Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Installing our Kitchen Backsplash

If you read my kitchen post here, you'll know that I was freakishly excited about our new tile for our kitchen backsplash. The two factors that made ripping out a new builders backsplash a done deal for me was: a) we got the tile at a SCREAMING deal! and b) I knew switching out the builder's tan backsplash for my white marble backsplash would get me one step closer to my white kitchen dream. And did it ever!



First, let's talk about sourcing. Normally, sourcing is a huge pain in my rear end, mostly because I fall in love quite easily, and then narrowing it down to one choice just kills me inside. If I had to think about it and really source and price and compare a huge selection of backsplash tile, I probably wouldn't be writing this post today.


But instead of sourcing, I stumbled. I stumbled upon the deal of a lifetime, I snatched it up before even thinking once about it let alone twice, and ended up with a garage full of tile that needed to go somewhere. I know I posted briefly on this in another post, but I attended a local interior design warehouse sale which is where I found the tile. It was $100 for 7 boxes of tile that contained 35 square feet. That's under $3 a square foot for a tile that retails for $30. And there was no tax on that price either, so it's more equivalent to under $2.50 if you factor that in! To be honest, I think most of the other shoppers didn't even realize the tile was a part of the sale, which is why I was uber lucky to have snatched it up! I can sniff out white marble like a police dog sniffs out drugs. When that gleaming white and grey surface caught my eye, my adrenaline was pumping and my heart was racing, and I think a single tear was shed.

After I packed up two vehicles full of tile and home decor finds, I instantly started thinking about my new backsplash. Although I did get an incredibly great deal on it, I was unsure about the cost of installation. I did just drop a couple grand at the warehouse sale, so I was pretty sure my spending spree was over if I wanted to remain married to my wonderful hubby.

The tile sat in our garage for a few months until my mom told me her bathroom reno guy would do the installation job for me for $30 an hour. Seemed like a incredible deal, but I also had no clue how long a job this would take and what it would entail. I had Ken over for a quick estimate and we worked out a deal that worked for both of us. We would buy the supplies (grout, thin set, spacers, sponges, drywall etc) and rent a tile saw, and he would do demo and installation. To keep his labour at 10 hours, I also offered to grout, seal, clean up and dispose of the demolition. Those things seemed easy enough, so why not save the money and partially DIY it?

After some pleading with the hubby, we finally pulled the trigger! The whole thing took a bit longer than we thought because Ken got sick after demo and before install, but the whole thing was over in about a week.

Here's shots of the old backsplash and drywall being cut out.



And the new drywall going up.



I am SO glad we didn't DIY this part. I watched him with his saw and it looked incredibly challenging. Our old tile was THICK so it took a lot of work to cut through it.

I'm also glad we didn't have to cut the tile or install it. I know many others have DIY'd this successfully, but neither I nor my hubby are great at these kind of things. I knew that $300 to have the job professionally done would be worth every penny (saving me hours of stressing over having to figure it out ourselves, as well as getting a professionally finished end product instead of a DIY job). If you can work out a deal with a tile guy to do some parts yourself and save like we did, I say go for it!


The above photo is after install but before finishing touches. The hubby and I were quite proud of ourselves for successfully removing and then reinstalling our hood fan without any problems. We just made note of the wires we disconnected (took pics with iphone) and then retraced our steps.

We did end up with quite a lot of haze (that cloudy film on the tile surface) that wouldn't go away with just a wet sponge, so I was happy to find that lightly sanding the surface worked (the tile wasn't glossy so I could get away with it). After sanding off the haze, I sealed it twice and called it a day!

Anyone else have any backsplash tiling stories to share?

14 comments:

  1. We don't have a backsplash (yet) still debating...Ask me for my story in like 3-5 years (that's how long it will take me to decide what I want on the walls!) Yours came out great! Love it!

    Christine

    www.firsthomelovelife.com

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    1. I am with you! I live with so many things I dislike just because I can;t decide on what I want to change to!

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  2. Jen, this looks awesome! I have been looking for a similar tile for my soon-to-start kitchen reno. The only thing I didn't see in the post was the brand and style of the tile. Can you please share that with us as well?

    - Sarah

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    1. Hi Sarah! You know, I really don't know the name of it. It came in white boxes and only said "bianco marble" on it. I did a few searches and the best description I could come up with was "bianco matchstick marble mosaic", so maybe that would help with your search. I think if you were to go into a large tile supplier, you could likely describe it to them and they would be able to look it up for you. Best of luck!

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    2. Thanks for the tips Jen.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Tanya! I'm not usually a lucky person, and I never win anything, but for me, this was a major "win"!

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  4. A round of applause for you and your husband! Especially with those wirings you did in the end. I’ve always had troubles dealing with wirings at home, especially when hubby’s away and I need to fix the sound system for my daughter’s voice lessons (I call it that, but we actually just sing during our leisure time). Anyway, that was a great deal for your new backsplash. No wonder you were excited when it arrived. Congratulations! Ours is still doing well in our kitchen, hehe.

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    1. Thanks Alana! I won't touch wires, but I'm not afraid to label them so hubby knows what to connect, lol!

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  5. Some people find it hard to install backsplash. What I did to my apartment’s kitchen (which is not too spacious) is I put ceramic tiles that look like steel for a metallic and sturdy look. And what’s amazing is I only did that for a couple of minutes with the help of simple epoxy. I think it’s also a good idea to use hardwood-like ceramic tiles for a classy appeal.

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  6. Isn't it a small world, when I come across this blog when searching the entire internet for backsplash ideas... My parents (Rose & Virg) are good friends of Terry and Karens.

    Great blog by the way! - Jazz

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    1. That is TOO funny! Such a small world! Your parents were at our wedding! :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  7. I actually had someone come out a couple weeks ago to give a bid for a checkerboard kitchen floor...so classic!
    carrara mosaic tile

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Thanks so much for your comment! You made my day :)