How to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel

How to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel

How to Save Money on a Kitchen RemodelFind out how to save money on a kitchen remodel from GNH designer, Michele Gregg.

Are you dreaming of an updated kitchen but don’t have a huge budget to spend? Maybe you’re thinking of selling and want to bump up the value of your existing kitchen and make a great first impression? Well, you’ve come to the right place! From a few small cosmetic updates to a major reno, GNH kitchen designer, Michele Gregg shares her secrets for how to save money on a kitchen remodel.

If you’re looking to update your kitchen on a tight budget, there are many different approaches depending on the size of your project. There are a few tried and true updates that are low cost with big impact. But if you have a little bit more to spend, a well-placed upgrade can reap big rewards when it comes to resale value.

Here are a few simple ways to create a functional & aesthetically pleasing kitchen, without spending a fortune.

  1. Fresh coat of paint. A new wall color can change the room drastically!
  2. Wallpaper an accent wall. Wallpaper is making a comeback! Give the room a focal point… Easily add texture and depth.
  3. Hang a new light. Swapping out existing light fixtures will give a fresh update to your space. You can select a light to fit your desired style.
  4. Add undercabinet lighting, gives great task lighting!
  5. Replace your faucet.
  6. Swap out your cabinet hardware. This is a great way to add some style to your cabinetry.

The best part? All these projects can be completed by a DIY homeowner on a weekend!

How to save money on a kitchen remodel - fresh coat of paint

For a full-fledged kitchen remodel, you can pick and choose what to upgrade in order to get the most bang for your buck.

Here are my recommendations for cutting costs on your kitchen remodel.

  1. New Design, Old Layout – Embarking on a new design using your existing layout will help keep labor costs and construction costs down. Relocating appliances, plumbing & electrical can also inflate costs.
  2. Keep Existing Appliances – If you keep your existing appliances and replace only as needed, you can use that money elsewhere in the remodel. There are many appliances that you can swap out after your remodel is complete. With some appliances, advanced planning with your designer will be necessary. Example: Your current working refrigerator is a 32” wide, but you know you will want a 36” French Door refrigerator. Your designer can ensure your space will accommodate the future refrigerator.
  3. Avoid Costly Project Delays – With a kitchen remodel, it is more than just replacing cabinetry. Working with an experienced designer will help you navigate all aspects of this remodel. Designers stay up to date on trends & new materials. They are familiar with their local building codes and working with contractors. Their experience will translate to avoiding delays and will save money in the long run.
  4. Choose Affordable Cabinetry – Cabinetry comes in a variety of pricing. All serve a purpose, when paired with the right application. Working with a designer will help you navigate the quality, customization, and necessities for your space & budget.
  5. Prioritize Needs vs. Wants – Make a list of ideas, necessities, and dreams for your space… prioritize them in order of most important to least important. Be realistic with yourself! Understand how certain cost-effective products can help with achieving your dream list. Or invest in top desired items first and stretch your projects out over time.

What's the Best Layout for Large Kitchens?

7 Kitchen Remodel Tips From the Pros

7 Kitchen Remodel Tips from the ProsLooking for kitchen remodel tips from the pros?

Get a jump-start on planning and designing the perfect kitchen for your family! It’s easy to create a gorgeous new kitchen with help from the pros. They’ve been doing it for years and are often on top of the newest trends. To help you get started, check out these 7 kitchen remodel tips and trends from GNH Kitchen Designer, Michele Gregg.

Things to Consider as You Plan a New Kitchen

1) Budget Wisely

When you’re planning a kitchen remodel, making a budget and sticking to it is key. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recommends spending 15-20% of your home’s value on your kitchen remodel. This guideline ensures that your new kitchen is a wonderful investment towards the value of your home.

2) Consult a Pro

Don’t forget: a kitchen remodel involves more than just replacing cabinetry. Working with an experienced designer will help you navigate all aspects of your kitchen remodel. From cabinets and countertops, to lighting and fixtures, and more! Designers stay up to date on trends & new materials. They are familiar with their local building codes and working with contractors. Their experience will translate to avoiding delays and will save money in the long run.

3) Have patience!

