We are now finally coming to an end in our kitchen renovation series! You’ve seen the full reveal, and you’ve learned how to paint your cabinets effortlessly with chalk paint. Now it’s time to see how to DIY a subway tile kitchen backsplash! I’m so relieved that our kitchen is finally finished and the tile backsplash was the cherry on top to finish it all off! Check out what we did below and oogle our pretty tile!
We were given the subway tile by Build.com. All photos, ideas, and tutorials are our own!
This is where we ended up after we repainted our kitchen cabinets and had our old countertops removed:
It was weird to see everything ripped out! The drywall got a bit damaged when the old backsplash tile got torn out so we had a contractor replace some of it with new drywall patches.
A little bit of time after that we had our new quartz counters from Ikea put in:
And then we left it like that… for like 4 months. *cringe* Oops. Life just gets busy and we didn’t have the time to dedicate to starting a DIY project. So we had an embarrassing drywall anti-backsplash for wayyyy too long.
That’s where beautiful Daltile-brand white subway tile from Build.com comes in. Build.com has some AMAZING tile choices for great prices. It was hard to narrow down what I wanted since everything was so beautiful and affordable.
In the end we chose a clean white subway tile since it is timeless, classic, went well with our design, and is good for resale value. What is super nice is that the tiles came in “sheets” – meaning they weren’t individual tiles, but rather a whole 1ft x 1ft mat of them. This kind of tile setup is MUCH easier than installing individual tiles – no need to worry about pesky and fiddly spacers!
We had a friend, Hector, come and help us with the tile, mostly because we don’t own any of the tools and didn’t have the time to do the whole thing ourselves (remember how busy life gets?) He brought along his wet tile saw, which is what you’re going to want to use when installing a kitchen backsplash.
When working with tile mats, you need to measure around where outlets and wall edges are and mark with a pen on the tile. Then simply cut over your marks using the tile saw. Luckily our tile mats were the exact height we needed, so we only needed to worry about cutting around power outlets. You can find a good tutorial about how to use a wet tile saw HERE.
Next, we prepped our wall surface using mortar/mastic/mud and a notched trowel. While the mortar/mastic/mud was still wet, we pressed our tile sheets onto the surface.
The tile sheets just fit together so nicely it was easy to stick them on! If you need more guidance, you can find a good tutorial for laying tiles HERE.
Here’s some photos of the tile partially installed – just pressed into the mortar/mastic/mud with no grout yet:
When installing kitchen tile backsplash, it’s important to wait a day after adhering your tiles to the mortar/mastic/mud before adding the grout. This gives time for the tiles to set and avoid any slipping and sliding. For the grout, we chose a very light gray to help the tiles pop a little bit without being too overwhelming.
The grout was applied with a grout float and smoothed in place, with excess grout being removed with water and a sponge. You can find a good tutorial for applying grout HERE. After that we just let everything dry et voila! A beautiful white subway tile kitchen backsplash that fit into our finished kitchen makeover so perfectly!
I love the clean look, the easy maintenance, and how our kitchen is now FINALLY completed! It feels so so good. Seriously, so good.
Thank you so much to Build.com for helping make our kitchen beautiful!