Grout, Doubt, and Seal – Our Backsplash Reveal

By | October 9, 2014

It’s time to show you our finished tiling job, guys, and I have to say, it was a lot of work, but totally worth it.

Finished Kitchen Subway Tile 6

I can’t get over how fancy it looks! Like a “Real” kitchen. For grown-ups.

To back up a bit, after we finished tiling, things looked like this:

Tiled backsplash done before grout

We let that sit for a couple of days to really set up well, it was time to do the grout.

Grouting Subway Tile Backsplash

This process was a LOT faster than tiling, and really not that hard, although it takes some elbow grease.

The grout mixture needs to be a lot thicker than the thin set we used to apply the tile. The directions said to make it thick enough it wouldn’t run out if you tipped the tub over.

Right Grout Consistency for Subway Tile Backsplash 2

(We aimed for Blizzard thickness.)

Seriously, it’s like thick, sticky marshmallow fluff. Except it doesn’t smell as good.

Right Grout Consistency for Subway Tile Backsplash

Then, we basically have to smoosh the grout into all the cracks and seams, moving your rubber float in all directions to get the grout in every angle.

Grouting Subway Tile Backsplash 3

Your arm will get very tired doing this, so we switched off and on.

Grouting Subway Tile Backsplash 2

Then, it became my job to go behind and wipe all the excess grout off the tiles.

Wiping Grout Off Subway Tile Backsplash

You want to wait until it’s had some time to set up a bit, but not long enough that’s it’s too dry on the tile to wipe off with a damp sponge. It’s pretty painful to spread grout all over the beautiful tile, and I’ll admit I had my doubts about how it turn out, but the good thing is, you can just keep cleaning the tiles until they shine again.

At this point, you’re just getting off all the excess grout. There will still be a hazy residue on the tile you’ll have to wipe off later, but that will require even more elbow grease (good thing that comes in a big barrel–man I’m full of awesome commercial references today!)

That commercial gets me every time. Seriously, it’s one of my favorites.

See all that residue?

Grout Haze on Subway Tile Backsplash

Ick. Not the look we were going for. It gets better every time you wipe it down, though.

Grouted Subway Tile Backsplash 2

Anyway, after several more wipe downs with the sponge, a rag, and a lint-free cloth, the tiles were finally gleaming. Then, we had to caulk all the seams to seal everything up nicely.

Caulking Kitchen Subway Tile

Which required another cleaning step afterward to make sure there wasn’t any caulk on the tiles. But look at the nice edge on the counter. Caulk is a great thing, guys.

Finished Kitchen Subway Tile Corner 2

And then, we waited another day or so before we sealed the grout following the directions on the bottle.

Grout Sealer

And I wiped everything down one more time to get the sealing residue off the tiles. By now, my arms are jelly from all that wiping and scrubbing. But it was worth it. Finally, it was considered officially done.

Finished Kitchen Subway Tile 3

It looked so fancy I even decided to dress it up a bit with some fall flowers from the garden. Because new tile deserves fresh flowers, right?

Finished Kitchen Subway Tile Window

Oh, and remember how I said the grout would help the crazy cuts in the corner look all smooth and seamless?

Tiled backsplash done before grout interior corner


Finished Kitchen Subway Tile Corner

The nook is looking pretty nice, too. Even though we still need to build the drawer that goes in that hole. Maybe that will be next? (Or the floor, probably the floor.)

Finished Kitchen Subway Tile 2

It was tons and tons of work to get to this point. And we learned A LOT about tiling. I have to say even though it’s a pain, it’s no longer scary and intimidating. Look at us, growing and gaining new skills. Craziness.

Finished Kitchen Subway Tile

I honestly still have trouble believing this is our kitchen. I mean, just look how far we’ve come! It’s crazy we started here:


To here:

Empty Kitchen Cabinets 2

To here:

Completely Gutted Kitchen 2

To here:

Finished Drywall in Kitchen

To here:

New Granite Kitchen Counter Top 4

To today:

Finished Kitchen Subway Tile 4

Wowza. No wonder this is taking so long, we’ve totally and completely gutted a room and built it back with basically just our own four hands, with the help of a few friends and family members from time to time.

So, thanks for following us on this crazy-long journey. We still have a long way to go, but we’re so excited about how far we’ve come! What has been your favorite step in the process so far? I think the cabinets by the fridge have been my favorite, but it’s really, REALLY hard to narrow it down…

8 thoughts on “Grout, Doubt, and Seal – Our Backsplash Reveal

  1. cris

    Looking great! Congratulations on your new skills and all your hard work!


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