Shannon Ingle, of Coffee Paint Repeat, is always looking for renter-friendly ways to update her home. Check out how Shannon created a beautiful kitchen island tile backsplash in no time!
Easy Kitchen Island Tile Backsplash
I’m so excited to be back sharing another DIY project with you on The Home Depot Blog! I am always on the lookout for ways to make my rental feel more like the home of my dreams and I found another great product to help me do just that. In this post, I will be using the Smart Tiles backsplash to take our kitchen island from bland to beautiful, with an easy kitchen island tile backsplash without even breaking a sweat! This tutorial is for all you fellow renters, those of you who have a fear of commitment when it comes to décor, or just plain love quick projects that don’t make a mess!
- Smart Tile backsplash – I used the Milano Sasso design
- Sharp utility knife
- Tape measure
- Ruler or carpenter square
Before the Update
Our townhouse has a pretty neutral color palette. Beige walls and dark cabinets, the usual cookie cutter rental. The island wall was a big, boring space that divided the kitchen and living room. It collected food bits and footprints thanks to my eleven-year-old. I was beyond excited to finally cover it and add a little color at the same time, with a kitchen island tile backsplash.
I choose the Smart Tile Backsplash in Milano Sasso because the colors complimented what was already there. This design has a hint of metallic shimmer that gives it a more modern look, which I love. The Smart Tiles arrived in a box, in pre-cut sheets with peel off backing. They make it super easy for you right from the start!
The first thing you will want to do is measure the area and calculate the square footage you will need and make sure the wall is clean. That is probably the most difficult part of the project! The tile sheets are so easy to install without any mess or special tools. I am not even kidding when I tell you I finished this wall in a little over an hour. I would have been done sooner but being a blogger, I had to stop for photos of course!
Before I hung my first tile I wanted to create a straight line to follow. I took a sheet with the backing still on and used it to mark a few lines along the wall. I then took my level and connected the dots. This way I knew my base line wouldn’t be off and send me on a crooked journey.
I started on the left bottom corner. Because there are tabs of varying lengths on both sides of the tiles just use your ruler or straight edge to cut those off and make a clean edge on the left side of the tile.
Peel the backing off the tile and apply it evenly with the start of the wall, the bottom edge and your line you created with the level. The first tile is the leader when it comes to applying them in a straight line so take your time getting this one in its place.
One of the most genius ideas is the overlapping tabs on the Smart Tiles. It creates the realistic look of continuous tile with full grout lines. Simply align the tabs on the second tile with the marked tabs on the first, I told you they made it easy! Repeat this step until you reach the end of your wall. Measure and cut your last piece in the row with the ruler and utility knife.
If you come across an outlet like I did, don’t worry. Place the tile over the outlet and very carefully cut the pieces away. Honestly you can even use scissors for this part if you like. The sheets are lightweight and very easy to cut.
Continue lining the Smart Tile tabs up with each other and making sure the bottom of the tiles on the second row sit evenly on the top of the first row of tiles. Then move up to the third row and so on.
Once I finished the third row I had to make some cuts for the underside of my counter. I measured the space and marked the back of the tiles before cutting to fit.
My kitchen island did have some wood brackets that I had to notch the tile to fit around. This sounds harder than it was. I placed a sheet at the bottom of the bracket and marked the tiles that needed to be cut away. You can either use the knife or the scissors for this like I did for the electrical outlet.
Before I knew it, I had a custom kitchen tile island! I can’t believe how much the Smart Tile backsplash improved the look of this space! The added bonus is they are wipeable. Now when my son gets food and footprints on the tiles I can just clean them with a damp cloth. The Smart Tiles are actually protecting the wall! They will never yellow or crack over time and when you’re ready to take them down simply warm them with a hair dryer to loosen the adhesive and they peel right off. No damage to your wall or your security deposits!
As a renter, I know I may not live here long but I feel strongly that we should all love the home we have. You don’t have to live in boring box with four walls and no personality. That’s basically like being in prison and nobody wants that. Make a few small changes that really pack a design punch, like these Smart Tiles!
I hope you love this project as much as I do. I catch myself smiling every time I walk past that pretty little kitchen island tile. Be sure to check out at all the other designs they have available. There are so many colors and designs to choose from. Smart tiles are resistant to the heat of stove tops and humidity of bathrooms so start those projects! You could tile your whole bathroom in an afternoon! Create a kitchen backsplash in minutes! The possibilities are endless my friends!
Happy DIY-ing everyone!