Curbly Recession Busters: Subway Tile Backsplash for Under $95.00

created on: 10/23/08

My tiling project in the kitchen that cost less than $95.00 and one weekend opens up all sorts of new decorating possibilities.  Constrained by the in-your-face handpainted tiles of a decade ago, there was limited flexibility in color choices. Keeping permanent fixtures neutral and changing up paint, art, and kitchen chair upholstery makes much more sense, both financially and visually.  I even feel a little smug that I'm living with my less-than-beloved painted white cabinets as a testament to my commitment to improve, rather than throw away.  For a reminder of BEFORE, click here.


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Cussot on Jan 03, 2011:

As an aside, can I ask you why you left the wavy trim board up? I think I would have replaced it with a straight piece or a more formal shape. Just a thought.

ModHomeEcTeacher on Jul 21, 2009:

Carol-I went to Menards and bought a white and a med. gray (powder forms) and mixed them to get the color of gray I wanted. I still have a batch in a bucket, now tell me what I'll ever do with that? :)

carol on Jul 21, 2009:

What color grout did you use--it looks great!

Brendar on Nov 06, 2008:

Thanks Mod! It's been fun and the saving $$ part is great. :) Thanks for the feedback.

ModHomeEcTeacher on Nov 06, 2008:

brendar-WOW!  That looks fantastic. You did a great job.  Now think of all the $$$ you saved.

Brendar on Nov 06, 2008:

created on: 11/06/08created on: 11/06/08

Here are some pictures of the backsplash finally done. I used the Lowes glossy white subway tiles and created the centerpiece from remnants I got for free from a tile warehouse. It was a lot of work but turned out well I think. I went with an off-white epoxy grout because I didn't want to spend much money on the high quality sealant. It was weird to work with but I'm glad now to not have to worry about it.

DecoratorGirl on Nov 06, 2008:

Creede, that looks fantastic!  That's probably what I'll do, as I'm aiming for a slightly more contemporary look.  I also really like the white grout.  Looks so clean!  I also hope to incorporate a bit of glass tile in a spa blue.

ModHomeEcTeacher on Nov 05, 2008:

Thought about stacking them. I would have liked it, may have been too sleek for hubby.

creede on Nov 05, 2008:

We did subway tiles in our last bathroom too, only stacked instead of brick patter.  Super good deal for a clean looking tile!


Here's a link to some pictures;


ModHomeEcTeacher on Nov 05, 2008:

Decorator Girl, I can send you some photos of the process, but I can't post them. You can email me at www.flipt@att.net and I'll send you the photos.

DecoratorGirl on Nov 05, 2008:

I went to Lowe's this past weekend to be sure they had these, and sure enough, they did!  22 cents each.  Home Depot has them for 21 cents each, but the ones at Home Depot have a tiny bit of a gray tint to them when you compare them to the ones at Lowe's.  It probably wouldn't be very noticeable, but just an FYI for anyone who's thinking about doing this project.  The ones at Lowe's are a truer, crisper white.

I'm so anxious to get started on mine, but I need to do sooo much before I'm to the point where I can do tile.


LenkArt on Nov 05, 2008:

Like it a lot!



ModHomeEcTeacher on Nov 05, 2008:

Creede-Thanks. It has jumpstarted my domino effect redecorating whirlwind.

creede on Nov 05, 2008:

Looks great! 

ModHomeEcTeacher on Oct 31, 2008:

That's a great tip!!!

DIY Maven on Oct 31, 2008:

Just remembered something--you can tint grout with latex paint. I've done this when mixing the grout with water but not when mixing with an add-mixture. Not sure how the chemicals would respond to the added latex, however.

ModHomeEcTeacher on Oct 31, 2008:

They had alot of colors but mostly in whites, beiges, dark brown, black, blue--Nothing in a light to med. gray.  I had a specific gray I wanted, theirs was too light-almost white.

DIY Maven on Oct 31, 2008:

Really?! We buy our grout  and thinset (both Superior brand) exclusively at The Tile Shop. Selection is great--2 dozen different colors.

ModHomeEcTeacher on Oct 30, 2008:

Maven-no shops around here had a enough of a selection.  I tried The Tile Shop, Lowes and Home Depot.  Their colors were really, really minimal.

DIY Maven on Oct 30, 2008:

Brendar--Many tile shops cater to DIYers. They'll have several dozen different grout colors--both sanded and non-sanded--to choose from.

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