Kitchen Subway Tile Backsplash Ideas
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I have another aspect of my kitchen makeover to share with you. It is about the fresh and clean white subway tile backsplash.
After looking at a few different types and styles of white subway tiles, I decided to go with 3-1/2″ x 7-1/2″ size ceramic tiles in the color Imperial Blanco and white grout. I bought them at The Tile Shop. They cost a little more, but the Home Depot and Lowes near me only had smaller subway tiles and I liked the slightly larger size that The Tile Shop had in stock.
White cabinets, white tile and I even painted the countertop to resemble Carrara marble. I still have to caulk around the cooktop, but I will be sharing how I painted the counter next week.
After living with…
…a brown kitchen for the last year, it is so refreshing to see bright and white on every surface now.
Tiling is not hard, but you do need the right tools and supplies. Having a wet saw is needed if you have to tile around outlets or windows. I didn’t have one, but a friend did and he cut 4 tiles for me to fit seamlessly around the outlets. I cut the rest using a simple tile cutter…
…that looks like this one.
I didn’t write a tutorial about how to tile, but did want to show you a little bit about the process. There are literally hundreds of great tutorials on YouTube that are better than I ever could create.
I started tiling from the bottom center of the backsplash and worked out to each side. I only needed to make cuts on the tiles at the end of each row.
Tile spacers and a bubble level are crucial to make sure you applying the tiles level and spaced evenly on each new row.
Once I had the tiles attached, they sat without any grout for a few weeks until I tiled the other side of the kitchen. Once all the tiles were up, I then grouted all of them using white grout.
Here is what the backsplash and counter on the other side of the kitchen looked like before. There was a telephone jack on the left side of the backsplash that I removed and Spackled over.
Here is the AFTER. Bye-bye brown….Hello updated and white!
I still need to caulk where the tiles meet the counter, but I am waiting to do it right after I finish painting the last section of counter this weekend.
The cost of the tiles and all the supplies I needed came to $267.37
Other Subway Tiles I Considered Using
When I first started thinking about how I was going to makeover the kitchen, I was going to use Aspect Peel and Stick glass tiles in Frost. They are so pretty. They do need to be cut with a tile saw or cutter just like any other tile, but they don’t need any mortar or grout!
See the left tile above, I started to peel the paper backing off so you can see how easily these tiles are to install.
When I held them up on my backsplash however, the light in my kitchen made them have a slight grey tint that threw my plan for a bright white kitchen color scheme off.
I will be using them soon though, not in the kitchen, but in my laundry room… so stay tuned.
The Aspect Peel & Stick tiles come is a variety of colors and even matted mosaic.
I like the glass the best, but they also come in a few metals in a different colors and shapes from Subway, Square, Hex and Honeycomb.
They even come in stone! The stone peel and stick tiles are the easiest to apply since they can be cut with heavy duty scissors or snips. No tile cutter or saw needed.
You can learn more about them on the Aspect Tile website. They are sold at Lowes and Home Depot.
I am truly loving my kitchen now :-) Making it over by myself has been a long process, but worth the time and effort. I will post the tutorial on how I painted the counter to look like Carrara marble next week.
I will have to wait for Ed’s help to cut away the wood valance over the sink and hang a new light fixture. As soon as I get that done I will post all about it and then do a final Before and After.
If you have any questions about the subway tile backsplash or any part of the makeover, please leave it in the comments. I am sure I have left a few things out. :-)
You are Kitchen improvement champion and I have regular visitor your blog for new kitchen design and its improvement tips.
It looks absolutely awesome. You outdid yourself with that counter top too.
It looks beautiful. The old back splash looks like the old counter top material, did you have to remove what was on the back splash, or did you tile over it?
Thanks Mary – Yes, you are correct. The backsplash was covered with the same Formica as the counters. I did not remove it since it was in good condition and solid on the wall, so I tiled right over it.
this is one of those ‘clean’ kitchens, so unlike mine. Looks great, and I wouldn’t be scared of eating anything you made in this place!
Hi Linda – :-)
Beautiful work and such a dramatic change!!!
Hi Kate – Thanks. It has been a big job since I am doing it myself. Now that I am getting close to the finish line and take a look around, it has been worth all the time and effort. XO
Nice job! Looking forward to seeing how the peel and stick tiles work in your laundry room. You continue to inspire me! Thanks!!
Beautiful! It looks amazing!
Diane, you are amazing, and not scared to tackle any project.
your kitchen is beautiful.
Diane, it all looks so lovely, an amazing transformation. Well worth all your sweat equity. Thanks for sharing and inspiring us.
Yay! More Kitchen! Beautiful! I love it! Too bad about the wall oven going up. I cannot get over the counter top! It looks fabulous. I like the open shelving concept – ala Martha Stewart but I think I’d have to put some frosted glass doors up – mainly because my kitchen shelves would look like a post rummage sale at a thrift store.
Fantastic! I’ve never been brave enough to try tiling… the floor of our bathroom was a DIY project by our previous owner, and it’s all uneven and unprofessional, and I worry that mine would come out the same way. But you continue to provide inspiration for all of us – so maybe there’s a tiling project in my future! Your kitchen is just beautiful. Can’t wait to see how you painted the countertops.
So far so good, Diane! It looks terrific & can’t wait to see the final job done. It looks so clean, crisp & white.
Diane!! YOU are so talented! What a fantastic job you’ve done, not only on your lovely kitchen but the rest of the house also. I have truly enjoyed watching and reading about your progress. Way to go!
All i can say is “fabulous”.
What a gorgeous transformation, so bright and beautiful! I love white kitchens and always will!!
It appears that by using the 3 1/2″ tiles you were able (lucky you) to not have to cut to fit at the underneath side of the upper cabinets. That had to be a big time and effort saver for you – and it’s not often that it works out that way. You indeed are very talented at DIY and have done a beautiful job throughout your home. I’m just beginning to update my little 1200 sq ft house and while my kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts are painted and ready to go, I still have to paint the cabinet boxes. The kitchen reno also involves floor, countertops, new sliding door (yikes) and backsplash. I’ve changed out vanities in the bathrooms but still need new toilets and new floors. Fortunately the rooms and woodwork have all been painted by my daughter and myself, but the floors will be replaced throughout the house and I’m not looking forward to that mess. Some I can do myself but some I will be hiring out since my 74 year old knees and shoulders just can’t do what they used to do. I look forward to more of your updates and so envy your lakeside location.
You are my DIY hero!! Great job! What a wonderful bright and fresh spot to cook and work, Diane!
Diane, you are simply AH-Mazing! It looks so nice and I know how much you are loving it.
I like the subway tile look, but that stone is gorgeous. I wonder how well it works around stoves with all the grease splatters, etc?
I can’t even believe that you have done this much.
It is just incredibly beautiful!
YOU are soooo talented Diane!!!!!
Love it all.
Oh, this is gorgeous! And you did a terrific job!
I have always wanted a white kitchen – well, white and red actually – and I keep imagining my kitchen that bright and cheery. I want to do the lower cabinets with a true red and the uppers in white. You have given me new inspiration! :-)
Hi Julie – Red base cabinets and white uppers will look amazing! The hardest part about painting kitchen cabinets and updating the surfaces is getting started. Once you get it going, it does get easier.