White Subway Tile Backsplash

Even though we use our kitchen every single day, the space certainly hasn’t gotten much love since we moved in back at the end of August.

Here’s what it looked like on our closing day….

kitchen-before-pictures-augusta

And here’s what it looked like after we painted, re-did the floors, and installed a new kitchen faucet

01-augusta-kitchen-before-backsplashThe kitchen continued to look very much like this for our first 2 months of homeownership. It wasn’t bad, but it certainly could use some personality & attention. So a few weeks ago, we decided to add some interest to this space with backsplash!

tile toolsNow, we fully intended to do this project ourselves. I learned a lot when Bridget tackled her own backsplash, and Finn & I chatted about taking on this DIY head first. But then we started looking at our calendar…and fitting in a project like this into our already jampacked holiday schedule just didn’t make sense. Why stress ourselves out over this project, when we already had 100+ other things on our new homeowner to-do list? So instead of DIY’ing the backsplash, we hired a pro to get the job done right (& quickly!)

Unsure of who exactly to hire, I turned to Porch.com which is a free home network that connects homeowners to quality professionals in their area. Bridget & I have worked with Porch in the past, but had never hired any of their pros for a project. After the launch of their new Porch Guarantee program, I felt confident that one of their professionals would be right for the backsplash project. The program guarantees the quality of work for Porch professionals who have been pre-screened and passed multiple background checks. And the best part? If you’re not completely happy with the project, Porch will cover the original cost of the job up to $1000. So it was a no-brainer hiring a Porch pro for our kitchen project.

After perusing the variety of contractors in my area, and reading many reviews, I finally settled on this pro. He came to our home, checked out our kitchen, gave me a quote, and right then and there we put a date on the calendar to get the project done. Seriously..it was that easy.

02-augusta-kitchen-before-backsplash-sink-areaSo I had the pro & the project date, but I still needed an exact gameplan for the space. Because our kitchen is pretty dark…walnut cabinets, dark wood floors, and black granite…I knew I wanted a backsplash that would really brighten things up in the space. So WHITE was the way to go! But what kind of white tile did I want?

I headed to Pinterest and started pinning kitchens that I admired. Then after about 20 minutes of gawking & drooling over amazing kitchens, I looked for a common thread between all of my favorites. And what did I like? Subway tile. Classic white subway tile.

05-white-subway-tile-backsplash-builddirectHonestly the answer kinda surprised me. I thought I would have been up for a more complicated pattern or at least something with marble…but I actually prefer the classic and clean look of a white subway tile. So I found this tile on BuildDirect, measured my space, and ordered it with complete confidence.  A couple of weeks later, and it was install day!

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My Porch pro came, secured the area, and got to work. 10-Porch-pro-working-backsplash06-backsplash-porch-diy-augusta

It took him about a day to get everything installed and up on the wall, and then the next morning he came back to grout it. I couldn’t believe how our kitchen transformed in less than 24 hours!02-white-subway-tile-backsplash

05-sink-kitchen-window-backsplash08-fruit-bowl-kitchen-subway-tileI have to admit, while I love a good DIY project it was definitely nice to have someone else take the reins for this project. My contractor did an amazing job, and I felt confident in his abilities every step of the way. Now I’m not saying the do-it-yourself projects are ever gonna stop around here, but sometimes it’s nice to hire a job out so you can focus on other tasks.03-augusta-kitchen-progress06-utensil-jar-salt-pepper-kitchen-subway-tile-backsplash09-countertop-kitchen-oranges-subway-tile04-sink-new-faucet-backsplash-subway tile

I went back and forth on the grout color, but ultimately decided to go with a light gray. I like that you can make out the individual tiles, but it’s not as severe as a black grout line. I’m really happy with the color.

I was also unsure about how to handle the edges. After chatting with my Porch pro, we both decided that doing a bullnose edge on the right side was the best call.

