Subway tile backsplash paints a sophisticated picture. A serene view for your eyes and the mind starts to imagine how it would look on your kitchen wall.
It got its name from the old subway stations during the 1900s. These stations were hand-dug, and so the walls were not smooth and turned out curved.
Because of their petite size and weight, these tiles were easy to place on the station walls. Subway tiles hence are efficient for uneven or curved walls.
Everything you Need to Know about Subway Tile Backsplash:
If installed in a precise manner, a subway tile backsplash can add that extra zing you have wanted for your kitchen all this time. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the subway tile does not come in one variant. It can be glass or marble or stone.
Along with the material, subway tiles also give an option to be colorful. The tiles come in patterns with pretty colors. The basic thin subway tiles are incredibly inexpensive. They are readily available in your local hardware stores. Subway tiles are known to be laid in different manners. Form a mosaic if you please!
Any part of home renovation is the labor to get it done. If kept in mind with all the below mentioned things, you can be frugal and put the money saved into fair use.
Let us first see what all we should know before starting. These points will help you get a clearer picture of your task ahead.
Know Which Materials are Right for your Kitchen:
It is essential to know the details and depth of the products you are going to use. The foundation that you form for your subway tile backsplash will decide how long it can withstand itself against all the years to come. Likewise, try to rent or borrow equipment. It will help you save loads of money.
Check the Dimensions of your Wall Beforehand:
The thought of running out of tiles can be scary. To avoid that, measure the dimensions of your wall. While buying the subway tiles, you will know just how many to buy. If anything, you will be left with some extra tiles for precautions and not less.
Prepping the Wall:
Make sure that your wall is free of any old cracks or holes. If there are any, be ready with a filler to cover it up. You want your subway tile backsplash to look sleek and not sloppy.
Cover Up Your Kitchen:
Apart from doing the heavy calculations for your wall, you must pay attention to everything else around in your kitchen. Protect your kitchen platform, sink or cabinets mounted to the wall by covering it with an old rag or newspaper.
Getting to the inside corner of your wall can be challenging. If not done correctly, it can look odd after completion. Here is information about subway tile backsplash to kickstart the task at hand.
- For your inside corners to look neat, lay down your tiles on your kitchen platform before placing them on the wall. This gives an insight into the future on how your tiles will look.
- There can be a situation where your whole tile cannot fit perfectly towards one end of the corner. Cut the desired length of the tile and place it. Remember to cut it from its sides and edges.
- Never throw away the remaining part of the tile you have just cut. For your kitchen wall to look sleek and precise, place the other half of your tile adjacent to the same tile. In this manner, your subway tile will look complete and not inaccurate and sloppy.
- After placing all your subway tiles, what is left is to grout. Grouting your subway tile backsplash is as important as any other step. It adds more to the structure of the backsplash. There can be situations when you accidentally miss grouting a small part. To rectify this, keep extra grout with you.
- On reaching the end corners, do not leave big spaces to fill it with grout later. With grout comes an extra layer of caulk that does not look as charming as you imagined. It is the little details that make your work look seamless.
Further, there are many obstacles on your subway tiles backsplash on which extra care and attention must be paid. These can include power outlets or a light switch. This, too, can be quickly done.
Measure the distance between the switch and the last tile laid. Mark your tile and cut along the marks. A wet saw is an ideal and clean option for cutting tiles with a crisp finish. A simple tile cutter can do the same job but make sure the cutting wheel is in good condition.
- If it is tough to put adhesive on this small section, you can also spread it on the back of your tile and then place it on the wall. This can also be done for the whole wall, but this method can be a little time-consuming.
- Make sure that the cut edge is placed adjacent to the outlet or switch.
- But for fitting the tile above your switch, you must cut not just from the edges but a part of it in the middle. Double-check your measurements before cutting your subway tile for an elegant finish.
- Let the adhesive dry out for at least 24 hours before grouting the subway tiles.
When all the subway tiles are placed, and you take a step back to admire your work. Everything looks as neat as a pin. All that is left to do is grouting. The work is tiring, but this step gives the order to your whole subway tile backsplash.
- A small way to jazz up your plain white subway tiles is to use a contrasting grout. Since grout will be visual, using another color grout will look like you put extra thought into everything.
- Follow the instructions on the back of your grout package and add just the right amount of water. You want the consistency to be thick enough to get inside the space between the tiles.
- After grouting, take a sponge and wet it with little water. Press lightly to your tiles to remove the excess grout. Be careful with the pressure you put as it might displace the tiles.
- You might have to clean the same area more than once, so make sure to awaken your arm muscles.
- It is also recommended to use a grout sealer after it has dried completely. A grout sealer will give a long-lasting effect to your grout and make it look clean and fresh.
- The edges between the countertops, cabinets, and walls are yet to be attended to. This area is filled with caulk.
There are two ways to spread the caulk evenly in these spaces:
- Paste painter’s tape on the tiles and the surface, leaving only the space for caulk. After spreading the caulk, remove the tape, and you will be left with a clean-cut caulk.
- Apply caulk along the edge of your subway tile backsplash. Wet your finger and run it through the caulk to smoothen it out and seal it. Allow it to dry.
Few Prompts to Make your Subway Tile Game Even Stronger:
Most kitchen walls are not leveled. Every kitchen countertop has different levels. Before starting to place your tiles, measure up the levels of every section of your countertop.
It is noteworthy that the adhesive you use for your subway tiles backsplash should be smoothed out in one direction only. It helps in popping out the air pockets when you place the subway tiles.
Add spacers between every tile so that they do not collapse and leave space to fill the grout.
Start in small sections while applying the adhesive. Or else it might dry out. The same goes for the grout. Please do not use the whole grout package as it can also dry before you finish using it.
Strike a note to start from the outer corner of the wall rather than inside. As when you reach the inside corner, it is easier to estimate cuts for the tile. Additionally, the cut edge of your tile should be placed on the inside edge of your wall.
It is also advised to cover up the power outlets or switches before grouting. The grout mixture can be a little runny inconsistency.
Check that the power outlet is switched off before any electrical work or reinstalling the switchboard.
Owing to its complete and tidy look, it offers a minimalist effect, something you do not want to miss.
Remember, to err is human. You can make mistakes, and at the same time, you can learn from it.
So, do not be shy to try different things and experiment to get your desired result. Kindle the light of motivation inside you and put your handyman shoes on. It is time to hit the road!