Design, DIY

the one about our DIY tile backsplash

Sometimes you start a project that you think will be easy and quick. And then it takes you 10 hours. That was our DIY tile backsplash.


I checked out many blogs . . . mostly yhl (a moment of silence) …………………………………………………..

decor and the dog, and bhg. We’re avid DIY and we had my dad helping who has worked with tile before. So this seemed easy enough especially if we used a tile mat instead of mortar.

From there it was simple, but it took us some time. Here’s the 7 steps we took to get there – 2 of which are optional, but recommended.


Step 1: Cut the tile mat to fit your square footage. We used a permanent marker and drew out the measurements so it was fairly easy.


Step 2: Apply the tile mat to the area. It’s like a Band-Aid  – you peel the covering off and then put the sticky side to the wall. We used our j-roller to smooth things out and make sure every single inch was stuck.


Step 3: Apply your tiles. Take the covering off the front of the tile mat – you can do all of it at the same time, but I’d recommend starting with a smaller area and working your way to the finish line. We found that starting at the bottom – closest to the countertops – and working our way up was easiest. Be sure to use spacers so that everything is even. You will most likely need to cut some tiles to fit around outlets, weird corners, and at the top. We had to cut them to fit at the very top underneath the cabinets and around outlets. We used this one, and were very pleased. What you have to cut is going to be up to your specific area and what tiles you choose – ones with mesh backing will most likely be easier and you might even get lucky and only have to cut mesh.  So my only tips are to have patience and be sure your measurements are accurate.

This is the step that took us a while. We had about 25sqft to do and ours was 1 tile at a time with lots of weird angles so that might have something to do with it. We started about 2pm Saturday. It was later than we wanted, but we thought we should still be able to be done that night if not Sunday. Well about 6 it was obvious we weren’t going to get done that night so we stopped – then Sunday life got in the way.  We came back at 6 on Monday and worked until 9 – then came back about 4 on Tuesday and were finally done with tiles about 5. But from there we still had about 2 hours of work left . . .


Step 4: Grout it all. Again I would recommend doing small sections at a time. That way your tiles won’t move while the spacers are out. We took the spacers out of a small area, applied the grout, and then as one person moved on the other would clean the grout off. We also applied a small amount of white caulking to the bottom – nearest the countertops.

Step 5: Sit at your kitchen table and ignore the mess around you while you realize you’re finally done  . . .  almost

IMG_4165 Step 6: Deep clean your countertops and kitchen floor. Your kitchen is gonna get like Christina Aguilera in 2002 dirty . . . and everything you did have perfectly placed on countertops will need put back into place. I guess this step could be optional too . . . if you’re a different kind of weird than I am.

Step 7: After it dries (overnight) and everything is cleaned well, seal your grout. We used this grout sealer, and did 2 coats. This is the 2nd optional step. You don’t have to seal it, but I don’t know why you wouldn’t. And I’m sure you’d regret if you didn’t. It costs $8 and takes 5 minutes so it’s more than worth it.


Now for the price breakdown . . .

Tile cutter : $20

Tiles from Menards : $30

grout and sealer:  $15

Supplies (spacers, sponge, trowel) : $10

Tile mat : $50

Total :: $120 – if we would have went with thin set instead of the tile mat, we would have saved about $30.


Not bad! We had originally budgeted $200, but then we found the tile we wanted so cheap, quality, and then on sale! For this project we did get under our original budget, but this was our last project in the original budget for all house updates, and it did set us over that. Not by much – and those details are for another time 🙂


The kitchen is mostly finished now, just a few finishing touches! I hope to share the final pictures of this room with you next week along with the budget breakdown! I just have to convince Iron Man to help me hang some shelves . . .

Have you ever had a project take you much longer than expected?

linking up with a blossoming life i should be mopping the floor you’re gonna love it Tuesday time to sparkle the scoop jack of all trades wicked awesome Wednesday my girlish whims thursday favorite things pin it Thursday a handful of everything all things with purpose the pin it party the jenny evolution sincerely paula the pin junkie




Welcome to the Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop!





A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.


Dear Friends,


What a day to celebrate! This is the 89th week of the Let’s Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week! 


Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I’ve never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!


The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That’s right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week’s hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.


The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of  The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!


There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! 🙂


Let’s Be Friend’s Blog Hop Guidelines

1. Link up your favorite post from your week.

2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.

3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.

4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!

5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends

6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 


***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. 

Meet your hosts:

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin’

Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin’

& Co-Hosts

Rebekah @ Butcher’s Niche

Kaelyn @ My Fair Daily


***This weeks featured post from last week’s hop:


Hi friends! It’s Chelsee today. Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner!

… onto the winner!

With Halloween coming up in a few days I am trying to squeeze in a few extra ways to get festive this holiday. I personally love decorating cookies and thought some of you may want to do this with your kids. These cookies are super cute, and I mean who doesn’t love monsters?!  


Chrissy’s blog, The Taylor House, is a great blog full of information, such as recipes, gift guides and much more! Also she has the most BEAUTIFUL pictures and best posts. Go check The Taylor House out and go follow Chrissy

Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit! 

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! 🙂







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  • Reply Nina @ Flowers in my Hair

    It looks so great!!!

    October 28, 2014 at 9:16 am
  • Reply Jenna @ A Savory Feast

    This turned out great! A backsplash is a must for me in my next kitchen, but I’ve been thinking about doing it myself. Thanks for the tips!

    October 28, 2014 at 9:19 am
  • Reply Sarah @ 12 Twenty Seven

    The backsplash looks amazing and so does your kitchen! We’ve definitely tackled projects that have taken a lot longer than expected. We just have to laugh at ourselves because if we don’t, we get frustrated! And I’m SO sad that YHL are no longer blogging–I LOVED following them!

    October 28, 2014 at 10:05 am
  • Reply Faith

    Ok, so I want your kitchen!! I love the backsplash!! I want to see this house at some point! Lol!

    October 28, 2014 at 11:45 am
  • Reply Mandy

    I’m in the process of redoing my kitchen countertops and figuring out what I want to do with the backsplash. I’m a little intimidated to try doing it myself but I’m starting to get the courage! Maybe I’ll try to DIY it. =)

    October 30, 2014 at 8:34 pm
    • Reply Bex Stark

      it’s very easy! don’t be intimidated!!

      October 31, 2014 at 9:30 am
  • Reply Megan Walker

    What a difference this project made in your kitchen!!! It looks so great : ) Thanks for sharing on Hump Day Happenings!

    November 2, 2014 at 9:42 pm
    • Reply Bex Stark

      thank you!!

      November 3, 2014 at 9:29 am

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