Friday

Installing a Marble Backsplash

It's amazing how something so small can make such a big difference in the kitchen! Not only visually, but also being waaaay easier to keep it clean!

This kind of project usually takes a weekend to be completed and depending on the materials you choose, it can be very cheap.  The major thing to figure out, perhaps for me, was what kind of material to use?  There are hundreds of choices: Ceramic, wood, stainless steel, granite, glass mosaic, marble, etc. not to mention colors or sizes!
marble tile mosaic with mesh back


So, I decided on marble because in general, it seems a rather traditional-style material, just the way I wanted. The price for this material was not the cheapest; remember it's good to splurge in areas this small that get tons of attention.

The materials I used:

  • Marble Mosaics (enough to cover the area plus 15% extra in case of accidents).
  • Mortar (White, prepared according to specifications).
  • Sealer
  • Trowel
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Spacers
  • Sponge
  • Wet tile saw
  • Outlet Extenders
  • Tape measure and level
  • Silicone
  • Rosin Paper

First, the walls were cleaned and sanded.


The countertop was covered, leaving a very small open line all along the wall, where the marble is going to sit.

protecting counters with rosin paper during marble backsplash installation

A temporary piece of wood was attached to the wall behind the stove to hold the pieces of marble above this area, make sure is level.

installing a temporarily support during backsplash installation

The outlets were extended so at the end they stayed flush to the marble (Turn off the electrical current while working on this).

extended outlets for backsplash installation

For certain types of tiles it is important to center the design, usually above the stove.  I didn’t have to worry about this.

The mortar was applied to the wall with the notched trowel at a 45 degree angle. I began laying the mosaics, pushing gently to set them in place.  Using spacers in between each sheet.

I continued the installation, working around the electrical outlets until everything was covered.


Mixing the mortar



 





for $70 I bought this wet tile saw
it was one of the cheapest but it worked!
better than renting one!





marble mosaic backsplash installation tips


I waited 24 hours for the mortar to completely dry.

Once the 24 hour period is done, the grout can be applied in a diagonal way with the float. 

After finishing applying the grout, wait  few more minutes for the grout to dry a little before starting to clean the marble with a wet sponge, again in a diagonal way.

Once it was dried and thoroughly cleaned, the sealer was applied to protect the marble from stains, mildew and to help keep it clean.
how to protect marble
Sealer

Finally, silicone was applied in between the marble and the countertop.
adding a beat of silicone in between counters and backsplash

This is how it looks now:
after marble backsplash installation

marble backsplash installation behind stove

how to install a marble backsplash


and this is the before and after:

kitchen makeover on a budget before backsplash installation


kitchen makeover with backsplash


food storage containers on counter

kitchen makeover on a budget with diy marble backsplash


It makes a difference, don't you think so?


Next the total kitchen cost breakdown.


You can also click on the next links for:
Closing the space above the kitchen cabinets
Adding moldings to your kitchen cabinets 
How to paint the cabinets.
Build a range hood.
Build a fridge enclosure.
Update the kitchen island
Tips about installing recessed lights
Final kitchen reveal
1 ½ Year Later How the Kitchen is Holding up
Build-in Plate Rack
Pull Out Shelves in Pantry
LG Appliances Review and Complain




31 comments :

  1. Hi Cristina!

    I'm hopping on over to your blog from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia and am just amazed by your gorgeous kitchen redo! My hubby and I first moved into our fixer last summer, and it has been a work in progress. Currently, we are working on your kitchen and are looking for interesting backsplash tiles. Yours is just beautiful - my hubby really loves it {he is sitting next to me right now! lol}. Can you possibly tell me where you purchased your marble tile mosaics? Thank you so much! I am now your newest follower!!!


    Hugs,
    Jessie

    acozycottageinthecity.blogspot.com

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  2. It looks great! I desperately need a back splash in my kitchen. It makes such a difference! Awesome job and thanks for the tutorial :)

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  3. gorgeous! does that marble mosaic have a specific name? i love that it's a little bit different that traditional subway tile.