Each space is unique, and your perfect kitchen will take time to design, plan and create. Take time to enjoy the process of designing, planning, and product selection. It will be worth it in the long run! The more challenges you can anticipate and solve in advance, the faster your remodel will go, and the more money you will save.

7 Kitchen Remodel Tips from the Pros - Smart Kitchens

Popular Kitchen Design Trends

4) Add More Functions

Today’s kitchens are designed to accommodate more than just cooking. Kitchen designers now create spaces where people can gather, play games, and even work on their laptops or mobile devices. Of course, the modern kitchen is still a place for cooking, baking, cleanup and prepping meals. But, in addition to these basic functions, our kitchens have evolved. We’re now using this all-important room to entertain our family & friends, help our kids finish their homework, balance household budgets or plan parties–and much more!

5) Break it Open

Open concepts are very popular. Even the smallest kitchens will feel bigger and brighter in an open concept layout. This also floods the space with daylight coming from windows in other rooms and can facilitate airflow. But larger kitchen spaces are also trending towards the open concept layout. By opening up this all-important room to the living room, you make it easier to interact with your family or guests from the kitchen as they relax on the couch. You can add space needed to create “entertaining zones” like coffee nooks, breakfast bars, and more.

6) Work Smarter

Smart kitchens are plugging in. More and more, manufactures are implementing “smart” technology into the kitchen and bath. You can now turn on or adjust the settings of your appliances and faucets with Alexa, Google, or your smart phone or device. Expect to see more innovation with technology in the kitchen and bath over the next few years.

7) Go Bold

Design with color and texture in mind. White Shaker style cabinetry has been popular for years now. While it still remains popular, we are now finding ways to introduce color and texture. A dark navy-blue island stands out against the white perimeter cabinets. Wood stained floating shelves that coordinate with the hardwood floors. A honed or “leathered finish” countertop that creates warmth.

7 Kitchen Remodel Tips from the Pros - Design Trends

Have fun designing your gorgeous new kitchen!

What’s the Timeframe for a Kitchen Remodel?

What’s the Timeframe for a Kitchen Remodel?

What’s the Timeframe for a Kitchen Remodel?

It’s exciting to plan a new kitchen, especially if you’ve been living with an outdated space. You envision sleek new countertops, cabinets, and appliances. You might even have the hardware and paint colors selected!

But a kitchen renovation, like all home improvement projects, involves a very specific timeframe. Knowing what to expect during a kitchen remodel will help you and your whole family relax and enjoy the transition from an ugly old kitchen to a beautiful new one. Here are a few key guidelines for any kitchen design project from KraftMaid Cabinetry.

1) PLAN

What will your new kitchen look like? How will it function? What is your budget? These are all questions to answer while planning your remodel. KraftMaid suggests revising your design plan often. “It’s easier and far less expensive to try out ideas on paper than it is to change course after you order materials and begin construction.”

It helps to work with an expert GNH Kitchen Designer as you plan. They will make suggestions that can save you time and money, help you choose materials, and even recommend local contractors!

2) ORDER

Expect 4-6 weeks before your cabinets arrive. This gives you time to purchase fixtures, flooring, and appliances. Plan ahead for life during construction during this time. You may need to set up a temporary kitchen elsewhere in the home, plan easier methods for cooking meals, and other logistical concerns.

3) CONSTRUCTION 

Depending on the scope of your kitchen design project, construction can take a few days or up to 2 weeks. Your kitchen designer will have the best sense of the exact timeframe. During this stage, demolition happens, as well as plumbing, electric, and HVAC, as needed. Expect surprises and delays—they’re a normal part of every remodel!

4) INSTALLATION

This is where the magic happens! Your new kitchen starts to come to life as your contractor lays flooring, installs new cabinets and countertops, as well as lighting, faucets, backsplash, and hardware.

Source: https://www.kraftmaid.com/getting-ready/planning-your-project/project-timeline/

What's the Best Layout for Large Kitchens?

What’s the Best Layout for Large Kitchens?

What's the Best Layout for Large Kitchens?

