Series: An 80's Kitchen DIY Reno- {Part 12-Marble Tile Backsplash and Sconces}

Thursday, July 23, 2020

We are nearing the finish line of the Kitchen Reno with adding the backsplash.  This part I did not do myself, but hired my tile guy who had recently refinished a bathroom for me.   He was the first and only tiler I have ever hired, and he did not disappoint.  He's a fast, one-man operation.  I picked marble tile to go with the counters.  It's such a beautiful stone, but I thought I wouldn't see much of it on a horizontal surface. So why not bring it up vertically!

I've used the off-the-shelf marble subway tile from both Home Depot and Lowes, and I like both. Home Depot's 3x6 marble tile is a whiter/lighter gray mix.  And Lowes' 3x6 marble subway tile is more gray.  The gray tones were a better fit with the marble counters I chose.  They both come in one square foot individual boxes. 

(Home Depot Marble Subway Tile -used in Guest Bath)

Mix Your Boxes of Marble Tile

My biggest piece of advice when using marble, especially if by DIY, is to mix your boxes of tile. There are variations in color in marble, so like it says on their website, mix and match different boxes together to achieve an overall uniform mix, and not big patches of one shade of gray. I personally opened up boxes and mixed the tile for my tile guy. He is VERY skilled at laying tile, but I don't think he was going to go thru and do that.

I have to share a blip that happened while the backsplash was being put up.  I originally planned to have a tile inset behind the cooktop with a border and mosaic tile inside.  As it was being done, the scale felt so wrong!  

It may not seem that bad in the pic, but in real life it just felt dinky.  It may have been because my cooktop is a 30" which isn't the largest.  But I also realized after it was complete, that I hadn't purchased enough of the border tile to make it any larger.  And the tiler had made it as big as he could with the materials I had on hand.  Now, I wish he had just told me that.  At the time, after he left for the day, I still couldn't shake the feeling that the scale was wrong.  And he was coming back to grout the next morning.  I had to "phone-a-friend" (thanks Quiana!), to get an honest second opinion from someone with a good eye.  We both agreed it was a little too small.  

It may not have bothered most people, but I personally knew that it would bother me for the rest of my life.  Lol, ok that's probably a little dramatic, but I knew that it would bother me.  And since I plan on being here for quite a while, I had to change it.  I didn't even want to bother with trying to make it bigger, so we just went back with more subway tile.  And to be honest, I like the clean-lined simplicity of just the subway tile, no frills.

On the kitchen sink wall, I used the matching pencil tile along the edge where the countertop ended to create a finished edge.  I should also add that crown molding was added to this wall, before tiling, since it came down with the cabinets that were over the sink. 

I purchased UltraColor Plus grout in White. ALWAYS use unsanded grout for marble. Sanded grout can scratch the surface of your marble. 

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