Hey! Hi! I hope you had a great summer. With this pandemic and social distancing in place, it’s been a very different time.
Some good news, we’ve been blessed with our 7th grandchild this summer. A beautiful baby girl!
Where normally we’d be rushing down to meet her and celebrate her birth with her parents, the pandemic put a huge damper on that. Not gonna lie, that’s hard. We did visit over one weekend, but the entire time that I wanted to be feeling pure joy, it was replaced with a knot in my stomach worried I may have picked up some germs traveling to get there. After experiencing a different granddaughter get suddenly and very seriously sick earlier this year, the fear was real.
I’m happy to say we were careful and managed to meet our sweet baby girl.
I hope you’re getting through this difficult time and are able to still stay connected to your loved ones. Staying busy helps!
I’ve been extraordinarily busy getting so many small and large projects done before it’s time to come in and hunker down for winter.
Last month I re-did one of the units in a duplex we have owned and rented out for the last 16 years. My contractor helped me bring my vision to fruition for a fresh new look.
In-between doing the design, ordering, running for supplies and scrubbing (and scrubbing!) the dirt away. I painted every square inch of the place, all the while careful to stay out of the contractor’s way so as to not slow him down. It was like a slow motion waltz working around each other, making sure the wet paint and dust didn’t meet.
The re-do turned out so well, we actually sold the property! The kitchen was an amazing transformation with some paint, a fresh floor and super easy DIY self-stick subway tiles on the backsplash which really brought the room up a notch.
This was the before:
A prior tenant had painted the kitchen red and it was horribly aged, dirty and just ‘old’.
After some of the cabinets were upgraded and the remainder were scrubbed, removing years of layers of dusty grease, they all were painted a fresh coat of medium grey.
Finally the floor was installed. It is this luxury vinyl laminate I wrote about HERE. I love this floor. I’ve used it in my own house and I’m absolutely tickled with it’s performance!
Finally, to the backsplash…
This was the first time I used self-stick tiles. I wanted to finish the backsplash with tiles, but didn’t want the time and cost to hire my contractor to do it, so I decided to chance it with these DIY self-stick ones.
Can you see the faux ‘grout’ lines between each tile? They look absolutely real once up on the wall.
These self stick tiles seem quite durable. They wipe clean. The directions state they’re even safe in a shower application! The front of the tile are made out of a hard, shiny plastic type material. The grey grout lines are more of a matte finish, like real grout would be. The back of the tile have a super duper sticky rubber type backing.
I also added skinny self-stick trim to finish the outside edge. It has a dado edge to cover a little bit of the edge of the subway tile and looks finished.
Once the wall was clean and relatively smooth, my tools for installing these self-stick tiles were simple:
- Tape Measure
- Razor Knife
- Straight Edge
- Spray Bottle filled with a little soapy water
This whole backsplash project was easy to complete in a day, and it had relatively no mess. Yay!!
The biggest tip I got, and will pass on to you, is to use a little soapy water in a spray bottle to spray the wall lightly before applying the tile. This will allow you to move the tiles slightly to align them just right. Otherwise, once you remove the wax paper and expose the adhesive on the tile back, it is so crazy sticky it’s nearly impossible to move it, or get it back off the wall. (Yup, I learned that the hard way!)
Another tip is to unscrew the outlets from the boxes before sticking the tiles on the wall. That way they can be screwed back in, sandwiching the tiles behind them.
The actual install was pretty simple. I started at the corner and just worked across the backsplash, sheet by sheet, carefully placing the next sheet next to the mounted tiles to match the seams. In my case the countertop was fairly level so that actually helped be my guide.
The tiles are mounted on a flexible backing and cut fairly easily with a razor as I guided it with a straight edge. I held the straight edge carefully on the tile face and went slow with the razor. A few times to score a line, then once through the hard face of the tile, it was easy to penetrate through the tile to finish the cut.
There were a few little gaps in the corner where my cuts weren’t absolutely perfect to the wall. To fix that I used grey grout caulk. After all the tiles were on, I taped the face of the tile and the edge of the wall with green painter’s tape, leaving only the small crack open for the caulk application. I carefully caulked a small amount in the gaps. After wiping it smooth, I removed the tape and the caulk totally blended in with the faux caulk on the tiles and covered my bad cuts.
The transformation of the kitchen was incredible!
So would I use DIY self-stick tiles again? Like my Minnesota friends say here, ‘You betcha’! The finished look is really lovely and the durability seems great. The lower cost, easy installation and lack of mess, (not to mention lack of trying to nail down a contractor to install) is huge too!!
How about you? Have you ever used self-stick tiles? What was your experience?
Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to follow and share this blog with your friends, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Flipboard, Bloglovin, YouTube and Instagram! I appreciate you reading along.
Here are more DIY projects I’ve written about:
Did you know that I am an interior (including some exterior) decorator? Here you can find more info: Frame and Frills I do e-decorating consultation, via online from my office to your home!