Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Subway Tile Back Splash Complete

I want to add about 10,000 exclamation points to the end of this post title.  I finished my first back splash tiling project.  As in only me...solo...alone!  And I'm telling everyone out there with doubts, if I can do it, you can do it too.  This is definitely my most rewarding project to date.  It was also a lot of fun - even the cutting.  What's mind-boggling is that with my track record, this should have taken me about six months to finish.  But I was done in a weekend!  Can you tell that I'm shocked/proud/excited?!

This is the wall where I started tiling.      

That big black arrow is pointing out the now-defunct alarm system.  I have stared at that ugly wall plate for four years wondering when it would magically disappear.  Well, the tiling project gave me the little push I needed to do something about it.  It was now or never.  

We had the company who originally installed it (in the 80's) check the system about two years ago.  The rep that came out said there was zero power to the unit and if we wanted an alarm system, we'd need to install an entire new system.  Which basically means that these ugly boxes are here for no reason (there's also one upstairs).

Here's a closeup (the outdoor timing dial to the left is also ugly/broken and needs replacing)...

I began by shutting the power off to the entire house.  I'm nothing if not extremely cautious.  I had visions of being electrocuted.  Then I called my brother, who is a contractor, and asked lots of questions about removing the faceplate and cutting the wires.  Mainly my questions surrounded being electrocuted.  I was assured I'd be fine.  I then proceeded to call my father, who is also a contractor, and double checked about being electrocuted. 

These are the steps that I took: shut off the power to the entire house, unscrew the screws on the faceplate, call my brother again so he could be on the phone while I cut the wires, cap the wires off, stuff them back inside the hole and patch the wall up.  I didn't get any pictures past pulling the faceplate from the wall.  My hands were shaking.  But I survived!

After tiling over the patch job, no one will ever know it existed.  Well, unless they go upstairs...gotta take care of that one.

Ahh, much better!

If I can work up the courage, this light above the sink will be replaced with a beautiful lantern.  Must do!

This color is most true to the actual grout color.
tile - Snow White
grout - Oyster Gray

The Oyster Gray is such a beautiful color for grout.  We used it in our basement and it dries much lighter than the swatch you'll find at the store.  And bonus, I had an entire bag leftover in the basement!

This is such a big impact project for little money.  I was fortunate to have the mastic, trowel, grout floater, grout, spacers and tile cutter on hand from past projects.  I did spend $54 - $40 for the tiles and $14 for a tile cutting bit that attaches to my Dremel.  I was impatient and couldn't wait to get my hands on a borrowed wet saw and I wasn't willing to pay the $50 rental fee from Home Depot.  I didn't have very many odd cuts (around sills and outlets) so I decided to buy the tile cutting bit and it worked out great for me! 

Even if I had to purchase every item needed for this project, it could be done for under $100.

 Next on my kitchen-bucket-list is installing corbels underneath my cabinets and replacing the light above my sink.  Right now I'm enjoying my cleared off counter tops.  It's amazing how a project can make you declutter!

Thanks for checking my project out.  I am thrilled with the results!

I'm linking up with:
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Tuesday's Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Rock 'N Share @ The Shady Porch
Hookin Up With HOH @ House of Hepworths
Crafty Happy Scrappy Me @ Crafty Scrappy Happy
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
Transformation Thursdays @ The Shabby Creek Cottage
Coffee & Conversation @ Passionately Perfect
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Catch as Catch Can @ My Repurposed Life
Whatcha Got Weekend @ Lolly Jane Boutique
Saturday Night Special @ Funky Junk Interiors


  1. it looks amazing! what a difference- so finished now!

  2. I love your color choices! It looks great! Can't wait till I can have subway tile in my own home!


  3. Oh my gosh it looks fabulous!!!! Love the grout color next to your (gorgeous) granite, and that you had the courage to tackle that alarm box. You can totally do the light fixture now!!

  4. Wow, you are one handy girl Jeannie! It looks beautiful! I love white subway tile. I have it in my kitchen too. It's a classic - so clean and crisp!

  5. Wow, this looks fantastic! Thanks for emailing me to let me know you'd put it up :) I love the oyster grey grout with the benchtop colour, and you've done a beautiful job with the tiling as well!

  6. you did a good job! it looks very beautiful :)

  7. You are a woman after my own heart!! White subway is one of my other 'standards' of things I love to add to a house (shower and tub surrounds, mostly)! You did a fantastic job!! I'll be looking forward to seeing more of your projects! blessings ~ tanna

  8. Thanks for a great post. Love it, I am thinking of putting in granite counter tops and need to do a cool backsplash. That sounds doable.

  9. I really want to try this. It looks fantastic. You did a great job. Hope to be able to do it myself.

  10. Love the tile!! Great job! Thanks so much for linking up your awesome makeover!!

  11. that looks great, and good for you doing it on your own. you should be super proud of yourself!

  12. Wow, I'm very impressed! You did an amazing job. It's beautiful.
    Your newest follower, Mary Alice

  13. i love subway tile and i love your grout. looks beautiful.

  14. yay for you! your subway tile is fabulous! great look on a budget. my kind of girl!
    thanks for linking up and linking back to catch as catch can!

  15. Congratulations! I love the tile with the dark grout! Perfection! I would love for you to link this up at our "impossible" party! Here's the link:


    Thanks for the inspiration!


  16. What is the deal with the outlet ending half way into your tile, why could you not move it out of the way, looks unfinished....

  17. Thanks for a great post. Love it, I am thinking of putting in granite counter tops and need to do a cool backsplash.
    subway tile

  18. Thanks for the share. Great stuff, just nice!
    subway tile

  19. Glad to hear from fans of this tile pattern!
    subway tile

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