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April 22, 2014

SUBWAY TILE KITCHEN BACKSPLASH HOW TO

I always knew I wanted a subway tile backsplash in this kitchen.  It’s classic and clean and simple and I just knew it would look fantastic after our cabinets were painted.

We had already removed our old backslash and prepped the wall.  And by this point, our cabinets were all painted and the island detailing was finished.  It was time to get the subway tile kitchen backsplash up.

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I found exactly what I was looking for at Home Depot: a mini subway tile pattern.  The tiles came in sheets, already attached.  Makes it so easy to install.  I also picked up some pieces for the exposed edges around the window and wall.  They have a bullnose, finished edge.

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For the grout, I chose a non-sanded grout in Delorean Gray.  It was the perfect gray color for the space.  Not too dark, but just the right amount of contrast.

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To apply the tile, spread a layer of thin set to the wall with a notched trowel, just like icing a cake.  You want it to be thick, but not so thick that when you put the tile on it squishes out in excess.  Apply a small section, then put the tile in place.  You don’t want to apply all of the thin set to the wall, because it will dry before you can put all of the tile up.

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While the tile squares make application easier, you’ll still need a tile saw on hand to cut out spaces for light switches and plugs, and the edges.  It’s easiest to do this as you go along.

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Once the tile is in place, let the thin set dry for about a day and it’s time to apply the grout.  You’ll fill in the cracks with the grout, then use a thick sponge to wipe the rest away.

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After the grout is finished, let it dry for about a day before you seal it.  And wow, does it make a huge difference!

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Home stretch, people, home stretch!  Just a few more finishing touches and this room will be complete!  Tomorrow I’m sharing one of my recent online classified finds.  It was worth a 35 minute drive to another city 🙂

Jen Signature photo JenSignature_zpse63747c4.jpg

  1. Anna // Gone Banannas

    April 22nd, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Wow! This looks awesome, Jen 🙂 Where did you get those little lights that you have underneath your kitchen cabinets? We could use some of those!

  2. Ellen

    April 22nd, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    So pretty! The subway tile looks amazing! Also, I love those cabinet pulls! I’m in the midst of a kitchen renovation myself and would love to know their dimensions so I can find some similar ones!

  3. Kristin @ Welcome Haven

    April 22nd, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Great job and thanks for walking through the steps. Our kitchen is on our long list of projects and we plan on doing subway tile as well.

  4. Michael

    April 23rd, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Jen,

    I like how the grout gives the appearance of matching the stainless handles and appliances. KUDOS! the project looks great. Quick question, was there any particular reason you chose a thinset over a mastic to install?

  5. Jamala

    April 23rd, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Looks awesome!! Your kitchen is really beautiful

  6. Ieda

    June 19th, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Where Did You Find The Barstools?

  7. Jen

    June 22nd, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    They are from Pottery Barn

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    February 12th, 2015 at 9:51 am

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  9. Hannah

    September 18th, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    love it!
    we want to do this same thing in our new kitchen. I’m having a hard time finding sheets of tile like this. can you provide a link to where I can purchase these tile sheets? or the exact name so I can find them?

    Thanks!!!

  10. Jen

    September 22nd, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Hi Hannah, thank you so much! We just got them at our local Home Depot. They came in 12×12 sheets. Hope that helps!

  11. Ariane

    November 24th, 2015 at 3:51 am

    Do you remember exactly which mini subway tiles these are?…Home Depot has several sheets that look like this. Or maybe a price might help narrow my search. Are each tile a 3×6?

  12. Administrator

    November 24th, 2015 at 8:53 am

    They are the 12×12 squares with mini tiles. Hope that helps!

  13. Anonymous

    December 3rd, 2015 at 8:07 am

    They are Daltile brand and are about $2.50 per sheet. Each time is about 2″x4″.

  14. Liebe

    November 2nd, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    How do you know where to start laying? Center and out or one end to the other. I’m not sure how to do inside corners, any suggestions?

  15. Melissa Reineck

    November 7th, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    How did you cut out electrical outlets? We have the same time and they keep splitting.

  16. Jen

    November 8th, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Melissa, it’s tricky! We used a Dremel tool with a tile bit. I hope that helps!

  17. Jonah

    February 24th, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Looks fantastic. Do you remember how thick the grout lines were? 1/8″? I’m planning a similar install and love the look here. Thanks!

  18. Jen

    March 2nd, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Hi Jonah, the tile itself has a bevel, and we just filled in the gaps, so we didn’t have a specific grout line. Does that make sense? Hope that is helpful!

  19. Sherry Taylor

    March 5th, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I couldn’t find a reply to the question about the index counter lights, where to start laying the tile, or why you didn’t choose nastily to,lay. Could you please respond and HELP me. Thank you.

  20. Administrator

    April 6th, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Hi Sherry, I’m sorry– I don’t quite understand your question.

  21. Andrew

    May 30th, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I was thinking mastic was the ideal base medium compared to thinset. Why did you choose thinset? Perhaps home depot recommended it?

    We are also looking into Delorean Grey grout. Being that you used unsanded grout was there any “shrinkage” when it dried that formed little cracks?

  22. Jen

    July 6th, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Hi Andrew, we haven’t had any issues with shrinking or cracks. I’ve used both mastic and thinnest and either works great.

  23. Christine

    July 21st, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Looks great! I am about to embark on the same project, with the same products funny enough. How did you start placing the mosaic tiles? I have been told to start by placing a center line, but in the kitchen the center line would be where the window is, and that just seems like an awkward place to start. Did you start in the center of the largest tile area?
    Thanks!

  24. Jen

    November 28th, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Thank you for your question. When deciding where to start laying tile I figure out what the focal point(s) will be on the wall, and place the tile so it lines up well against the focal point. For example, on the wall with the vent hood, I placed the tile so that the partial tiles were even on both sides. I hope that helps!

  25. Jena

    November 7th, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Beautiful kitchen! Do you happen to know where your hood range is from? Thanks! 🙂

  26. Jen

    November 11th, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Hello! We ordered it off Amazon, if you can believe it!

  27. Holly

    December 30th, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    SO PRETTY! I can’t wait to get my backsplash up! I’ll be sharing your tutorial with my husband (my grunt laborer).

  28. Administrator

    December 30th, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you so much! Glad you found it helpful!

  29. tricia

    April 22nd, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Hi, I love your kitchen!
    Can you tell me the style and name of range hood you ordered on Amazon.
    Thanks!

  30. Jen

    May 17th, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Hi there! Here’s a whole post about it! http://stagg-design.com/featured/kitchen-hood-and-cooktop/

  31. The nearly there Bathroom | My Way Home

    February 22nd, 2019 at 1:27 pm

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  32. Anonymous

    May 9th, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    What is the blue paint color?

  33. Administrator

    June 4th, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Hi there! Do you mean the wall color?

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