rock tile wall

Kitchen backsplashes serve a functional purpose. They protect your wall from grease and even fire. However, today’s backsplashes are also pleasing to the eye and can set the tone for the kitchen. From stone to glass Mosaic’s, backsplashes can add a dimension and color like nothing else. So, what do you do if your backsplash is outdated and ugly? The good news is you have three options and none will drain your wallet. Your kitchen backsplash can be replaced, repaired, or the grout can be re-stained. All three will improve the look, but the option you choose depends on how much change you want in your space and how much you want to spend.

Replacing the Backsplash

This isn’t a large job, especially if your backsplash covers only a small area. It can be done by a professional tile installer or you can try to DIY it. The challenges with doing it yourself are making sure you have all the materials and the confidence to complete the job. If you choose the DIY method, you will need a drill/driver with a mixing attachment, a grouting sponge, tile-cutting tools, tile adhesive and grout. Regarding the adhesive, there are a couple of ways to go. You can use a pre-mixed or powder form, which will need to be mixed into a cement-like texture and applied to the wall. You can also use a stick-on adhesive where you simply peel off the backing and apply the tile.

There are similar decisions regarding the tile. You can get single tiles and install them individually, or get a tile block, which are typically smaller tiles. This comes as one piece of tiles connected together. You place the entire block on the wall and peel off the front covering in order to grout. Another option that makes the project easier is to purchase tile that already has spacers. This eliminates a step and some work.

Measure Your Space

No matter which you choose, the first thing to do is measure your space to see how much tile you will need for the backsplash. You will also need to see if any tiles will need to be cut. To properly do this, you start from the center of the area and measure to the sides. Then, you lay out your tile on a table or other large space and measure from the middle to the sides to see what you will need to cut. One trick in using individual tiles is to use more or less grout to avoid making a cut. After that, clean the wall thoroughly, and apply the adhesive. Then, install the tiles and grout them. Wipe off excess grout and you’re done.

Although this isn’t a hard project, it could be easier to call a professional. That is especially true if you aren’t handy or don’t have a few hours over a weekend to do it. A professional installer can have this type of project done quickly and will clean up the mess afterward.

Repairing Your Tile

This is a viable option to completely replacing a backsplash. It is quite affordable because this type of work costs only around 30 percent of a total replacement. Repairing chipped or scarred tile can refresh your space and help you fall in love with it again. There are those who specialize in this type of work and will help your space look like new again.

Re-staining Your Grout

Most people don’t think about their grout. It just sits there in between your tile and its function is to fill up cracks and spaces and help hold everything together. However, grout can also be decorative and staining it a different color can create a whole new look for your space. For instance, going from beige to dark brown can add more warmth. Re-staining white grout to black can add drama. It is something to consider. You will need a professional for this task, but the cost is substantially less than replacing your entire backsplash.

Remember, it is the little things in your kitchen that create the overall look. Don’t neglect your backsplash. After all, you or any other cook in your home will be staring at it while making meals! It is so easy to change; there is really no reason to keep living with the old one.