Is your kitchen space large or open concept? The layout of your kitchen design will help establish work zones, influence counter space, and allow for seating – or maybe not. Your GNH designer will help you choose a layout that maximizes your larger kitchen space and supports your family’s goals.

Download our free kitchen planning guide.

Here are two popular kitchen layouts for larger kitchens from KraftMaid:

1. G-Shaped Kitchens

This layout uses nearly every square foot of available floor space by adding a peninsula or partial fourth wall of base cabinets to a U-shaped layout. Because the narrower entrance into the work zone can make a cook feel claustrophobic, this layout works best in larger kitchens.

  • Adding a short return on the open side of U-shaped layout minimizes traffic flow in and out of the work zone.
  • There are plenty of places to set up specialized zones.
  • This layout features the most corner base cabinets. Use corner storage solutions in your design plan to maximize utility in these awkward spaces.

2. U-Shaped Kitchens

A U-shaped kitchen has cabinets along three walls with open access on the remaining side.  If your room is large enough, set up multiple work zones on different sides of the “U” so two people can use the kitchen without getting into each other’s way.

  • Continuous countertops and ample storage surround the cook.
  • A U-shaped kitchen has potential for more upper cabinets than other layouts.
  • When three perimeter walls aren’t available, add a peninsula to an L-shaped kitchen to form the third side of the “U.”

Source: https://www.kraftmaid.com/getting-ready/planning-your-project/layout-options/

custom-kitchen-design

Brighten Up Your Kitchen in 3 Easy Steps

custom-kitchen-designKitchens are often central to a home, both in terms of their physical location and with regards to their importance. It’s where we prepare our morning coffee, make the kids’ packed lunches, bake birthday cakes, and gather when hosting holiday dinners. So, why tolerate a dark and gloomy kitchen?

Instead of letting your dull, outdated kitchen get you down, give yourself the bright, new kitchen you really want to spend time in.

There are many tips and tricks to making your kitchen brighter, including these 3 budget-friendly kitchen improvement steps.

1. Fresh Paint

painting-kitchenThere are several kitchen elements that can be brightened up with a fresh coat of paint, including:

  •  The Ceiling
    If the room’s ceiling is painted a dark color, or has dark wooden beams, it’s probably casting a pall over the entire room. Buy a can or two of white paint and give the ceiling a fresh coat! The bright white will reflect light instead of absorbing it, and you’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes. If you don’t want to use white, try a pale yellow or even a mint color.
  • Kitchen Cabinets
    If you like the layout of your kitchen and the style of your cabinets, you can give them a facelift by applying a coat of primer, two coats of paint and a protective top coat.To do this project correctly, you’ll need to remove all the doors, remove the hardware, tape the hinges, paint the base cabinets and use a sprayer to paint and topcoat the doors outside so you don’t see brush marks. The entire project could take over a week. But, you’ll notice a tremendous difference in the final result.
  • The Walls
    While you don’t have to paint your kitchen walls white, it’s generally better to use lighter colors. Sometimes just a coat of white paint on the wall will make a huge difference in your home’s freshness, and can even make the kitchen look bigger!

kitchen-lighting

2. Update Your Lighting

You would be amazed at what a difference it will make to replace your fluorescent lights with incandescent lights.

Florescent lights cast a darker tint around the room, while incandescent lights cast a pure white light.

Updating with bright white lights and adding about 10 can lights in the room will make your kitchen much brighter. Also, don’t neglect dark corners with your lighting design, and add more ceiling lights where it’s possible.

 

3. Make Full Use of Natural Light

natural-kitchen-lightIf you’re working with a dark room, chances are you don’t have a lot of natural light coming in, but it’s important to make the most of what you have.

If your windows are covered with dark shades or blinds, you’re blocking out your best chance for brightening up the room.

You can also use these tips to add more natural light to your kitchen:

 

  • Consider adding a skylight if you have that option
  • Choose light-colored window coverings that don’t completely block out the light.
  • If you prefer blinds, look for cloth blinds in a light fabric. Avoid wooden or plastic blinds that block out all the light.

If you’d like more advice or you have some questions about how to brighten your kitchen, stop on in one of our GNH locations to meet with a professional. It’s a proven fact that humans respond, act and feel better in a home that is bright and open. Brightening up your kitchen is a great start to feeling better and inspired!

