subway tile backsplash reveal ...
Tags: Life, kitchen renovation, subway tile, Lowe's subway tile, backsplash, diy backsplash project, antique white grout, wet saw, cottage style decorating, thrifty kitchen makeover
What does a budding blogger do when a sudden whirlwind of activity knocks down the door, demanding your full attention?  Freak out?  Run and hide?  Embrace it and rejoice?  Well, this budding blogger welcomed the activity with open arms because it meant things were finally getting done and projects could be checked off my ever-lengthening "to do" list.  My poor baby blog has suffered as a result, but the reality is I just couldn't find the time or the energy to keep up with posting. 

In the last 10 days, I finished up my kitchen renovation (except for curtains and cuteness!) and got a new roof, a bit of new siding, and some new gutters.  My usually serene space has been a beehive of activity and overrun by sweaty, cigarette smoking men for too many days!  I am really enjoying the peace and quiet today!

Here's a look at my cottage-by-the-creek kitchen before I started my mini-makeover.  Note the 80s wall stencil, herb-themed ceramic tile backsplash, brass knobs, green Formica, and ugly black sink!

But let's talk tile ... I love the clean look of white subway tile and decided I liked the ones from Lowe's better than the ones from Home Depot because they were a tad thicker and were made by American Olean.  My installer arrived on Wednesday morning (7/20) and I sheepishly asked him if he'd mind teaching me as he went along.  He pulled Ben into the project and taught Ben how to use the wet saw.  Ben cut all the tiles and did an excellent job.  My job was to adjust the tiles and insert the spacers. Gary, the tile guy, was a patient, thorough teacher and seemed to enjoy having two apprentices! 

I was careful to cover my new Corian countertop!  Each tile cost $.26 and I purchased three boxes of one hundred (38 square feet).  I had a coupon so I only spent $72.00 on the tiles and I have several left over which I will return. 

In hindsight, I wish I had skipped the spacers and just butted the tiles up to one another.  That's the way Gary planned to do it, but I thought I wanted a more significant grout line so I asked him if we could use the spacers.  By the time we got to the corner near the stove, we both couldn't fit into the space so I had to hang back and by the time I tried to adjust the tiles, the mastic had set up and I had a hard time aligning the tiles. 

I never imagined we'd tile down to the floor behind the stove, but that's what Gary did!  I was so pleased as it covers all the drywall and looks neat and finished.  With three of us working (on an extremely hot day!!), the laying of the tile took about seven hours - probably would've gone faster if we didn't do so much talking!  Gary is a retired-teacher-turned-handyman and readily admitted he wasn't the fastest tile installer, but he did a really nice job and was reasonable - $325.00 including grout and mastic.

I really struggled with the grout color.  I knew I didn't want white because I wanted to bring out one of the colors in the countertop.  Gary came over on Thursday after the tiles had set overnight, and he mixed up three different grout colors that I was leaning towards:  Mushroom, Antique White, and Almond.  I felt the Mushroom had too much red in it, though it matched the cabinets nicely.  The Antique White brought out the tones in the stainless steel range and faucet, and the Almond just didn't have the contrast I was looking for.  So I went with Antique White.  It looks very much like the tile looked in its pre-grout state on the day it was initially installed. 

I'm loving the under-cabinet lighting my brother-in-law installed for me.  It creates such a soothing glow at night.

Here's what was included in this mini-makeover: 
Wall color - Creamy White by Behr (to hide the morning glory stencil!)
Countertops - Witch Hazel by Corian
Sink - Cape Dory by Kohler
Faucet - Opulence by Danze
Glass Cabinet Hardware - D. Lawless Hardware
Gas stove - Bertazzoni

Gary applied the grout and caulk on Friday and I worked on clean up for a couple of hours over the weekend.  What do you think?  I've been working on a valance for over the sliding glass door to the deck but again ... no time to finish it up.  Maybe next week! 

Thanks for visiting today and I apologize for being a bad blogger.  I think things should be settling down ... the newlyweds are closing on their house as I write this.  They were supposed to close on July 15th but have had nothing but trouble trying to get people to actually do their jobs and make this happen.  So they'll be moving out this weekend!  And then we'll be cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning some more!  Their house has been vacant for many months and is DIRTY!  More on that, I'm sure, next week ...

