Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How to Install a Kitchen Back Splash with Wavecrest and Mosaic Tile using Sticky Mat

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There are so many styles and trends that I love in houses.  One of those trends are kitchen back splashes.  For the past 5 years I have been wanting a kitchen back splash.  In our last house, we never did it because we would have had to change our counter tops too and we didn't have the money to do that.   We are now getting around to doing some home improvement things in our current house and I brought up doing a back splash again.  Well I found tiles that I just loved and so we did it.  And let me tell you, I do not regret it one bit!  I absolutely LOVE it!!  My kitchen isn't huge, it's nothing special but the back splash just adds so much to it.  I'm so glad that we did it and that!  

This is is what our kitchen looked like before, we at least at the time of my home tour post :).  I never liked the black glass tile that were on our counter tops, they are a little too dark and manly for my liking.  So we decided to lighten it up a little bit and go with some lighter tiles for the back splash. I wanted to do the whole thing with mosaic tiles but then decided that it would be too busy if we did that, we went with a wavy tile that is called Wavecrest and a white/gray/black mosaic tile (we bought them in 12x12 and then cut them down to 4"). 

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Here is a close up of the black tile, didn't love it!

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This is what you'll need to do a black splash:
Putty knife
Some kind of tile cement (we used a sticky mat)
Grout float
Outlet box extenders

For the grouting part you will need:
Non-sanded grout
Grout float (use the same one)
2 clean buckets
Putty knife

This is how we did it:
First you have to remove the old tile.  We used a putty knife and a hammer to pop them off.  

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Here they are all off.  If you have any holes in the wall, you have to fix those before you can start tiling.  Once that is done, sand down the walls and wipe down with a cloth and water.
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Behind the fridge we made a line to show where we wanted the tiles to lay.  This line is 1/8" higher than the counters (you are supposed to leave a 1/8" gap between the tile and counters), so this line is exactly where the tiles will go. 
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Like I said before, we used sticky mats instead of cement.  They are a lot easier, quicker and not as messy.  They are a little pricier but totally worth it!  They work awesome.  You take off the back sheet and then very carefully place it on the wall, then using the grout float you push out all of the air bubbles and make sure that it gets a good seal on the wall.  You will continue to do this for all of the wall. 
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Now for the fun part, tiling.  We worked from the center of the wall and went outward.  You pull back the plastic sheet of the sticky mat, place the tile on it and press it with the grout float to make sure it is stuck to the mat. 
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Using the spacers (we used 1/8" spacers) we worked our way to the sides and then up.  Here is part of the wall completed.  We used two of the Wavecrest tiles then 4" strip of the mosaic tile and then one more of the wavy tile.  We used a tile saw for the wavy tiles and on the mosaic tiles we used a tile cutter and the tile nippers. 
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We continued to tile until the wall is complete.  The trickiest part is making holes in the tile for the outlets.  If you have a tile saw it's not as hard.  If you just have a tile cutter/nippers then it can get challenging.  
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Since the wall is now thicker than it was before, you have get some outlet box extenders for all the outlets. 
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Once the tile was all done, we got to grout.  We used a white grout but there are several colors out there.  We used a non-sanded grout that wasn't premixed, so we mixed it with water and let it set for 5-10 minutes.  The texture is like creamy peanut butter.  Using the grout float and going at a 45* degree angle, fill in the lines of the tiles.  *Make sure to take out your spacers* (we missed one at one point and had to go back to re-grout it). 
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After letting the grout sit for 15-20 minutes, we used a barely damp sponge and wiped away the excess grout.  You will have to go over the grout a lot to get it off, rinsing your sponge frequently too.
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Once the grout was out, we sealed it.  You just spray the sealer on and then wipe it off after 5 minutes.  *This is an important step, don't skip it or your grout will get stained*. 
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And lastly we caulked the edges.  We left the 1/8" above and below the tile without grout and used caulk for that instead.  The grout gives it all a very nice finished look! 
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And that's it!!  Tiling takes time and patience but it is totally worth it!  I love the outcome of it.  
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Here is our kitchen now, so much brighter I think!  It goes nicely with my subway art vinyl above my pantry and our fun dining table that we built. 
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Check out here I made my pendant light blue, here
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I love the design, I'm so glad that we went with ceramic tile in addition to the mosaic tile. 
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It also makes that corner where my kitchen aid is not look as dark or boring.  
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MrsMajor Hoff said...

I love this Kaysi! I've been wanting to try it!