How to Design Your Kitchen with Extra Storage

How to Design Your Kitchen with Extra Storage

How to Design Your Kitchen with Extra Storage

If you’re planning a new kitchen, or updating an existing one, it’s a good idea to design your kitchen with extra storage in mind right from the start. It’s almost impossible to have too much storage – but having not enough can result in frustration, wasted time and pervasive clutter.

Did you ever find yourself stacking pots inside the oven when it’s not in use? Or maybe your countertops are doubling as storage spaces for appliances and less frequently used items. In general, lack of storage makes it challenging to organize your space for ease of use. So, why not ramp up your storage from the very beginning?

When in doubt, call on the kitchen design experts at GNH Lumber for storage tips!

If you’re wondering how to design your kitchen with extra storage, here’s how it’s done:

Plan for Functional Work Areas

Plan for Functional Work Areas

Nowadays the kitchen often doubles as a nursery, laundry room or home office. Create ample storage even in the narrowest of spaces by taking advantage of vertical space (think upwards). Try adding high rows of shelves and stacking your appliances.

We recommend easy-to-assemble, fully customizable modular closets to create instant storage anywhere in the house. The best part is, they are very affordable compared to regular closets!

 

Don’t Forget Wine Storage

Don’t Forget Wine Storage

Have an extra wall in the kitchen that’s not very functional? The dark wine cabinet with built-in storage above is the ideal solution for a kitchen nook or wall that can be designated as a wine bar.

Wine Pantry   Wine Storage for Smaller Space

Or consider a pantry cabinet built with wine storage and a customized refrigeration system. With room to dispense and store, a pantry makes entertaining a delight.

Another alternative for smaller kitchen spaces is a wine storage unit stacked above your sink or in an upper cabinetry unit.

Large or Double Counter Islands

Large Counter Island

Making a big visual impact is easy when the large island is center stage. But, beyond its obvious functionality, counter islands also provide wonderful storage solutions of every variety. Consider open shelving on one corner of the island for easy access to everyday items. And keeping drawers for commonly used utensils and cooking preparation items will make mealtime a breeze.

Need even more storage space? Consider adding two counter islands! This makes a dramatic focal point and doubles the possibilities for customized workstations and storage solutions. You can even dedicate one island to barstool seating:

Double Counter Island

Organize Your Drawers

Organize Your Drawers

Black and white is elegant and contemporary and lends itself to many design options. Don’t forget, you don’t have to go entirely black with your cabinetry – in the KraftMaid kitchen above, the bold pairing of white cabinet doors and drawer fronts with black crown molding creates striking visual interest in this luxurious kitchen.

Or consider customizing your cabinetry in creative ways, like this combined black upper and white base Omega cabinetry combo:

Black and White 2

Finally, don’t forget to plan for organization of your storage spaces themselves.

For example, you can customize your cutlery storage with cutlery dividers and cabinet drawer inserts. And you can do the same for dishware with dish inserts to maximize storage in deeper drawers. Base cabinet pullout shelving is also a great way to layer up your storage to match your family’s needs – plus it’s easy to access items from any side of the cabinet!

Pull Out Cabinets   Appliance Garage

Take advantage of cabinetry solutions that hide your garbage and recycling cans, ironing boards, and more. You can even plan ahead and install “appliance garages” to hide those coffee pots, blenders and toasters that always clutter up the countertops when they’re not in use.

 

Sources:https://www.omegacabinetry.com/products/cabinet-interiors, https://www.modularclosets.com/blogs/themodule/5-sizzling-strategies-to-improve-your-home-organization-this-summer,/

Try These Kitchen Color Combinations that POP!

Kitchen Color Combinations that POP!

No matter the size of your kitchen, you can create a dynamic, stylish space by using kitchen color combinations that pop. Because the kitchen is quickly becoming the most popular room in the home, you should use the space to celebrate your style and personality!  We not only cook meals in this room, we entertain guests and host family events there, too. It’s the heart of the home, and the epicenter of activity. Which is why it’s a room deserving of a kitchen designer’s magic touch!

