Subway Tiled Back Splash...Finally!

I've been waiting patiently for
 10 1/2 years 
for a REAL back splash! 

Did I tell my hubby this?


But then again, he loves our new back splash as much as I do.

And the wait was so worth it!

I asked my young-and-cute-handy-dandy-handyman to tile my back splash with my assistance, of course!  He called on a Thursday and said he would be here the next day. We worked on it from noon to nine and finished it in one day. You can see the whole kitchen re-do in this post HERE.

Here's how we did it in one day...
Pre-prep work: Hubby took off the four inch granite back splash that was installed with our counter-tops. I patched the walls where the glue had pulled off some of the sheet-rock. Here in the above picture, you can see where I was playing with the tile design and you can also see the hand painted tile look that I did years ago in red and tan. It certainly was cheap and popular and it looked rather good with the red kitchen, but after 8 years like this, it was time to move away from a painted tile look to the real thing, don't you think?
I decided to try a tile backer called Bondera from Lowe's instead of using the messy mastic usually used with tiling.  This comes in a long sheet that is gray, with two sides very, very sticky but with a clear covering on each side to remove before sticking to the wall or tile. It's extremely easy to use and works great. I highly recommend this product. Yes, it's much more expensive but as my handyman would say, "it's worth the price when you consider the mess and clean-up time of the mastic."

Above, you can see that we had put on the backer Bondera. The beauty of this product, is that you can tile as quickly or slowly as you have time for. Just pull away the clear covering to expose the very sticky backer and apply tile.
Ah, the excitement...when my young-and-cute-handy-dandy-handyman applied the first tile!

I chose white subway tile because it is Timeless! I also believe that it will look good with any wall color that I use over the years. The black 'pencil' tile that I used was to add some style, tie-in to the black in my Quartz countertops and break up the sea of white subway tile.

I used a smaller version of the popular subway tile and it came in sheets instead of individual tiles. As long as we had no outlets, we could really go fast with the tiling. Also the tile sheets allowed us to withhold using spacers. Yeah, another time saver!

This product says to grout within 8 hours from tiling. So we decided to go ahead and grout that same day...that is why it took us until 9pm to finish the whole kitchen.I like the more streamlined look and clean look of grout that is the same color as the tile. Therefore, I used white grout.
All done. All beautiful!

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  1. I love it Terry! It turned out perfect. And you're right, it will be timeless...that it my favorite kind of (major) upgrades and re-dos. Who wants to redo something every couple of years, right? Have a great rest of the weekend.

  2. What a beautiful job! LOVE your new back splash.That is on my someday list :-)Right now I have no back splash :-(

  3. It looks gorgeous! Stopping by from the Sundae Scoop Link Party...
    I was thinking of painting a backsplash, but I'd really prefer tile. You make it seem so simple!

  4. Really nice! We just finished a bathroom tile job, so I know your joy.

  5. It looks beautiful! I've always loved subway tiles and I like your smaller ones.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  6. Definetely fabulous, indeed!! You did a great job and it's way better looking than before...I love subway tiles!! Enjoy your week.

  7. What a great tutorial. We've never installed tiles but you make it look so easy. It came out beautiful. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays!

  8. Thanks for the tutorial! When the spirit moves me, I'll be back to look at the instructions again. I've been planning to do subway tiles for our backsplash for two years :-)

  9. It looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week.

  10. Terry, I love subway tile. It's classic, and never goes out of style! Very well-presented tutorial.


  11. So bright and clean looking....I always thought the red and tan were tiles - haha! Your kitchen is just lovely - enjoy!

  12. I love it! I have almost finished tiling my backsplash with . . . wait for it . . . white subway tile layed in the brick style, just like yours. I cannot wait for it to be complete and hope it will look just as good as yours. Though I did use mortar instead of that sticky paper. Didn't even know it existed!

  13. I love it! And the blackpencil tile really adds something, it's obvious in that picture where you can see the whole backsplash. Good choice!

  14. great work. subway style backsplash is classic!

  15. Turned out beautiful!!! I've been debating on a tile backsplash for my kitchen. I really love how this turned out!!!

  16. Beautiful! Pinned so I can remember to try Bondera:)

  17. Looks GREAT! I have my subway tile waiting to be installed soon too! Can't wait!

  18. Nice job you did there Terry! It all came out beautifully. I agree with you – the subway tiles will never go out of style. With Bondera is very easy to tile and it does take long. You finished all your DIY projects in one day. Great job! Don’t forget to let us know you next DIY projects.

  19. Ah!! It looks so so so fabulous! I love it!! So worth the wait :)

  20. I love it! I CANNOT wait to do subway tile in our kitchen - I painted all of the cabinets and put up beadboard wallpaper for the backsplash until I was ready to do tile. Your pictures make me want to get a move on! LOVE!
    I'm a new follower! I hope you will stop by and follow too! :)
    Chris aka Freckle Face Girl

  21. Wow - looks dynamite! SO you put this on right over the red and beige tile? How did you cover the edges of the old tile so they don't show? Awesome project - I need to do this too! :D

  22. Beautiful!!! Your kitchen is fabulous!

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  24. I love your blog .This is a cool site and I wanted to post a little note to tell you, good job! Best wishes!!!

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