12-coffee-cup-flowers-kitchen-subway-tile-backsplashNow let’s look at some before & afters in this space.02-augusta-kitchen-before-backsplash-sink-area13-white-kitchen-backsplash-augusta-progress

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My contractor even took out the phone jack on the wall for us, since we don’t have a home phone line. Less outlets = prettier backsplash. 04-augusta-kitchen-sink-before-backsplash

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I’m absolutely loving the new look. It’s brighter, cleaner, and just has a classic kitchen feel that I adore. The day after it was installed Finn made his famous lasagna for us, and we didn’t even worry about any sauce getting on the tile. Looks great & it’s functional…gotta love kitchen upgrades.

KITCHEN TO-DO LIST:

  • Stain Floors
  • Paint Walls
  • Upgrade Kitchen Faucet
  • Install Backsplash
  • Hang new Kitchen Pendants
  • Add Window Treatment
  • Add Kitchen Rug
  • Find lighter kitchen stools (the brown leather get lost in all of the dark wood…)
  • Dream To-Do: Swap out countertops for something lighter (someday…..)

P.S. I’m guessing you noticed the new kitchen pendants in that last photo. To say I’m obsessed would be an understatement! More details on those beauties next week!

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 [Disclaimer: I teamed up with Porch.com and BuildDirect to bring you this post. All opinions & photography are my own and are not influenced by Porch.com or BuildDirect. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.]

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  • Sarah

    Sorry girls. I think this post has finally done me in. For being a DIY blog, there has been a lack of any real DIY lately from you (I don’t count mistletoe as DIY). I started reading after you were guest contributors at IHeartOrganizing, and although I like some of your projects, I feel your blog just isn’t worth my daily read. I understand the need for sponsored posts, but feel that they should at least feel genuine. You had a post about how great Crane and Canopy bedding is, but Casey has switched back to her old West Elm bedding in her new home. And then there was the sponsored post about using Sharpies to write on office supplies. Maybe you should scale back on the number of posts. There’s something to be said for quality over quantity. Also, I’m getting a little bored with all of the repeat ideas. Why does a person need Board and Batten in three rooms of their home? Why do all bedrooms have to have white bedding? Why do all living rooms have a white sofa and a wall of white builtins? You two acted as if Maggie’s condo makeover was an amazing decorating achievement, but you basically copy and pasted your own homes into her space. Maybe Pinterest isn’t the best thing to check for inspiration. Personally, Pinterest and blogs are all becoming the same old rehashed trends. No one is starting trends, just redoing what others have already done. Sorry if this seems harsh. I did enjoy your blog at one time, and wish you would get back to what made it great. Bridget’s office makeover series have been the only posts I’ve truly enjoyed lately.

  • I have been thinking about doing subway tile, but wasn’t sure if I should swap out the faux granite counters (yeah…) first. But, this post inspired me! We can paint and add the backsplash, and then tackle the counters someday. I love the to-do lists at the end of your posts! They inspire me, too.

    • Thanks Barbara! I feel the same way about our countertops..I was hesitant to put up backsplash if I want to someday swap out the counters. But I’m happy we did it because now we can enjoy our kitchen even more while we save our pennies for those dream countertops!

    • Exactly!

  • Amanda Scott

    Can I ask where you got your kitchen faucet? It’s EXACTLY what I’m looking for!

    • Hi Amanda,

      It’s from Ikea! I blogged about the installation and more about the faucet in the post below. One thing to note (that I didn’t realize before installation) is that it doesn’t have a sprayer. So if that’s on your must-have list, then you may want to go with a different one! Good luck!

      http://thediyplaybook.com/2015/10/install-ikea-kitchen-faucet.html

      xo,

      Casey

  • Even those your walls were light colored, it’s amazing what a difference the tile made! This would be my preferred kitchen back splash too! We’ve also removed all our phone jacks when renovating…no need for them!

    • Right?! No need for those phone jacks these days

  • Summer Hogan

    I love love love white subways! They look great!

  • The backsplash looks amazing! Love white subway tile- timeless and classic! Never thought to do gray grout though- I love that idea! I love the pendants so can’t wait to hear about those!!

    • Thanks Colleen! We’re loving the updated look.

  • Amanda Risius

    Can’t go wrong with subway tile! We installed it in our bathroom last year and let’s just say, I will be hiring out the project next time 🙂

    amandakatherine.com