Make a statement! Try these bold kitchen color combinations. And, when in doubt, don’t forget to ask the kitchen design experts at GNH Lumber for guidance and tips. Schedule a free consultation.

Here are our favorite kitchen color combinations that POP:

Pale Shades Against Blues

Pale Shades Against Blues

A classic combination that never goes out of style, pale cabinetry against steely blues creates a beautiful contrast and can help evoke a nautical feel. This beachside kitchen by Mid Continent Cabinetry uses smoky grey cabinetry against a dark blue clad wall to make the brightness leap forward.

The reverse is true in the KraftMaid kitchen below, where designers used steel grey cabinetry against white tiles and ceilings and pale blue walls to create dramatic contrast:

Pale Shades Against Blues 2

 

Warm Wood Tones and Pale Beiges

Warm Wood Tones and Pale Beiges

The inviting warmth of the KraftMaid kitchen above is achieved by using soft beiges to highlight deep, reddish wood tones of the cabinetry. Turned legs, glass doors, and crown molding provide a rich wood texture that contrasts beautifully with the smooth tile and pale stucco-colored walls. Try adding a splash of color with throw pillows and fabrics, or add dazzling, colorful tiles, as in this Omega kitchen:

Warm Wood Tones and Pale Beiges 2

Red and Black

Red and Black

Black cabinetry is made even more impactful when bounded by reddish hardwood floors and cabinetry, and red countertops.   The color combination in the Omega kitchen above creates a sleek, modern space that serves as a backdrop to colorful tile, featured dishware or organic centerpieces.

You can also mix up black cabinetry with red cabinetry, as in the Mid Continent kitchen below. Try adding red accepts with whimsical lighting features, floral displays and dishware to create a stylish flair that’s all your own:

Red and Black 2

Black and White

Black and White

Black and white is elegant and contemporary and lends itself to many design options. Don’t forget, you don’t have to go entirely black with your cabinetry – in the KraftMaid kitchen above, the bold pairing of white cabinet doors and drawer fronts with black crown molding creates striking visual interest in this luxurious kitchen.

Or consider customizing your cabinetry in creative ways, like this combined black upper and white base Omega cabinetry combo:

Black and White 2

Sources: http://www.kraftmaid.com/, https://www.midcontinentcabinetry.com/, https://www.omegacabinetry.com/

4 Creative Kitchen Design Ideas to Try

4 Creative Kitchen Design Ideas to Try

4 Creative Kitchen Design Ideas to Try

Want to completely transform the way your home looks and functions this year? Because the kitchen is the most dynamic, gathering-oriented and useful room in the home, a kitchen redesign is an easy way to create a big impact. And did we mention that it increases your home’s resale value?  It’s a win-win!

No matter the budget or style, there’s a great kitchen solution waiting to fit your family’s tastes and needs. Consider these creative kitchen design ideas when planning your kitchen remodel. And, when in doubt, don’t forget to ask the kitchen design experts at GNH Lumber for guidance and tips. Schedule a free consultation.

So, what are some unique ideas for a fresh kitchen design? Here are our top 4 picks:

1. Two Distinct Counter Islands

Creative Kitchen Design Ideas - Two Counter Islands
Two distinct islands featuring Cambria Brittanicca™ and Roxwell™ pair with black cabinetry and gray hardwood floors.  (Image source: Cambriausa.com)

When it comes to kitchen islands, sometimes more is more. According to Cambria, if your kitchen is large enough to accommodate this design, “a double island layout may be the answer to all your prep, entertaining, and family dining needs.”

Double islands are functional and stylish, and a good alternative to one large island. They can help you create distinct zones for food preparation and dining, as well as facilitate traffic flow. Typically, in a double-island kitchen, the outer kitchen island is reserved for seating while the inner kitchen island is optimized for prep with a sink, cooktop, or both. If your friends and family spend a great deal of time in the kitchen, double islands may be for you. Having two distinct stations makes it easier to entertain a large group, create a meal together as a family, or gather for games.

