Given we were going to do a full kitchen reno but we're instead building a new home, we thought the splashback could at least do with a facelift (especially with how stoked we were with how our laundry reno turned out) so here's a few pics of the process.
Check out the ghastly powerpoints and red exposed on the tiles...
So off came the builder spec tiles (mmmmm satisfying)
Then as with any job, prep prep prep...
Getting the first row right is critical so take your tie, use your yellow wedge spacers and a spirit level if things are a bit off. I was going on a flat bench in great cond so no real issues for me but something to keep in mind especially if you're bridging a gap for example.
As you move up the wall it gets messy but don't stress, all that excess adhesive is easy to scrap/wipe off once it's all dry. To avoid too much mess a) don't overdo it with the adhesive, and b) just before you place you next tile run you finger along the side and top of the tiles it'll be going next to - it reduces the amount of adhesive that seaps out when you apply some pressure.
I used a grinder for all my cuts which I find easier for these small (200x100) subway tiles - you just need a steady hand. Obviously a tile cutter is a better way to go for the big tiles. Remember that if you use a grinder you lose about 4mm of the tile for your cut so if you cut a 200mm tile in half at the 100mm mark one piece will be 100mm and the other about 96mm - this is not good when following a pattern so keep the 96mm piece for small cuts you might need to make.
Always work with a clean station - it makes for a better end product. I thoroughly cleaned the tiles before startign the dreaded grouting stage. Again, when grouting the excess that gets on the tiles is easy to scrape/clean off so don't let it get to you. One thing I will note is that I personally find it better to focus your grout on the gaps needing grouting rather than smearing it everywhere like some people suggest - saves you cleaning up too much after and I feel it gives a better finish.
Note from the pic above what this would've looked like with a darker grout which is also common with subway tiles. We went with white to a) make the space look a bit bigger, and b) appeal to more tastes (given we're selling in a year). Make sure you seal the grout!
Grouting is done, bit of cleaning to go and silicone for the edges which means it's time to start celebrating Any excuse'll do for a beer, right?
Once the (tedious) silicone is done and the new white slimline powerpoints are on, time to replace the appliances and get the 'after' shot.
Would love to hear what you think...especially if you (honestly) think it'd make a difference to you opinion of the kitchen as a potential buyer.
I'll also be adding some box shelves in the whitespace next but was keen to share this now.
Looking forward to sharing the next one with you
Fantastic work as always @ProjectPete. I'm sure this will inspire many Workshop community members.
@ProjectPete super keen to see how you do your shelving. I've got a similar looking kitchen to yours that I've been dying to put shelving in, but haven't quite found the right inspiration for the space yet.
Lovely work @ProjectPete! Any advice on installing one of those knife magnets against the tiles? Am thinking about putting one on my own tiled backsplash area.
Thanks @Ben. I'd probably just liquid nail that on to be honest (obviously if it's permanent) other some 3M double sided tape should do the job depending on the weight.
Saves you risking cracking a ttile by drilling through.
Looking forward to seeing your shelving @ProjectPete. Thanks again for sharing.
This looks very good. I don't think I can use white tiles though as our cabinetry is off-white. I think I need a contrast.