Guys, lately my kitchen has been driving me CRAZY. I’ve always known it needs a lot of work, but it wasn’t exactly a priority when we first moved since I was busy, you know, birthing a child and stuff. We definitely do NOT have a bunch of money sitting around to completely renovate everything like the room is begging me to do, so I’m currently on a mission to redo my kitchen with as little money as possible. First up: Update my terrible backsplash.
If you’re looking around, I know another option is painting tile. But as you know, all my projects have to be mom-proof, which means I have to be able to work on them after bedtimes or on the off chance my mother in law takes my kids for a few hours. But apparently tile paint is like ridiculously fume-y, so the house wouldn’t be fume-free in those time constraints. Even if that project idea would have worked, I really think the end result would have been boring… it would have just been plain white square tile. Lame. And spoiler alert: I was soooooo right. The result I got is a zillion-million times better.
Here it is BEFORE:
Oh, so much ugliness. If you look around the internet, there are actually a ton of options for stick-on-tiles. I know, because I’ve wasted HOURS of my life scrolling and scrolling through every one… like I do before I make like 93% of my purchases. I’m pretty sure it’s a disease.
As I was searching, most brands didn’t specifically state that their tiles could withstand heat or be placed over existing tile. Now that I have done this, I am pretty sure any brand would probably work over existing tile as long as it’s smooth. (Update: A month after posting this, I also put tic tac tile over my wood paneling! See that here.)
And the last reason I chose tic-tac-tile was because they had all their options on Amazon and I was overly impatient and excited about this. In fact I really questioned if I was going to last two days after I ordered it. But I did. Somehow. 😉
Before you peel
So first, you have to clean and degrease your tile or wall. I scrubbed my tile with one of these green scrubby things (that’s the technical term) and Norwex cleaning paste, then I went over the tile again with a rag and a water-vinegar mixture. Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing and I really expected the cleaning part to be a lot more difficult. When I hear “scrub your tile,” I get intimidated. I’m picturing Cinderella sweating and crying and the evil stepmother’s voice saying “GET ALL THE GREASE OFF THAT TILE CINDERELLA!”
…But in reality the “scrubbing” part went super fast, so then I used vinegar. Then I used sandpaper, but only because I had it in the room and it was the quickest and easiest sandpaper job ever. Theennn, finally, I just wiped it all with a microfiber cloth and was done with the cleaning part!
Reading all of those directions was more difficult than actually doing it… probably like 12 minutes total. Maybe I should have cleaned my tile more often. 😉
Before you stick
When that was totally dry, I finally started with the tiles. Here’s what they look like, straight outta the package.
Now this is where, if you haven’t already, you’re going to question my sanity. You can see in that picture, on the left side of each tile, it says “overlap here.” I saw this in the beginning. I really did. But I didn’t check and I didn’t think it mattered which direction those overlap signs went. So… of course I applied them the wrong way. This is after I put the first two down:
Sure, it looks promising. But those two took me FORTY FIVE MINUTES and a considerable part of my dignity. I was so frustrated. But you know why? Because this is actually the easiest project known to mankind and I found the ONLY WAY to mess it up.
So here’s the no-brainer way to avoid the only possible mistake. Look at the overlap sign, and don’t put them on this way.
The part that says “overlap here” is actually going to go on your wall, so make sure you’re place that one down first. Just like this:
Anyway, when I finally realized what was going on, I was miraculously able to salvage this whole project. After swearing at myself on the inside a few times. Thankfully the tiles come off and go back on without too much trouble!
Once I started applying them CORRECTLY, the whole process was completely different. The 15 tiles I applied correctly–including corners I had to cut and piece together–took far less time than the three or four I did incorrectly!
After you peel and stick
So for me, this took 3 hours. But if I were to start over right now, it would take half that time or less. It’s actually extremely easy to place them evenly and smoothly. Even for me. 😉 Here’s the backsplash before and after:
Even with the mistake I made, I absolutely recommend this to everyone. It really is stupidly easy and the difference in my kitchen is incredible.
P.S. Seeing what a difference this made in my kitchen inspired to move to the next thing part of my kitchen. About a month after this, I painted that ugly countertop and got awesome results. Then I used the Tic Tac Tile again on the other side of my kitchen wall! Finally, a few months later, I painted the cabinets and alllllll that ugly orange wood. See the whole project and transformation here. Here’s a little peak of how it all turned out–I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty amazing. Especially for $400.
It seems like my kitchen projects are becoming a snowball effect–every one I do just makes me want to do more! What do you have in your kitchen/home that you want to change?