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  4. I linked over from the Inspired Room, and read each step of your kitchen makeover. It is gorgeous and you are amazing. I don't often leave comments, but you deserve big applause. Thanks for sharing your insights and work.

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  5. Please, check the Resources Page tab at the top, there you will find the products names List.

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  6. Wonderful message sharing for every home makers. It through many useful being news gather from here! Really I have like this site.

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  7. The pictures are simply stunning and amazingly well shot.I just cant stop my self to halt here and leave this comment. Very well done and great job.

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  8. I bought similar tiles a week ago to complete the same project (mine have glass tiles interspersed), then I found your blog! I'm so impressed with your hand-on approach to everything and your sense of style; definitely give me courage! Thank you for sharing, I love your work.

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  9. Looks beautiful! Great choice!!

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  10. Did you encounter any problems in cutting the tile on the mesh, with the wet saw?

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    Replies
    1. Hi emeterasou! The thing that bothered me the most was that while I was cutting the tiles they got separated from the back mesh that hold them together!
      The cuts took time, you have to go slowly with the saw, letting it do the job. I didn't align the tile to the saw I simply followed lines that I drew on the tiles.
      In order to keep them from separating from the back mesh, I laid them on a tray to bring them up to the kitchen (as I was working in the backyard)
      You would get soak if not wearing protection while cutting them!
      For filling remaining small areas I did it little tile by little tile.

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  11. Soooo beautiful!!!! Great job!

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  12. This looks amazing! I love it!

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  13. that turned out beautiful! Great job!!! :)

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  14. Your backsplash is just beautiful! Love the tile choice!

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  15. Your kitchen makeover is unbelievable! Fantastic job...great tutorials ...wow results! Just what other DIYers are looking for. I'm forwarding your site to my DIL, who has your before kitchen. Love it!

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  16. I would love to know where you found the roman shade. Thank you!

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  17. Thank you so much everyone! Dubree Family, the roman shade was bought at Amazon, you can find the color and model number by clicking at my blog's resources tab at the top.

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  18. Hayyy me encanto tu blog, muy instructivo,explicas todo muy bien, saludos :)

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  19. This blog is very good and efficient with what it does. You give detailed explanations on your posts which make people to understand so much about this topic.
    Stone Tiles

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  20. I LOVE the backsplash. Can you please tell me where you purchased it, including the brand and color? Thank you so much!

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. Fantastic installation and as a company that sells Carrara we love it. Where did you actually get the mosaic from? It does not look like it is one of ours from The Builder Depot: www.thebuilderdepot.com

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  23. Your new marble backsplash is beautiful!

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  24. Great tutorial, you are the first person I have seen who actually showed the electrical outlet spacers. So many people don't show that crucial step and then people have no clue! Loving your choice of marble, that's the one I am dying to use in my kitchen. Thanks so much for joining Dishing It & Digging It Link Party. I hope it brings you some new friends and great traffic!

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  25. I am so impressed by your projects you have done with your kitchen. Well done! I have bookmarked several of them! You spent a lot of time detailing your process for us here and it is so appreciated. I know others here have asked about the marble you used for the back splash you used, but you did not respond. I have looked online and can't seem to locate it either. Please share where you got it and the brand and model color name. I see a lot of hexagon versions of this type of marble but that looks more difficult to cut and line up. Please, please share. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! I added a link to the product in the resources page, the tab is at the top of the blog, but it looks like I need to add that info here in the post. I bought the marble mosaic tiles over at Ebay, this is the link: http://goo.gl/WOB2GY. It looks like they still have it.
      You're right, this type of tiles were easy to line up. Good luck with your project!

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  26. Thank you Cristina! What I like about this tile is the fact they are all the same width so it is easy to line up, that way you don't have to have the same pattern or line of tiles the whole way across possibly. I am seeing either big blocky tiles all the same which seems boring or I see them with various widths and you have to line them up and it will all have the same pattern to it, not as interesting to look at. I think the tile you picked has a better look and easier to work with.

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