DIY Tiling Your Kitchen Backsplash

I finally did it! After a year with our renovated kitchen complete, I finally made tiling the backsplash to our kitchen a priority. I’m trying not to say here, “I didn’t have the time,” because when you make time, you have the time.

Over a year ago, we picked out a tile sample we both liked. I held onto that sample until last week when I had hoped to return to the home improvement store to find enough sheets that I needed to fill the kitchen. I was in luck and found just over 25 sheets that I needed to purchase.

Since I had tiled the backsplash to the bathroom sink as a learning experience, I already had the self-adhesive, grout, float, nippers, sponge, and several other mini tools needed for the job. I purchased the sheets of tile for $275 and set out on my adventure.

This project took two days to complete. The first day: laying out all of the tiles, cutting them to fit with a nipper (I avoided renting a wet saw) and letting it dry. The second day: a quick work of the grout, sponging, and fitting all of the outlets back in with extenders beyond the tile.

I can completely understand now why some people chose to have others do the labor on a variety of tasks. This was the first home improvement project I took on completely myself. Chris kept the Monkey and Crab busy both days and helped me nip a few tiles I couldn’t quite squeeze hard enough. On top of it, I was suffering from what ended up being an upper respiratory infection and double eye infection, go me. To be honest, I probably couldn’t stomach the cost of having someone else do it though.

In the future, I’ll just be the project manager and have Chris do all the labor! I kid. I kid. I want to learn woodworking next.

Here’s how it looked before, last year when we finished the kitchen right before the Crab arrived (sans appliances):

You’ll notice we’ve opened the wall in this photo (more on that later):

We decided to do a full wall of tile behind the oven as well as everywhere else. A short few inches would’ve been easy, but I am so glad it’s the way it is now. It looks gorgeous.

I used leftover cardboard to help keep the counter clean which worked out pretty well and was free.

And here’s the finished product:

Not too shabby for a DIY project. I’ll eventually take nicer photos for you to see, but it’s not a priority 🙂

Tiling has been something Chris and I have been “afraid” of for quite some time since we’ve taken on home improvement projects in the past decade. Now, doing it twice, I’ve learned quite a bit and feel pretty confident going forward with any new tiling jobs we may encounter. Though, I’m glad for awhile we only have small plans to paint a few rooms with no big looming projects!

And, I love my kitchen. When I have a room I love, I end up using it more. Cooking has never been easier and more enjoyable now that our kitchen is open, useful, better organized, and… finished.