If you read my kitchen post here, you'll know that I was freakishly excited about our new tile for our kitchen backsplash. The two factors that made ripping out a new builders backsplash a done deal for me was: a) we got the tile at a SCREAMING deal! and b) I knew switching out the builder's tan backsplash for my white marble backsplash would get me one step closer to my white kitchen dream. And did it ever!
First, let's talk about sourcing. Normally, sourcing is a huge pain in my rear end, mostly because I fall in love quite easily, and then narrowing it down to one choice just kills me inside. If I had to think about it and really source and price and compare a huge selection of backsplash tile, I probably wouldn't be writing this post today.
But instead of sourcing, I stumbled. I stumbled upon the deal of a lifetime, I snatched it up before even thinking once about it let alone twice, and ended up with a garage full of tile that needed to go somewhere. I know I posted briefly on this in another post, but I attended a local interior design warehouse sale which is where I found the tile. It was $100 for 7 boxes of tile that contained 35 square feet. That's under $3 a square foot for a tile that retails for $30. And there was no tax on that price either, so it's more equivalent to under $2.50 if you factor that in! To be honest, I think most of the other shoppers didn't even realize the tile was a part of the sale, which is why I was uber lucky to have snatched it up! I can sniff out white marble like a police dog sniffs out drugs. When that gleaming white and grey surface caught my eye, my adrenaline was pumping and my heart was racing, and I think a single tear was shed.
After I packed up two vehicles full of tile and home decor finds, I instantly started thinking about my new backsplash. Although I did get an incredibly great deal on it, I was unsure about the cost of installation. I did just drop a couple grand at the warehouse sale, so I was pretty sure my spending spree was over if I wanted to remain married to my wonderful hubby.
The tile sat in our garage for a few months until my mom told me her bathroom reno guy would do the installation job for me for $30 an hour. Seemed like a incredible deal, but I also had no clue how long a job this would take and what it would entail. I had Ken over for a quick estimate and we worked out a deal that worked for both of us. We would buy the supplies (grout, thin set, spacers, sponges, drywall etc) and rent a tile saw, and he would do demo and installation. To keep his labour at 10 hours, I also offered to grout, seal, clean up and dispose of the demolition. Those things seemed easy enough, so why not save the money and partially DIY it?
After some pleading with the hubby, we finally pulled the trigger! The whole thing took a bit longer than we thought because Ken got sick after demo and before install, but the whole thing was over in about a week.
Here's shots of the old backsplash and drywall being cut out.
And the new drywall going up.
I am SO glad we didn't DIY this part. I watched him with his saw and it looked incredibly challenging. Our old tile was THICK so it took a lot of work to cut through it.
I'm also glad we didn't have to cut the tile or install it. I know many others have DIY'd this successfully, but neither I nor my hubby are great at these kind of things. I knew that $300 to have the job professionally done would be worth every penny (saving me hours of stressing over having to figure it out ourselves, as well as getting a professionally finished end product instead of a DIY job). If you can work out a deal with a tile guy to do some parts yourself and save like we did, I say go for it!
The above photo is after install but before finishing touches. The hubby and I were quite proud of ourselves for successfully removing and then reinstalling our hood fan without any problems. We just made note of the wires we disconnected (took pics with iphone) and then retraced our steps.
We did end up with quite a lot of haze (that cloudy film on the tile surface) that wouldn't go away with just a wet sponge, so I was happy to find that lightly sanding the surface worked (the tile wasn't glossy so I could get away with it). After sanding off the haze, I sealed it twice and called it a day!
Anyone else have any backsplash tiling stories to share?