DIY Tile Backsplash: What We Learned + Budget Break-Down

We tiled our kitchen backsplash this week. It’s one of those projects we’ve been meaning to do for months. (And continued to put off because we were a little intimidated by it.) But we finally decided to tackle it!

First, a reminder of what it used to look like without a backsplash…

And now, with the backsplash:

A subtle change that makes such a difference! All in all, we agreed the project was far easier than we thought it would be. But also agreed, it took a lot longer than we thought it would (16 hours of both of us working + a couple days of drying time.) There were a few things we learned that may make your next tiling project a bit easier:

  1. Use a wet saw. Some websites say you can use a tile cutter for certain types of tile. And it’s tempting, because they’re so cheap! BUT if you’re going around any type of outlets at all, you’ve got to use a wet tile saw. You can rent them from most hardware stores and it was super easy to use.
  2. Trace around outlet covers. Before you remove the outlet covers, trace around them so you know how far your tile needs to go to be covered by the wall plates. And then double check that everything is covered as you’re tiling so you can make adjustments in the moment if needed. We may have learned this one the hard way…
  3. Keep your counters covered. This is a messy project, from start to finish. Put some plastic down over your counters before you start and keep them there until everything is totally finished.
  4. Order plenty of tile. Several of the tiles will likely arrive broken in the box. This is unfortunately normal. Order some surplus so you have more than enough. If you’re renting a tile saw by the day, it’ll be worth the extra money to not have to order more tile and pay another day’s rental fee.

Budget break-down:

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