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Let me start by saying that I have the best daddy in the world. Yes, I said “daddy.”  I’m a Southerner through-and-through and that’s what we call our fathers — especially the doting, do-anything-for-their-kids type. There’s no home-improvement project he can’t conquer and I’m proud to say that I inherited my can-do gene from him.

My 1950′s kitchen has seen quite a few upgrades in the five years I’ve owned my home but the backsplash has always seemed lacking. So this summer, I decided the time had finally come to install a tile backsplash. Because I like to go big, I chose marble subway tile — fragile, costly, moisture-sensitive Carrara marble. Probably not the best choice for my first tiling project, but that’s how I roll.

My parents made the drive from North Carolina so my Dad could teach me the ways of the force while I did my research and sourced all the materials we’d need so we could knock it out in a long weekend.

Before: Not bad but it could be better. The paint color is Valspar Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue, if you’re wondering:

kitchen backsplash before

After: So much brighter! I had can lights plus a ceiling fan plus halogen lights over the sink installed years ago so, even with a somewhat dark paint color, the kitchen was bright before. But I LOVE how the marble reflects light: marble kitchen backsplash

I was a little concerned that the high-end marble would look out of place with my (not-so-high-end) laminate countertops but they actually look great together:marble kitchen backsplash

 I especially love how my thrifted Blue Willow and Rose Chintz teacups look against the new backsplash:marble kitchen backsplash

Here’s a final wide shot of the Before :kitchen backsplash before

And the After:Finished marble kitchen backsplash

Much better, don’t you think? Total, the cost of all materials plus renting a wet tile saw for the weekend was $650. I needed enough tile to cover 33 square feet so you can adjust your cost estimate (more or less) based on how many square feet you need.

Ready to show your kitchen some backsplash love? Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think: I’ll teach you how to install a backsplash step-by-step. Don’t have a weekend to spare? We have many more kitchen projects broken down into doable time frames for you in our Fast Fix: Kitchens feature.

39 Responses

  1. Bloginafog16 says:

    Actually I prefer the contrast of the blue paint. There are photos of areas that are pretty in the beautiful marble.

  2. Thanks , I’ve recently been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far. But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

  3. after installing LED light in my kitchen, it looks gorgeous like a restaurant kitchen. attraction is the best way to make unique.

  4. pstillings says:

    I agree,your cabinets do look much more rich and warm. Also,down the road you can always paint for yet another look,right.

  5. Guest says:

    I so agree! I'm painting mine white, but the wood looks great in this kitchen.

  6. Guest says:

    It looks great, Camille!!

  7. Guest says:

    You can always paint your laminate until you decide to change the countertop. You don't need to buy an expensive kit either, just buy cheap acrylic paints, an art sponge and a good sealer.

H. Camille SmithCamille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors...


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