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Your home should be your happy place.
Somewhere you can go to relax and get away from the world. A place to call your own. I feel like many people put off home renovations because the time and money involved. I’m here to show you sprucing up your home doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars or take up all of your time. I'll show you how I am working to create my dream home in my spare time with my spare change. 

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Wardrobe Overhaul
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Ashley's Room
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How to Tile a Kitchen Backsplash

 I have taken on a few tiling project before and by far the easiest has been tiling a kitchen backsplash. For the most part, the kitchen backsplash is a simple rectangular shape between the counters and the upper cabinets. Occasionally there will be a window, some outlets and the space behind the stove but nothing so difficult you couldn’t tackle it on your own.

I love the look of a simple subway tile backsplash, it’s inexpensive, classic and easy to install. I’ve installed it in two kitchens so far and I’m considering it again when the full kitchen renovation gets done.

First you need a few supplies:

Tile Mastic
Spacers if necessary (I'll explain more about this below)
Notched trowel
Grout float
Tape measure
Tile saw
I know it sounds like a lot but it’s really just a few tools for each step in the process.
Tile-First off you want to decide which tile you’re going with and how much tile you will need. I can help you figure out how much tile you will need but deciding which tile is all up to you. While tiling isn't to most difficult DIY task it's not somthing you'll want to replace every year so pick something you can live with for a while.

to find out how much tile you will need measure the height between the counter and cabinet and multiple that by the length of your wall. Most backsplashes are 12-18 inches, mine were 18" and one run was 5 feet long, so 1.5’*5’=7.5’ which is the square feet of tile that I will need for one side of my kitchen. I always like to get a little extra just in case so I’ll make it an even 10 for good measure and return any excess. With the white subway tile I spent about $20 on tile for one side. Another reason to love subway tile, its one of the cheapest tiles you can buy. 
Tile Saw-Next comes the expensive part- the saw. I knew I had a few tiling project in my future so I took the plunge and bought a tile saw. It was $89 from home depot and well worth it. You can rent them but they are about $50 for 24 hours so if you don’t get your project done in one day you are better off buying one. This is the one I have and it has worked well for me.
Towel, Float and Sponge-Lowe's has a great tile kit that comes with the notched trowel, the grout float, sponge, and gloves for $11( you can find it here). The only thing that I didn’t like was the notched trowel was for floors and the notches were too big for wall tile, so I ended up buying a trowel with smaller notches (see link below) but the bigger one has been worth having around for other projects. 

Mastic-Tile Mastic is what sticks the tile to the walls, it is pretty much fancy glue. Not to be confused with tile mortar which is used to install floor tile. You could use Mortar and be fine but I found the Mastic easier to work with. This is the brand that I've used, it worked well and was easy to use. It seems expensive but it really does go a long way. I only needed one bucket for the kitchen. 
Grout-Choosing grout was almost as difficult as choosing tile. There are so many options depending on the look you are going for. There are a few rules to stick to though. First off-there are two types of grout, sanded and non-sanded. For gaps smaller than ¼ inch use non-sanded. For anything larger than ¼ inch use sanded grout. The non-sanded grout does not have a thick enough consistency to fill big gaps and you’ll wind up with an uneven look to your grout lines, I’ve made this mistake-don’t do it. Second, well I guess it’s not a rule but a strong suggestions-if you’re not a master tiler don’t use a contrasting grout color. If you use white tile and black grout any imperfections in your tile work will stick out like a sore thumb. White on white is a little more forgiving when it’s all done.
This is the brand grout I have used. This brand comes in at least 20 color options and they all come in sanded or non-sanded style. If you look around the hardware store and see a display you like, there is usually a key that tells you which grout color they used or would suggest for use with a partiuclar tile. Each of my tiling projects, I've used white grout but they have all been different shades of white. But you can really pick any color you want, they even have glitter you can add! I think it's a little cheaper to by the grout un-mixed and you can mix it yourself but it wasn't worth the savings for the extra work. The pre-mix was so simple to just open and use. 
Tile Spacers-With most tile you will need spacers. However, the subway tiles I picked are “self-spacing for a ¼ inch gap so I didn’t need any for this job. You can look at the edge of the tile and see the difference, most tiles have flat edges and self-spaced ones will have ridges. If you do need spacers make sure you coordinate the size spacer with the grout type. I personally like thin grout lines to I stick to ¼ inch or under. (Side Note- the first time I tiled I used ¼ inch spacers with the self-spacing tiles and wound up with huge gaps, but since I bought ¼” spacers I also bought non-sanded grout and the huge grout lines look so bad when it was all done. Don’t make my mistakes!)
These are the spacers that I have used for all my tiling projects. There are fancy (aka more expensive) ones you can buy but I don't think they are worth it. There work just fine. You get more of them than you will ever need and they come in any size you could ever want. I think it's around $2 for 100 of them. 
Bucket, tape-measure and Level-These are pretty standard items most home owners will have on hand.
You will also want to put a protective layer of plastic over your countertops before you being. You do not want mastic or grout on your counters, it won’t come off!
Now that we have our supplies ready I think it’s time to get started.


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