DIY: A Beginner's Guide to Subway Tile

I don't have a lot of hobbies beyond reading but if I had time to choose another, it would be DIY for our home. I can't tell you enough how much joy I get from living in this house. It is a dream come true for me. Christopher and I have so much fun thinking of more ways to make it more "us" and doing DIY projects together. And when I say "together," I mean I find the pins on Pinterest and he does the rest. My hubs is nothing if not handy with projects and so we make a great pair! 




Our kitchen is small but still a natural gathering place every time we have friends and family over. It was missing a little extra touch that would make it more "kitchen" like and because it's one of the first rooms people see when they come in the front door, I felt like it needed something extra. I started looking at Subway tile installation on Pinterest and I just knew that was the perfect thing we needed. When we moved in, there was no  back splash in the kitchen, just drywall. We also have beautiful, custom made cabinets that my grandpa had made when he lived here, so I didn't want to change them, but we knew we needed to do something to lighten up the room. We started with a beautiful, very subtle, light blue/gray in on the walls and that made a huge difference!  

Installing the back splash was a lot of work, but overall, a pretty easy project especially considering we have never done it before. If you are back splash super star, please give me some tips and feedback because our guest bathroom is up next! 

We had about 17 sq feet to cover. Here's what we did: 



1) Thanks to "Cliff" at Home Depot, who was our tile installation guru we found an easy starting point: SimpleMat - a very sticky adhesive  that eliminates the need for mortar. After washing the drywall and letting it dry, we stuck on the SimpleMat on the wall. 

2) Christopher then cut the tiles as needed but they came in chucks, he only needed to cut the pieces to fit up against the wall and around the edges. We borrowed a wet saw from someone to cut the tiles. 

3) We chose a dark gray, pre-mixed grout. I wanted to get that "Farmhouse" style look but if you wanted a simpler design, you can choose a stark white grout. They have several colors to choose from.

4) After letting the grout sit for a couple hours, we scrubbed it off using a sponge. It took about 2 or 3 times to get it completely clean. 

Easy and Inexpensive: We got everything we needed from Home Depot. The tiles were only about $3.00 per sheet. Along with the SimpleMat, Grout tools, the whole project cost about $150. Honestly, this simple change made a huge different and we are so happy with how it looks!