Rejoicing in this day,

I participate in the following parties: Flea Market Finds, It's Party Time, Restyle Sunday at Stylish Once Again, Spiritual Sundays, Sunday's Best at My 1929 Charmer, Today's Thrifty Treasures, Make It Pretty Monday, Marketplace Monday at Common Ground, Masterpiece Monday, Meet Me Monday, More The Merrier Monday, Mosaic Monday, Thrift Share Monday, Uncommonly Yours, Cowgirl Up, Knick of Time Tuesday Vintage Style Party, Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays, Northern Cottage Party Time, Sew-Crafty Tuesday at Ruby Jean's, Tabletop Tuesday, Talent Tuesday, Tuesday Trash to Treasure at Sassy Sites, Tuesday's Treasures, Tweak It Tuesday, Twice Owned Tuesday, Good Life Wednesday, Outdoor Wednesday, Penny Pinching Party, Primp Your Stuff Wednesday, REDnesday, Share The Love Wednesday, Whatever You Want Wednesday, What's It Wednesday, White Wednesday, Wicked Awesome Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesday, 100 Ideas Under $100 at Beyond the Picket Fence, Coloradolady, Delightfully Inspiring Thursday at Delightful Order, Everything But The Kitchen Sink at A Little Knick Knack, House of Hepworth's, Open House, Thrift'n on a Thursday at Savvy City Farmer, Thrifty Thursday @ Thrifty Decorating, Time Travel Thursday, Treasure Hunt Thursday, Anything Blue, Be Inspired Friday, Feathered Nest Friday, Feature Friday Free For All at 5D5W, Fridays Unfolded, MMS Furniture Feature Friday, Potpourri Friday 2805, Show and Tell Fridays, The Charm of Home, Thrifty Things Friday, What Have Your Redone at Redoux, A Few of My Favorite Things, Favorite Things at Mockingbird Hill Cottage, Funky Junk Interiors, Get Schooled Saturday, Pink Saturday, Show and Tell Saturdays


Reply from: tricia on 7/29/2011 12:45 PM
 It's beautiful! I love the tile & the counters. Drooling over your stove : o )
Reply from: Mary @ Redo 101 on 7/29/2011 4:05 PM
 Your new kitchen is gorgeous, and I bet you love it even more because you helped! So up-to-date, now let's see what you cook in that new kitchen! Hugs, Mary
Reply from: Vanessa on 7/29/2011 8:37 PM
 Your tile looks gorgeous Lynn! I used subway tile on the backsplash in my old house and just loved it. Thanks so much for sharing this at Inspiration Friday this week! Vanessa
Reply from: Debby Schuh on 7/30/2011 5:17 AM
 The tile looks great! So glad things are working out and that the kids are moving into their house! Praise God!!
Reply from: Marianne on 7/30/2011 7:18 AM
 Hi, Lynn... Everything looks splashing - I mean smashing! O, your cottage home is becoming cozier by the day. By winter you'll be cuddled in and breathing easier. Sweet blessings, Marianne
Reply from: Mitzi on 7/30/2011 1:58 PM
 What a wonderful transformation! Quite lovely indeed!
Reply from: Poppi Linn on 7/30/2011 1:59 PM
 Your kitchen looks great! Love the clean, fresh look. Just discovered your blog. -Lynn
Reply from: Judy on 7/30/2011 7:01 PM
 I have been wondering where you were. I look forward to hearing what is going on in your life via your blog... You have been very busy. The kitchen looks great. Enjoy your hard work. Loved looking at Ed's pictures again. He was a beautiful man ins die and out. We were lucky to have known him. Love you.
Reply from: rHome410 on 8/2/2011 3:14 PM
 Love the tile choice. Great job!
Reply from: Sherry on 8/2/2011 8:22 PM
 This turned out fantastic! I love your countertops and everything else! What a beautiful choice on it all. You won't believe it but, the place you ordered the knobs, is not even a mile from my house. How nice the new knobs look, very vintage. Thanks for linking it to HSH! Sherry
Reply from: Ricki Jill Treleaven on 8/3/2011 8:49 PM
 I *adore* subway tile :D I am over here catching-up on your blog.
Reply from: Marilyn on 8/6/2011 12:04 PM
 Nice job. I hopped over here from Sherry's blog to see your kitchen redo. I applaud you for learning how to set tile, something I would probably never do.
Reply from: Lizzie on 12/10/2011 2:32 PM
 Love how your tile turned out. I'm actually going to use the same tile from lowes. Can you tell me what size grout line you used? I really like it!!
Reply from: flooring Honolulu on 8/28/2012 1:10 AM
 Thank you for this post. You actually did an amazing job. The white tiles are so clean and fresh- looking. These are certainly the best choice to contrast the color of the cabinets. Again, thank you for sharing this.


photo of Lynn - author of vintage blogs and etsy blogs Thank you for visiting Cottage and Creek. I'm Lynn and I live in a cozy 1952 Cape Cod style house in the heart of a historic village near Buffalo, New York.      ...more »

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