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Installing Our Kitchen Backsplash

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!

How to install a kitchen backsplash

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.

See how well this ties in with the fireplace?  I’m so excited!


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.

Backsplash tile

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.

Pinted kitchen

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 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!


    • Lynn says

      Hi Shanell,

      It’s funny because when I was preparing this post, I forgot what the kitchen looked like when we first moved in.

      You can definitely do it. When you’re ready, if you have any questions, let me know and I’ll help as much as I can!

  1. Sara says

    It looks so good! I love the tile that you chose:) Thanks for the tutorial…pinning to save for later when I’m not renting and can attempt to install my own backsplash. #HomeMattersParty

  2. Penny says

    I’m amazed by how different the cabinets look with the different paint color. It’s gorgeous. Nice job!

  3. Emily says

    I love tiling! It’s so therapeutic to me and I love how it can change the look of a room and there are so many choices. I’m lucky to get to tile 2-3 rooms every month! #HomeMattersParty

  4. robin rue says

    Your backsplash turned out really nice. It was totally worth all the time it took to do it and get it right.

  5. Alli Smith says

    What a great job! When we redid our kitchen a couple of years ago, I almost did the backsplash myself, but I chickened out at the last minute and hired someone. Wish I would have had this then. 🙂

    • Lynn says

      Thanks, Alli! I was a bit hesitant also Alli, but I’m glad we went through with it. There’s always a bathroom! 🙂

  6. Amanda says

    We installed a kitchen backsplash in my condo years ago and I was so shocked on how incredibly easy it was. The hardest thing was going around the outlet evenly.

  7. Jeanette says

    This is exactly what I want to do in my kitchen. I am glad you have some step-by-step instructions cause I was not sure exactly what was involved. I am very excited to do it though.

  8. Tomi C says

    Your kitchen is beautiful and that backsplash is a wonderful addition. Hubby and I are trying more home DIY projects and updates to our kitchen are high on the list. Great job!

  9. Lisa says

    The backsplash looks superb! Great choice and thanks for the instructions. The last time we did tile, we hired and paid someone to do the work; it was so awful that my husband ripped it out and did it himself. It turned out stunning but definitely is not an easy job.

    • Lynn says

      Thanks, Lisa! Oh no, that’s terrible…hate to hear you had to go through that! I’m glad everything turned out okay.

    • Lynn says

      Thanks, Nicole! I thought it was going to be much more difficult than it was. It’s just a tedious project, but worth it!

  10. Cheryl says

    Love the look of this tile and you made it look so easy! I’ve been tempted to do something like this in my apt.

  11. Sarah Bailey says

    Oh my goodness how beautiful does your backsplash look, I don’t think I would manage to do it myself but I would definitely set up my other half to give it a whirl.

  12. Michaela says

    That backsplash tile is beautiful! Tile is one of the projects I wanted to do in our kitchen but we ended up moving before we were able to tackle it!

    • Lynn says

      Thanks, Joanna. We didn’t plan on going down the wall, but one we thought we were done, it looked so weird, we kept going. 🙂

  13. candy says

    Big transformation in your kitchen. Shows that adding back splash can be a real statement piece. Looks very doable..

  14. Sarah says

    Wow!!!! I love these tiles!!! It looks soooo great! And I’ll definitely be referencing this post when I go to do my own…. Someday!!! Lol

  15. Cherryl Ehlenburg says

    It turned out beautiful! I have always wanted a tile backsplash, but when we redid our kitchen a few years ago, my husband didn’t want to put in the time or the extra expense, so paint, it was! Maybe the next go-around!!

    • Lynn says

      Thanks so much, Cherryl! It was quite the project, but we’re so glad we did it! It was really more tedious than difficult.

  16. Christie says

    That is a GORGEOUS backsplash! I wish the hubs would be more DIY. I knew we could do this ourselves, but he has little faith. Maybe after reading this he would.

    • Lynn says

      Thanks, Christie! My husband wasn’t to keen on the idea at first either, but after several talks, I finally talked him into it. Now, he’s so glad we did it. Hahahaha

  17. Marysa says

    That came out great! Not only did you do the backsplash but I like how you went down the wall too. It definitely adds a lot of character to the space. You guys put a lot of work into installing it so carefully, it looks amazing.

  18. Our Family World says

    You have a beautiful kitchen! It is so roomy and has a lot of counters to work on. I love the backsplash. The color and the motif you chose really made the area pop!

  19. Jaime Nicole says

    Wow, it looks incredible! I would love to have a new kitchen backsplash – I may have someone do it though because there is icky tile there right now. You did an amazing job!

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