In the image above, the Brittanicca island is used for food preparation, while the Roxwell island is designed for casual dining. Roxwell’s shimmer is accentuated with metallic hardware and lighting. A matching Brittanicca fireplace in the living room carries Cambria’s luxury design throughout the home.

 

2. Chic Meets Rustic

Creative Kitchen Design Ideas - Chic Meets Rustic

Highlight your kitchen’s focal point, like this stunning gold and black range, by opting for rustic open shelving.  (Image source: AmberInteriorDesign.com)

The black and gold range is a glamourous focal point, which is accented well by rustic, wood open shelves. Their neutral tones and minimalist design ensure that they play a supporting role to the more dramatic features in the kitchen. They also provide an interesting counter-balance to the colorful cabinets below.

When planning your kitchen redesign, think about which appliance, structural feature or other glamourous element of the kitchen you wish to highlight or make a focal point. That way, you can plan accordingly so another aspect of the kitchen design doesn’t steal away its thunder.

When trying to “de-emphasize” a kitchen design element, a good practice is to make use of neutral tones, simple patterns and less flashy textures.

 

3. Create a Working Style Kitchen

Creative-Kitchen-Design-Ideas---Working-Kitchen-Style

(Image sources: BenjaminMoore.com and Omegacabinetry.com)

As prepping and cooking becomes more and more a part of the entertaining process itself, restaurant-style kitchens are enjoying a rise in popularity. These kitchens often feature vast countertop surfaces, several large, deep-basin sinks, and industrial-style lighting fixtures in metallic finishes.

Get creative and add whimsical elements like rustic chalkboards for making quick recipe notes, large wooden cutting boards on display, exposed kitchen knives attached to accent walls with magnet strips. Then bring the look together with open-shelving that displays potted herbs, jars of seasonings and infused oils to help create a utilitarian feel.

You can go even farther by establishing separate work zones for prep work, sautéing, baking and clean-up.

 

4. Use Color in Unexpected Places

Creative Kitchen Design Ideas - Color in Unexpected Places

(Image source: BenjaminMoore.com)

The best way to change up your kitchen with a relatively small investment? Consider a well-placed coat of paint! The creative use of paint goes a long way towards redefining a space. Paint the back of your cabinets a fun color, like teal, to help them stand out from the wall, and brighten up your kitchen.

For a long time, white has dominated kitchen design. But, according to Benjamin Moore, “it may have to share the trend spotlight as pale or muted gray, blue and green cabinet colors shake things up a bit.

“If you’re not ready for a complete cabinet overhaul, consider a fresh coat of paint on lower cabinets or highlight an island with a different color. This will add some visual interest and a layer of detail, especially when the primary cabinet color is white and you use a deeper color on an island, desk area or banquette.”

Sources: https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/project-ideas-inspiration/interiors/kitchen-ideas-inspiration/kohler; https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/project-ideas-inspiration/interiors/kitchen-ideas-inspiration; https://refineanddefine.cambriausa.com/5-cambria-combinations-we-love/; https://www.housebeautiful.com/room-decorating/kitchens/g2190/open-shelving-roundup; https://refineanddefine.cambriausa.com/top-5-kitchen-layouts/

Creating a Kitchen that You – and Your Wallet – will Love!

Creating a Kitchen that You – and Your Wallet – will Love!

 Creating a Kitchen that You – and Your Wallet – will Love!Kitchen Designers are “Creative Problem Solvers”

When you embark on a kitchen design collaboration with Keri at GNH Lumber, you quickly discover that she is like a seasoned guide leading you through the difficult terrain of design choices, options and considerations. You have a specific destination in mind, and your designer’s job is to get you there with as few mishaps as possible.

Keri likes to think of designers as ‘creative problem solvers,’ and her first task at hand, when working with a client, is to gather information about your “project, lifestyle, and overall design taste.” Always, her emphasis is on listening:

“You can achieve a lot through listening and asking the right questions, communication is a large part of my occupation. I then build the design around what I know of my client and their needs, as opposed to simply creating something that I like. This makes all the difference.”

Download our free kitchen planning guide.

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subway tile backsplash

DIY: How to Install a Subway Tile Backsplash

subway tile backsplashSubway tile backsplashes are a growing trend in kitchens and baths and can make for a gorgeous, clean finish.

