Charbel Barker, of My Latina Table, wanted a high-end look for her new kitchen backsplash, and she wanted the installation to be easy enough to complete the project in a weekend.
Follow along as she installs peel-and-stick tile from Aspect, and see just how terrific it looks in her kitchen.
Easy, Sleek and Chic Subway Tile Backsplash
When my husband and I bought our first house almost two years ago, we knew the kitchen was going to be a project in order to bring it up to my “dream kitchen” standard.
Our first upgrade to the kitchen was to buy a new stainless steel stove and dishwasher to match the microwave, refrigerator and sink.
Next, I refinished the existing cabinets myself. It was hard work, but in the end they turned out great, and the new black color really looks great with with the stainless steel appliances.
And that brings us to replacing the backsplash and installing a new countertop.
As you can see in the image below, our former backsplash really just consisted of an extra piece of the laminate countertop that was cut and attached to the first few inches of the wall above the countertop. We have never been really big fans of our countertop or that backsplash, so we were excited to get at least one of those projects out of the way!
One factor that had kept us from replacing it earlier was the cost of putting in a new backsplash. With a new baby on the way, we are definitely trying to save and be frugal whenever possible, which is why, after looking around, we decided to use Aspect brand subway tile, manufactured by Acoustic Ceiling Products (ACP). The Aspect tiles are convenient, relatively easy to install, affordable, and most importantly – they look great!
The first step in our project was to remove the existing backsplash. This was a more difficult process than we had originally thought it would be. We had to use a utility knife to remove the seal that was holding it in place, and for some parts my husband had to remove screws that were holding it in place with the countertop.
After a few hours, however, we had all of the former backsplash removed and were ready to prepare the wall for the Aspect tiles.
Just so you know, the tiles are “peel and stick” tiles. This means that they have a very strong adhesive that is revealed when you remove the paper from the back of them and which allows them to stick to the wall without falling off. Of course if you want to make sure, the instructions also state that you can use a standard adhesive used for other backsplash tiles if you prefer.
We decided that we would go with the adhesive that was already on the tiles, so we had to make sure that the wall was smooth and clean before we started the installation process.
After tearing off the existing backsplash, there were some areas of the wall that were not in good shape. My husband was able to fill in the holes though, and when it dried we used a fine sandpaper to smooth out those areas. We also were careful to clean the walls to make sure that the adhesive on the tiles wouldn’t have any problems sticking.
After the wall was prepared, we opened our box of Aspect tiles and read the instructions to make sure that we were doing it correctly. The particular tiles that we chose, metal decorative subway tile in the “brushed stainless” color, come in packages of three, which covers about 1 square foot.
Because of how the tiles are designed we had to make a few cuts to make sure that the first one lined up against the edge of the wall. The instructions say that the preferred method of cutting the peel-and-stick tiles is to use a jig saw. That said, for these smaller cuts, we actually found that using a sharp utility knife was quicker and more accurate.
Our method of cutting the small pieces off of the tiles was to use the utility knife to cut across the tile a few times, before lightly hitting the piece we were cutting off with a hammer. This caused a clean cut almost every time!
I have to say, these tiles were really easy to install on the open areas where there were no outlets or light switches. All we had to do was start at the bottom left corner and continue adding more pieces. We were careful to line them up perfectly so that they looked seamless for the most part.
It got a little bit more difficult when we had to cut pieces around the outlets and light switches, because that required more cutting. For some pieces we were able to use the utility knife, but for others we did end up using our jig saw.
All of that said, when using standard tiles for a backsplash, you have to cut, too, and I am sure that it would have taken us much longer to tile our entire kitchen!
I do want to say that there were a couple of times where we realized that the pieces were not lined up correctly. This mainly happened in the area behind our oven because we didn’t have the countertop to line up against. When this happened, we had to take the tiles down and put them back up again after drawing a straight line along the bottom edge to make sure they went in straight. Looking back, we should have done that from the start! In those areas we did end up adding a little bit of separate adhesive to the pieces we took off and they stuck on the wall perfectly fine!
After we got all of the tiles up, the final steps were to add the trim pieces, and replace the outlets and light switches. We used the matching Aspect peel-and-stick trim pieces for the edges, and they really pulled the project together and made it look great.
For the outlet covers, Aspect also sells matching peel and stick outlet covers which you can use to cover your existing outlets and light switches so that they match the color of the backsplash. They were pretty easy to install, and we really liked how they turned out.
As you can see from the image of the completed project below, the metallic tiles really add an extra element to kitchen. Instead of having the dull, ineffective backsplash that we had in the past, the new backsplash is very eye-catching and goes perfectly with the stainless steel appliances and black cabinetry.
The great part about this is that we were able to completely remove our old backsplash, and install the new one with the peel-and-stick tiles in less than one full day! We were also able to do it for much less than it would have cost us to install a standard backsplash, which is definitely going to make it easier for us to afford our next project – granite countertops, which we are so excited to get started on!
If this “brushed stainless” subway tile doesn’t work for your kitchen, Aspect has quite a few other very attractive backsplash looks to choose from.
All in all, we were very satisfied with the installation process of the tiles, and with the end product. If you are like us and are trying to remodel your kitchen on the budget, I strongly recommend that you check out Aspect tiles for your backsplash project. I am glad that we did!