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  • Writer's pictureJoey Kemp

Our Kitchen Remodel Part 3

Updated: May 16

Now that the cabinets and doors were complete, it was time to work on the backsplash. The existing backsplash was the simple 4" granite backsplash. I already had to remove the couple pieces that touched the oven and refrigerator cabinets, and was planning on removing slab behind the stove, so I just went ahead and pulled it all off.

Removing these pieces of backsplash and going with a light color tile would make the area underneath the cabinets feel much bigger and brighter. Plus, it looks so much better and more professional if you remove the granite backsplash rather than tiling on top of it. I knew I wanted to do a natural stone tile, but it was rather difficult to find one that tied in the new cabinet color with the dark countertops and natural stone tile.

After a few trips to different supply houses and hours on Pinterest, we decided on the Botticino 3x6 tumbled marble tile from Floor & Decor. My wife didn't want to do all white, and I didn't want anything dark since the point was to attempt to make the space feel bigger. So, this was a good compromise.

I used a 1/4" x 1/4" trowel and 1/8" spacers. Everything went pretty smooth except for the cuts around the receptacles and the corner where I decided to do a "wrap" pattern where the drop off was the next piece on the next wall. This stuff is marble and very hard so there was no scoring and snapping; you had to cut through all the way. Our RIDGID 8" overhead tile saw made easy work of this project.

I knew I wanted to do some type of accent design above the stove. I saw a ton of extravagant designs, but I decided to stick to a simple herringbone pattern. My original plan was to install a pot fill spicket, but I got a little carried away and forgot about it. But let me tell you, there was nothing simple about doing a herringbone accent section! I had never done a herringbone pattern before and there are people who argue about what the center is and how to start. I have a picture with a pencil line below that shows where center is. This is very important in a small area like this because if you don't make the center like I did, you won't have symmetric pieces on both sides of the accent area.

I laid it all out on a sheet of cardboard on the floor and drew my center line and border lines where the pencil pieces would go. I took the same measurements and centerline and marked them on the wall with my laser level. Then from the ground, I was able to copy and paste each tile in the same location in the pattern. Using a framing square and a level, you can make sure that the pattern is actually at a 45-degree angle. I've seen some epic fail pictures of people who had a whole wall at the wrong angle and just ran with it.

I didn't realize how many cuts this was going to take, but it was a bunch! Somehow all of the left and all the right tiles were the exact same size. Same for the tops and bottoms minus the odd pieces. I guess I did something right in the layout! Anyway, I was really glad to be finished with this accent section and ready to grout and then seal!

We decided to go with Floor and Decor's Biscuit grout, and I was really glad we did. It was still light enough but also giving it a warm feeling. Next step was to caulk around the cabinets and silicone every area where the tile met the countertops. I used GE Biscuit Advanced silicone where the countertops met the tile, which actually matched the grout lines pretty well! Then I used the almond color along the cabinets because it matched the new paint well. More pictures in part 4 of the remodel.

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