. Work in small areas.
14. Use a wet sponge to wipe away the excess grout.
15. Repeat steps 13 and 14 until the entire area has been grouted.
16. Caulk your window seams and counter seams. We also caulked our edges. (I hate caulking so as Chris heard me cussing at the caulk gun, he came to my rescue and finished this step.)
17. Use your haze remover as needed to clean your tile with a sponge.
18. Wait 48-72 hours and then apply your sealer with a sponge.
19. Clean up your mess, put your kitchen back in order, replace your switch plates, and high fives all around! You did it!
And now you get to see the pretty pictures you’ve been waiting for!
The color also works perfectly with our door.
The color ties into the color on my vintage industrial stools.
Won’t my fox treat jar (he hold’s my hound’s treats!) look perfect sitting on a shelf above this tile?
Overall, I am thrilled! I can’t wait to get my shelves up! At that time, the bull will still be on the wall, but the gold frame will come down…. that was just a temporary solution for me.
This wall is where the island is now.
Now, if you are new to the blog, you can really see just how far we’ve come!
Disclosure: The Tile Shop provided me with all tile and materials, but all opinions are my own.
Tatertots and Jello; East Coast Creative