This post is in partnership with Lowe’s. We’re overhauling our kitchen and mudroom with Lowe’s and sharing our experience with you! Here’s our initial design meeting, how we pieced together panels + fillers, how we shopped for durable countertops and how we built thick floating shelves.
Renovation is a funny thing. It starts out exciting; you think, oh, the possibilities! You demolish something, and you’re buzzing with energy. You build it back up, and your muscles ache. You and your partner don’t agree on X, Y or Z, and you’re frustrated. At some point along the way, you see a glimmer of what the room will be. You get excited again, but then doubt creeps in. (Ugh, that doubt.) You say out loud, should we have chosen option B? And you think to yourself, I hope we know what we’re doing.
Only a few weeks ago, we were in the latter stages of the renovation roller coaster. We had white cabinets, light countertops and off-white walls. It was all so … white. We had painted the windows black and the front door pink, but it wasn’t until we tiled our backsplash that everything started clicking. The first row of tile went up, and click. Then the second row and the third row, and click. By the time we had rounded the corner of our L-shaped kitchen, we couldn’t stop smiling. Click, click, click!
We’ve tiled several backsplashes, floors and walls, and I promise you, you can do it, too! It’s a painless DIY with the most satisfying results, and although it does take time, it’s a skill that catches on quickly. In fact, the first time I learned to use a wet saw, I was hooked! However, I’ll say this: we’ve had a few different wet saws over the years, and a quality wet saw has made all the difference in the ease and overall success of a tiling project. We used this 10″ Kobalt sliding saw, and it was, hands down, the star of the show:
Tools + Supplies Used
This pencil tile
10″ Sliding wet saw
Caulk (matched to grout)
(A lot of) water
Heavy kraft or rosin paper
We chose to go 2′ up the wall from the countertop, and we topped the raw edge with a thin pencil tile. Anything higher felt too fussy for our laid-back Tree House, and anything lower felt like, well, it felt like an afterthought. We continued the tile to the left of the window wall, although at one point, we had considered leaving that wall bare. Shame on us! Initially, we did leave that wall untiled, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the space looked unfinished. A quick chat with our friend Daniel confirmed that it absolutely should be tiled, and by trailing that small wall of tile all the way down to the floor, the room somehow feels more high-end.
The tile backsplash and floating shelves were completed in tandem, which resulted in a truly custom look overall. We’re sharing the entire process from start to finish in the video below, including our top tips we’ve learned over the years! If you’re reading this post in a blog reader, you may need to click over to view. You can also view it on here on YouTube.
The allen + roth pearl tile is a chameleon. It’s warm. It’s cool. In the early morning, it’s deep and moody. It takes on a green tint in the afternoon sun, a result of the trees reflecting off the glossy surface. The bright white grout adds a subtle contrast to the slightly varied shades of gray. At various points throughout this renovation, I asked Scott, did we choose a tile that looks dated? Despite our inspiration photos, that silly doubt would creep in, haunting me. But in the end, we fully believe that the tile makes this kitchen.
We’ve been filling the cabinets and stocking the shelves, and the full reveal is right around the corner!
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In This Post:
subway tile | pencil tile | bright white grout | bright white caulk | pre-mixed mastic | wet saw | floating shelves | range | range hood | Kraftmaid cabinets | brass hardware | leather hardware | front door color: Valspar Pinkwash