Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tile backsplash and before & after.

Fair warning, this post is long. Really long. But to give you motivation to finish, there are some really drastic before & after pics at the end. :)

We only had two days before the little one’s party {my goal for finishing the kitchen}, so we set out to tackle the final large phase of the kitchen remodel. See the following posts for the previous steps:

The helpful guy at Lowes sold me these two products, both worked well. {We used the mortar on the right first to affix the tile to the wall and the the mortar to fill in the gaps.}


We didn’t have a drill stir thingy, so Eugene mixed it the old-fashioned way…


Step one was to layer the mortar on the wall and then scrape the notches into it…


After that, you place the tile. We drew a level line on the side to start, but we knew we’d have to fudge it a little since our walls and counters are definitely not all straight. We also were careful not to work too far ahead with the mortar.

We bought our green glass mosaic tile 3 years ago in Columbus, and I don’t remember the price we paid, but it’s still listed on their website here for $1.99/sheet. I’m not positive, but I think that’s a pretty darn good deal.  We bought 2 boxes and had plenty left over.



The mesh backing made it super simple, just cut the tiles the width needed. Easy peasy. We lucked out and managed to get away without having to cut any glass tiles too. {Whew!}



It got a little tricky to get everything in the smaller areas and corners, but we got creative and made it work. ;)


Eugene was the mortar-layer, and I was the tile placer. Worked well for us. The one thing I learned through the process is to make certain every small glass tile is covered with the mortar completely, that way no individual tile is lose after it all dries.



The whole time I was placing the tile, I kept telling Eugene, “I can’t believe how different this makes the kitchen look!” I think he got a little sick of hearing me say that.




We went to bed after midnight that night, and the next day I tackled the grout. I picked “straw” color…


Typical DIY for me: baby sippy cup in the photo…


Step one with the grout was to spread it on and smash it in all the spaces then scrape off the excess …



Then about 30 min later, using a damp sponge wipe off the extra so that each tile is fully showing…


And the last step is to use a dry cloth to shine that grimy film off the tiles…


Other than caulking it, we’re finished! {Praise the Lord!} Check it out!





I like the full picture with my DIY vintage plate wall



Remember when I painted the chalkboard wall way back when?



I know the green is bright and a little bold for most people, but I love color. It makes my heart happy.


And I’ve said it before, but I LOVE my undermount low-divide sink.



Here’s the interesting part – the total all of our costs. We worked with a tight budget to paint the cabinets, paint & stencil the floor, and use Ikea counters. I’m really thankful for all we were able to accomplish with such little money spent.

Kitchen costs:
All new stainless steel appliances - $1708
Range hood - $70
Painted & stenciled floor - $87 with extra poly leftover
Painted cabinets - $130
Chalkboard wall - $15 with leftover paint
Rugs - $10
DIY Curtains and rods-$43 (including two in dining area)
Lights - $35
Wall paint - $22
Low divide undermount sink & faucet – $229
Cabinet handles & cup pulls - $71
Butcher block - $338
Sealer & brushes - $45
Cut & install for counters - $250
Glass mosaic backsplash tile, grout, mortar & supplies - $72 plus tiles

TOTAL: $3,125

And that’s including appliances! Without the appliances, we only spent $1,417! Not too bad!

And now for my favorite part – the before & after photos!



I’m so pleased with how it turned out! Happy, cheery kitchen!


Linked to: House of Hepworths, Seven Thirty Three, No Minimalist Here, Thrifty Home, Finding Fabulous, The Shabby Nest, Young and Crafty, While He Was Napping, The Girl Creative, Nifty Thrifty Things, DIY Showoff


  1. oh that looks just beautiful! You guys did a wonderful job!!

  2. Bravo, bravo!! Looks great - nice job you guys!!

  3. Hi Jane, What a beautiful transformation! I love the glass tile and you both did such a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing your pretty kitchen at the Open House party and I am a new follower of your blog.

  4. Looks great! Love your wooden countertops!

  5. LOVE! I am afraid to redo our kitchen but it needs it so bad. I will come back here before I do.

  6. amazing! I love the bold backsplash, and the chalkboard wall.

  7. It makes my heart happy to see such a beautiful kitchen reno! And for such a great budget! This is something I could totally do! (Although our kitchen is the most recently remodeled space, so it's not a priority Boo!) I really love your choice in tile. I'm happy to be a new follower!

  8. Amazing makeover! Hats off to both of you guys!

  9. Came from Better After...your kitchen is beautiful. All your hard paid off!! Love the green! My wedding dress was green. :)

  10. Hi, visiting from The Shabby Nest. Holy Cow -- I actually shuddered when I saw your "before" photo near the end of your post. LOL! What a fantastic job, and so creative too with your redo, using mostly what you already had. I love the green touches of color. Sometimes I think all white or all neutral can look a little sterile and cold. Congratulations on your new kitchen space, it looks great!

  11. It's beautiful. I love the green. We have an old kitchen that needs help and you've given me a few new ideas. Thank you for sharing.


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