By taking on some of the work yourself during your kitchen or bath remodel, you can save money and have fun in the process! Installing a subway tile backsplash is a simple project for any DIYer.

Download our free kitchen planning guide.

In this DIY, we’ll help you learn how to install a kitchen or bath subway tile backsplash in 7 simple steps:

Materials & Tools

  • Subway tiles
  • Tile spacers
  • Tile saw
  • Grout
  • Grout sealer
  • Wall tile mastic or adhesive
  • Notched trowel
  • Squeegee or tile float
  • Sponge
  • Level

 

7 Easy Steps to Installing a Subway Tile Backsplash

Step 1: Apply the Mastic

Cover the surrounding area to protect adjacent surfaces.

Begin by applying the thin-set adhesive or mastic to the wall using a notched trowel while tilted at about a 45-degree angle, moving in the same direction. Use a thinner notch with this adhesive so you don’t have build-up and unevenness behind the tile itself. Create consistent ridges of the adhesive on the wall. Only apply as much adhesive as you can cover in 10 or 15 minutes.

Smooth over or knock down the thin-set to get rid of the comb marks. Otherwise, you’ll see the comb marks through the tile. The trick is to do this without changing the depth of the thin-set on the wall. Use spacers to make sure the tiles are set in a uniform pattern.

 

Step 2: Set the Tile

Set the tile into the adhesive. Install any border tile first, then position the sheets of subway tile on the wall next to the border. Align your outer lower tile flush with the edge of the countertop and press into the mastic. Work horizontally, placing your second tile next to your first and adding 2 tile spacers in between them.

Clean out any mastic that was squeezed in between the tile (a toothpick or a knife will work). This will make it easier for you in the long-run.

 

Step 3: Cut Your Tile

Once you are done with the first row, you’ll start on the second row. Remember, you’re installing subway tile so you’ll want them to be staggered. You can cut your tiles in half using your tile saw.

 

Step 4: Tackling an Obstacle

When you’re working around an obstacle such as an outlet, measure the distance between the electrical outlet and the last laid tile. Subtract the length of your space (most likely 1/8 of an inch), and then mark a tile for cutting.

Cut the tile along your marked line. A tile wet saw makes this project much quicker and easier with better results than other tile cutting methods. You’ll want your tile to be hidden under the switch plates, so make your tile as close the electrical outlet as you can. Use a level to make sure you’re on track and tiling in a straight line.

Step 5: Let it Sit

Once the tiles are installed, let the mastic set up overnight.

 

Step 6: Add the Grout

Once the mastic has dried completely, remove the tile spacers. It’s now time to add the grout!

Tape off any edges you don’t want grout to go, including cabinets, outlets and walls.

Mix the grout according to the package. The consistency should be similar to peanut butter.

Using a tile float, apply the grout to the backsplash. Use the same 45-degree angle to work the grout into all the crevices. Work in 2-feet to 3-feet spaces.

When you spread the grout on with the float, you’ll want to apply pressure into the tile spaces themselves so you are squeezing the grout completely into the spaces to prevent cracking and flaking over time. Run the grout line in multiple directions.

 

Step 7: Sponge Off the Grout

Once you have applied the grout to the tile spaces, it’s time to sponge off the grout from the tile themselves. Wet the sponge with water and ring out most of the water.

Begin wiping down the grout with the sponge. It’s a messy job, so you’re going to have to ring out the sponge quite a few times.

Get the tiles mostly cleaned of grout and then let it sit. Once the gout has dried completely, you’ll be able to totally clean the tiles. Make sure you let it sit before completely wiping off the grout or else you will begin to pull the grout out of the tile spaces!

Use the terry cloth side of your sponge for your final wipe-down before allowing the grout to dry completely. You’ll want to wipe down your grout about 5 times before letting it dry completely.

Step 8: Admire Your Hard Work

Now that you’re done, step back and admire your hard work!

Allow at least four hours for the grout to cure.

Congratulations! You’re an expert at installing subway tiles! Now get to work and make your kitchen or bathroom look gorgeous.