Easy How to for Brightening Your Kitchen

Sometimes the phrase "home improvement" is all it takes for us to put off making a change for the better. Worries about material cost, labor, the mess and inconvenience are all it takes to ignore a potentially easy fix to a drab kitchen. So if you are  looking for your next home improvement project to add a little sparkle to your home while improving the emotional and financial value, consider remodeling a backsplash with glass subway tile in your kitchen or bathroom. If time and budget allow and you're feeling really ambitious, take on both projects but if not start with the kitchen then master bath and finish with the guest and power bath. And while subway glass tile is a more recent take on a traditional finish, the looks is as fresh and current as it is timeless.

For me, on both a personal and investment prospective, it usually makes sense to start with making your kitchen beautiful with a subway tile backsplash. An updated backsplash with classic subway styling can transform your kitchen into much more than just a place to cook. Because typically kitchens are focal points in a home,  if they are done right they become a place you and your friends and family will find yourselves spending hours. Cooking and kitchens can be drudgery. Routine chores of preparing meals and cleaning up. But gorgeous kitchens that are bright  and enticing become sources for inspired cooking, places where you happily indulge your creative cooking juices for a new twist in the art of cooking. And because prospective home buyers look closely at the style of kitchen they may be potentially committing to, a well spent dollar on a gorgeous kitchen will more than pay for itself.

One of the principal reasons I am a big fan of glass subways is because there are countless combinations of sizes, materials, textures and colors that meet the needs of any homeowner, architect or designer. The most traditional of format for laying the subways is the brick pattern ( also called a Z pattern or 50% offset) in a horizontal pattern. This is a great look and ideal for transitional homes that are trying to be more current or relevant but still have too many elements that are a dated. Adding a glass subway helps create some freshness with out creating a striking contrast to the rest of the home's style. If the rest of the home is a bit more current you can get playful and run a standard brick pattern vertically.
A subway tile backsplash in your bathroom will look just as awesome as the kitchen. It's amazing what a quick remodel of the bathroom backsplash in subway tile can do to bring your bathroom back to life. Subway tile is not only perfect for the backsplash behind the sink, but take it a step further and use it for the shower or tub surround as well. Subway tile is more durable and easier to clean than painted walls and will last for years.
With so many colors to choose from it is wise to not jump feet first into the deep end of the color spectrum. Unless you are styling the space for a kids bath and red is the central recurring element in your design, I like to keep the shades mellow. That said a favorite play is to broaden out the pallet to a multitude of colors and creating your own unique subway tile color pattern. It can be a random pattern,an alternating percentage or a linear mix of various colors.
The final touch is installing the grout and it is so much more than just a finishing touch. While many may look at the grouting process as that final step between them and a finished project, it can be the ultimate compliment or a shocking contrast.Just like the tile, grout comes in an abundance of colors, and the color you choose can really accent the subway tile back splash you've just installed. Consider these general guidelines when making your decision; A color that matches the tile color creates continuity. A grout color that's lighter than the tile itself highlights the tile but tends to show dirt and grime sooner. A darker color grout will help keep the dirt off the radar and can really accent the lines in your backsplash. A final consideration are the new epoxy grouts with emulsified glass in them for a reflective surface like the glass and ZERO maintenenace.. These grouts are not cheap and according to contractors brutal to work with but the look is unique. Check out Bostiks Dimension Grout as one option. Whatever you decide be sure that the grout you pick meets the specifications set by the tile manufacturer. And when in doubt check with your tile supplier or a designer to be sure.

Tad Keyser
Tad Keyser


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