Here is how I tiled the kitchen backsplash in the home that I am currently living in. The kitchen is very large and contains alot more backsplash area than the previous condo example.
I went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of tiles that matched my countertop and cabinets. Ultimately, here is a tile combination that I picked. The brown tile is 6×6 and cost about $1/sf. The small green tiles are 2×2 and cost about $6/sf. The fancy border tiles were $8 a piece and measured 11″ long.
Before I start on a project, I measure out the area and determine what I need to buy. Below is a picture of what the backsplash looked like before. Notice the stack of tiles on the counter. Those are the ones that didn’t work out during my layout and design and will be returned to Home Depot.
Once I’ve determined the layout, I measure the area and determine what I need to buy. Below is a page from my journal that I write everything on. I’ll talk more about keeping a journal or notebook in a latter post. The advantage of writing everything in one spot is that you always have the information handy. This comes in real handy when you’re at the store and can’t remember a size or color of something you installed a year ago.
Based on the diagram I need to buy 104 brown tiles and 16 strips of the green tile. I also need to get spacers, grout and mortar. I needed to get 6 of the border tiles which is not shown in the diagram. Total cost of the tiles was about $100.
Below is a detail diagram of the tile layout. Notice that I used two different grout sizes.
The reason I did this is because the I wanted to fit exactly two brown tiles and one green tile within the height of the countertop. With 1/4″ grout lines there was a gap at the top of the tiles. With 3/8″ grout line the tiles wouldn’t fit. Nobody is ever going to notice if you keep it consistent.
The border was a little more difficult to design. I picked the 3″ border because it looked good and because it had a diagonal design making it easy to incorporate a 90 degree bend. You can see more closely at how the corner tiles come together.
Once you have a design all laid out, it’s just simple tile installation. Notice there are not many internal cuts. The only place I had to do them was at the electrical and phone outlets. Those were very small cuts that I was able to do with tile nippers.
The border tile was made of stone, but I used the natural breaks of the pattern so I didn’t have to make any cuts. I actually finished this entire tile job in under two hours after I had the layout finalized.
Here is the finished product.
Next time: Build a cool home theater for under $4,000.