Kitchen Changes, part 2

4 May

Doing the happy dance – my additional supplies arrived and I was able to complete the second portion of my kitchen project.

The old boring white backsplash that looked more like a painting mistake

So, what was the hint?

It was a double whammy of the package and the ugly white backsplash walls.

It may appear that I forgot to paint the backsplash area grey like the rest of the kitchen walls, but it was actually a thick white melamine-type of backsplash that had been added by the previous owners.

Check it out in the photo. Useful in keeping spills easily wipeable, but totally boring.

We thought about ripping it out and putting up some tile-work, but it just seemed so permanent. I like to change things around every so often, so I kept holding off on the project because I didn’t want to spend the time and money on something that I might be sick of in a year or so.

Then I heard about a product called Smart Tiles. They sell them at Home Depot and they are basically a super thick, plasticy backsplash. The one I chose looks similar to a mosaic tile wall so I get all that tiley goodness, but could easily switch it out if I get bored.

My package o’ fun contained 4 packs of Smart Tiles

I went back and forth and back again about buying them. They were only sold online, so I had to depend on the reviews (found by typing Smart Tiles Reviews in google, as well as on the Home Depot website) to determine how they would look in person. I found the reviews with actual user pictures of their completed projects the most useful. Even though some people loved them and some hated them, I decided to give it a shot and placed the order.

A couple days later my friendly UPS man dropped them off. The directions on the package were super simple – basically, open package and stick on wall. However, I found a couple online tutorials that I found much more helpful. Here’s one and here’s another.

Of course, right when I wanted to start it was baby feeding time – so I fed Jack a bottle and sent him into a milk stupor/nap.

Jack is very helpful in completing my home improvement projects…

Once he was down I ripped open the tiles and got to work.

It wasn’t too difficult to apply and the melamine backsplash actually made it pretty easy to unstick and restick a sheet if I made a mistake.  Once the sheet of tile is on the wall, it’s stuck there really well (in fact, the directions say to remove it you’d use a hairdryer). It does take a degree of concentration to make sure that every piece is applied perfectly. You also need to have mad skillz with a razor knife because it is necessary to cut single strips and even single tiles to fill in some tricky areas. All in all, on a difficult scale of 1 – 5, I’d give it about a 3.

A few hours and baby feedings/dance breaks/diaper changes later and I was almost done. Um, note I said ALMOST done… I had miscalculated the amount of tiles I’d need so I had to order one more pack. Super annoying since I like to just knock a project out and move on to the next thing.

Anyways, as I said at the beginning of the post, the package came! I finished the project pretty quickly and am happy to be able to share the results.

Close up of the same angle as the first picture with the ugly white backsplash — such an improvement!

So, would I recommend Smart Tiles? I’d have to say that I would. They definitely were not cheap, but it was relatively easy to install the tile sheets and I absolutely love the results. With just the little change of painting the cabinet hardware and adding the backsplash, it really changes the entire look of the kitchen.

Remember what it looked like earlier this week:

Ugly gold hardware and boring white backsplash

After its snazzy makeover!

I still have a couple more things to do before I can call the kitchen complete (mainly buying a new dishwasher and oven), but it feels a lot more like OUR kitchen now and I love it!

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2 Responses to “Kitchen Changes, part 2”

  1. April February 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Looks great! Thanks for posting the review. I just ordered these tiles for a flip and am hoping they will give the kitchen a little boost 🙂

    • JoulesDellinger February 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      Thanks! They’re still looking perfect now, so I think you made a great choice. Good luck with the project! 🙂

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