A New Year…….and Some New Backsplash

Happy New Year people. Hard to believe 2014 is over. And the aging process only enhances how quickly time is flying by…….or maybe that’s just me.

Since my sweet hubby’s company shuts down over Christmas, we decided it would be the ideal time to take on a little DIY/home improvement project. Drum roll please…………Carrara Marble backsplash. Can you hear me singing hallelujah ??? Truly, it’s my all time favorite.

Our kitchen left a lot to be desired when we purchased this home 5 yrs ago. Size was great and a nice big island, so 3 1/2 yrs ago we had some cabinet refacing done. Since we liked the existing granite, and we were not reinventing the wheel w/regard to the layout…..refacing made so much sense. And it’s more affordable to boot.

For 2 yrs we have talked about backsplash, brought home multiple samples…..but didn’t fall in love with anything. I’ve always loved the look of subway tiles, but in the form of Carrara marble……and probably because of the veining and variation of color. Subway tiles are one uniform flat color and it looked just a bit too bland against our vanilla creamy cabinets. So we ended up deciding on this……

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I’ll preface by saying, we have never installed backsplash before. My handyman (AKA-husband) has put in tile flooring for us in previous homes, but we have never tackled backsplash. So he googled/watched videos, measured and talked to half of the tile employees in Home Depot to compile a list of exactly what we would need. He’s sooooo totally organized that way. I’m more like…..’we’ve got this……let’s just crank it out’. You cannot do that with this type of project……..God is really working on my patience. So here’s some before pics…..the lighting was terrible. (And that’s soon to be a whole separate project……can lighting).

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We sanded/prepped the walls, purchased all of the items on our list and borrowed a wet saw/tile cutter from our neighbor. While the carrara we chose did come attached in mesh sheets, so much of that had to be cut and fit around all of our multiple outlets. On top of that, each tile is beveled. We were warned about how tricky that is to grout……and they weren’t kidding.

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We worked like dogs for 2 straight days. But we got a nice system down of applying the thinset, throwing up the marble, my husband measuring and cutting all the intricate pieces. We would then individually ‘butter’ each piece and place it into the pattern accordingly. Ironically, we weren’t able to apply very many whole/sq. foot sheets. Primarily because the outlets. And my husband was a total ‘Rock Star’ with the millions of cuts he had to make.

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By the end of day 2, I could hardly lift my arms. They were total jello. Because of the beveled edges on each tile, we had to pipe in the grout lines and use our fingers to smooth it out. We could not use a trowel, so it made for a very tedious job. Then I had to carefully clean off each individual tile……which seemed never ending.

After that cured overnight, we were able to caulk all of the edges and apply the protective sealant everywhere. So, while my back, neck and arms are totally tuckered out…..and my nails completely destroyed…..the end result was totally worth it. We are just delighted with the final product and how it helps to brighten up our dark kitchen.

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All totaling, we spent about $550, made 3 trips to Home Depot and used 27 sheets of Carrara with 1/2 a sheet left over. So, very little waste……what a blessing. And I must say, while it’s not a perfect job……the grout and caulk are truly able to hide any imperfections. And we saved a boat load doing it ourselves.

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Next up……..multiple can lights and paint. Bye Bye Khaki paint color.

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