Our house is by no means a fixer upper, but there are things we wanted to do to make this house our home and add “us” to it. We often hear that we should choose one room to finish so that we have somewhere to go to among all of the chaos. We tried that method, but it seems as if we keep bouncing from room to room! We decided to install a natural stone tile backsplash in our kitchen as the first DIY home decor project in our new home.
Our first goal was to paint all of the rooms before we purchased any furniture, but oh my goodness! I knew painting a house this size would be a daunting task, but that is the understatement of the century! We’ve only got 2 rooms left, thank goodness the guest room on the 2nd floor and a guest bathroom on the 3rd floor. We’ve had a lot of fun changing things and it’s amazing to watch the rooms as they transform right before our eyes!
When our Realtor showed us this house, when I saw the kitchen, I knew immediately that I wanted to give the room some character and find a way to make the family room and the kitchen tie in together more.
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The 2 obvious choices were to paint and to add a backsplash. We decided on a gray Behr paint color called Dark Pewter from Home Depot. We had several other Paint colors we looked at, but Dark Pewter won!
Luckily, at Home Depot we found one we liked. We decided to install a natural stone tile backsplash that was similar to the stone/rock of our fireplace that would tie in the family room and kitchen together so much more! I had three backsplashes I chose from Home Depot, but in the end, the natural stone backsplash worked the best. We chose Inoxia SpeedTiles Bengal 11.75 in. x 11.6 in. Stone Adhesive Wall Tile Backsplash in Brown.
These tiles have a web-like backing which makes it super easy to cut with just a pair of scissors! It’s easy to bend and cut which came in handy because we had to measure to figure out how many tiles we would need. The areas we placed the backsplash varied greatly in size so we definitely did a lot of cutting! You can see in the pictures below, just how easy it is to bend which made it easier for us to measure and know how much we needed.
Notice the ends of the tile. They interlock with one another making it very easy to ensure they fit together.
The gray paint turned out great, don’t you think? Because it is so easy to bend the tiles, we took 2 of them and measured around the kitchen area to determine just how many we would need. After measuring we found out we’d need 4 full boxes of tiles. That’s a lot of tiles!
The Inoxia SpeedTiles Bengal 11.75 in. x 11.6 in. Stone Adhesive Wall Tile Backsplash in Brown comes in a box of 12. You don’t have to buy per box; they are sold per tile as well.
For this part of the kitchen for the tiles to fit underneath the cabinets, it took one full tile and 1/2 of a 2nd tile to give us the perfect height.
We needed a few tools to install the backsplash.
- Scissors and an Exacto knife to cut the the backsplash down to the sizes we needed
- Thin-set mortar to make the backsplash stick to the wall
- Hammer to break up sections for small areas
- A Dremel tool to shave down the individual stone pieces when needed (I think E just wanted an excuse to buy another tool),
- A tool (we used putty knives) to spread and smooth out the thin-set as we put it on the wall
Let me tell you now. This project is not for the weary! It’s not difficult, but it is very tedious. We have never put up a backsplash so don’t think you have to have done this before or that you have to be a Mrs. Fix-it because you don’t. You will need patience and time. Great music doesn’t hurt either!
This is what the thin-set looks like.
E and I took turns cutting the tiles, placing the thin-set on the wall and putting the tiles up. I definitely got a workout for my arms that’s for sure! E’s brother was kind enough to help us so things went a bit faster than it would have had it just been E and myself.
The squares didn’t fit perfectly around the outlets since they are interlocking (notice the open areas around the outlet). This is where the hammer comes in use. Each stone of the full tile can be pulled apart one-by-one. By breaking each one up with a hammer, it allowed us to fill in those little holes.
This is what the stones look like as a whole and what happened after we broke them up with a hammer. We were able to break them down into some pretty small pieces when needed. Between breaking them up with a hammer and shaving them down with the Dremel tool we were able to get a stone into even the tiniest of spaces!
Don’t worry if you’ve never used a Dremel before. They have wonderful, detailed instructions to help you.
After a couple of days, we had our backsplash installed. It was a lot of work, but so worth it!
Now time to clean, sand and buff these floors!
If you’ve thought about installing a backsplash and weren’t sure you could, go for it!
See ya later!