6 Things we learned from the Backsplash

6 Things we learned from the Backsplash
  1. Tiling around light switches. We thought we did a great job of making sure we left enough room for the light switches to be screwed back in — we have some room for improvement. Not a huge deal, will take a little bit of extra time to drill holes into the tile.

    Use Bosch 1/8″ Carbide Tipped Drill Bit to slowly drill into the tile.
  2. Patience. It is going to take you 3x longer than you think it will take to to make the exact cut you need.
  3. Pre-Mixed Materials. We used pre-mixed thinset and grout. Saved a ton of time and you knew you had the right level of consistency.
  4. Presealed Grout. The grout we used is already sealed, which saved us a ton of time at the end of the project.
  5. Patterned tiles aren’t easy. We laid 1/3 of the backsplash in the time it took my dad to make the cuts for the design over the range.
  6. Planning. Spend the time up front to lay everything out and make sure you like the flow before laying tile.
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Kitchen Reveal – Phase 1

This kitchen project is one that we’ve been talking about since we moved in (2016) and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.

Our goal in home renovation is to take on larger projects in the winter so that we can enjoy the beautiful Michigan summer while it lasts. To help us not feel too overwhelmed by the tasks, we broke our kitchen project into two phases. A la we’re sharing Phase 1 reveal with you today!

It’s always good to remind you where we started from, so check out the before:

Before
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Tiling the Backsplash

Tiling the Backsplash

Take a deep breath – its time to tile this b.

Before you dive into tiling, you should lay out the design to make sure the beginning and the end of the tile is the look that you want. We played around with different size tile spacers and layout before landing on our look. I couldn’t decide on the finished edge. Long story short, there are two options for your finished edge – bullnose (rounded edge) or Dural (metal/sharp edge).

We ended up going with bullnose because you get the softer edge (and “the metal edge can sometimes look tacky”- Jay).

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Tile Prep

Tile Prep

You know what’s the worst? Spending days on a project to have a huge mess to clean up when you’re done.

Use painters tape to tape off the edge of your counter tops – aim to adhere the tape the width of your tile away from the wall. So, if your tile is 1/8″ thick put the tape down an 1/8″ away from the wall. This will help speed up clean up.

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Calculating How Much Tile To Purchase

Calculating How Much Tile To Purchase

Figuring out how much tile to purchase is easy as 1-2-3.

1 – Measure the area you’re needing to tile. I broke it down into 8 different areas for our space.

2 – Use a Sq Ft Calculator to figure out the sq footage – obviii. Total the sq footage needed for each type of tile – We have to different types, Subway and Denali.

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Raise ’em up

Raise ’em up

As we started to layout our backsplash, I got the crazy idea to raise our upper cabinets. I’m sure you’re thinking “Huh? What the heck? Have you lost your mind?”. Wait until you see the before and afters.

In the 90’s, the standard cabinet height was 18″ over the counter top. Modern kitchens, cabinets are hung 19-21″. To any of you who say an inch doesn’t make a difference, come on over to our house.

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