The kitchen backsplash was the first thing to go from the budget when the renovation began running over on some of our projects. It's an easy enough thing to DIY, but given that I have not one, but TWO walls of my kitchen in need of some detail, it was going to be expensive either way.
Here are some of the looks I was lusting after on Pinterest.
I wanted something simple, clean, and white, with a little bit of shine to it to add some sparkle to the kitchen. I was getting bids from contractors for 9-$1300, not including tile. This number is high because of the sheer size of both walls of backsplash.
Given that I am hoping to sell the home soon (think within the next year) and try to funnel more cash into my savings, I started looking at other lower cost options. This is where Smart Tiles comes in.
Simple, clean, white. 🙂
Just as a refresher, here is what I was working with before. It would have looked a lot better if I'd just continued painting that entire wall back when I painted the whole kitchen blue, but since I've wanted a backsplash from day one, I used that ugly gap of yellow to motivate me into action.
I chose the Plain Subway White. At first when I got them in the mail, I was unimpressed. Honestly, they looked really flimsy (and cheap) in the packaging.
But once I applied the tiles to the wall and the light began to hit it, it actually looked GOOD. And not at all like peel and stick tile.
I know, I know. I should really learn to clean up my kitchen counters before I take photos.
WHY didn't I know about these when I had a rental? Super easy to use. They're perfect, because all you have to do is unstick them once you're done.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
- Even though Smart Tiles provides some great tutorials on their website for installation, I still had trouble with the corners and outlets. And in my kitchen there are four outlets and a weirdly uneven window sill (pictured above.) I had to do a lot of cuts and some of them came out better than others.
- I also had a problem with the tiles and my stove side wall. Even after letting them “set in” for a day or so, the tiles would not hold up to my industrial grade exhaust hood. They didn't come off completely, but they did begin to buckle so I'll have to find something different to do for that wall.
- But with that said….for the price point of this product and the time it takes to install (About 2.5 hours, again, because of all the cuts I was making) you really can't beat this product. Especially if you're on a budget. I'd recommend it to anyone who just had one wall with few outlets or cuts to make, or for people in rentals.
The thing I could not get over though is how the light reflects off of the tile, making it look like the real deal. I was very excited once I got it up on my wall. Here it is again. Now that I actually have something nice on the wall the crackly paint on the windowsill is driving me mad. I'll have to do something about that next.
Here's a few before and afters. Loving how my DIY Roller shade looks in the photos 🙂
Total cost for project: $0. I received this product as compensation for my review, but if I were to purchase Smart Tiles the cost would have been around $300. Definitely more economical (and less of a headache) than a full on tile install.
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