How to Tile Subway Tile Backsplash

Big news update!

My movers moved up the moving day to TODAY.  So, I’ll be scurrying around like crazy getting at least my furniture and boxes moved in today.   I’ll be spending the night in my new room tonight. 🙂  Can you believe the day has finally arrived?  I can’t!

how to install subway tile backsplash

I’m back with a complete how-to on how we added the tile backsplash ourselves, using a new product that I had recently heard about, Bondera.  I got a contact from Bondera and wrote to them, telling them about my upcoming tile project and asked them if they might send me enough of their product for my project.  And they did!  I was so happy to get this in and try in out. Bondera is a tilemat that is sticky on both sides.


I received 5 boxes, which covers 10 s.f. per box and we had just enough for this project.  I was so excited to try it out and I’m happy to say,  it worked out great. Thanks to Bondera for supplying this great product!  It worked out very well and we really enjoyed using it.  Much less mess than using thinset, although thinset is cheaper.  Bondera is around $34 a roll, so not cheap.  You have to weigh out mess vs. spending more money.  I would definitely use it again.

Per Bondera’s website, this will NOT work on floor tile, so just be aware of that!

Bondera roll

The roll looks like this out of the box.  It’s thin, but flexible when working with it.

cutting Bondera

We measured our space under the counters and begin putting up the Bondera tilemat.  The good thing is you can cut individual pieces to fill in if needed, like a puzzle.

frontside of Bondera

I used my scissors to cut the tilemat and that worked out great.  The front side is all grids, so it’s easy to cut a straight line.

backside of Bondera

The backside has a clear film that pulls off for applying to the walls.

Bondera grid side

Grids again, front side.

pulling backing off Bondera

The directions said to pull down the film from the backside and place the piece on the wall, pressing the top into place and then pulling the film off to the bottom and that definitely worked well.  This stuff is VERY sticky and will stick to your fingers, to itself and to the wall, so you do have to be a bit careful when handling it.

applying Bondera to wall

The tilemat sticks to the wall and the front film is still in place until you get ready to place the tiles on top.  Then, the top film comes off.  We cut and measured until all our space was filled with Bondera.

Bondera on sink side

Like this.

Bondera above counter

And this.

Bondera up on wall

And this.  Bondera is all ready and in place.


We started here in the middle of this countertop for our rows. Since the countertop is level already it’s not hard to keep your rows straight.  The tiles have a built in spacer on the sides and we just placed them right next to each other, no need for spacers.  I wanted a thin grout line anyway.

how to install subway tile backsplash

These tiles are 3×6” and so you need several 3” tiles cut and ready to go to add to the ends of rows, like this.  It was dad’s smart idea to start next to this end cabinet and place the 3” tiles here on this wall for best visual.  One you start placing the tiles, it goes really fast, except around the outlets and switches.  That’s the part that took the longest, cutting around those.

setting up wetsaw

Dad has a wetsaw that he’s had for years, so we got it out and set up in the backyard. It will sling water, so we wanted a wide open space to work in and luckily we had a good day for it.

tile wetsaw

Getting the tile saw set up.

dad cutting tile

Dad cut most of the tiles and I set most of them.  He measured and cut around the outlets and we placed them as we got to them.


We started right here on this big wall and began going in both directions, placing tiles and moving as fast as we could.

rows going in

Adding tiles, row by row.  Then we got to the outlets and had to cut out around them.

placing tile around outlet

We had several on that big wall and cut them as we got to them, filling in all the gaps and kept moving.  The tiles stuck to the Bondera mat really, really well. No problem with them slipping at all.


Here are our 3” tiles cut and ready to go.

problem spot below window

The only problem spot we had was under this window sill, where I had repaired the plaster and filled it in with sheetrock mud and tape.  Apparently, it should have dried a lot longer because the Bondera didn’t adhere to this area.  It peeled right off.

problem spot drywall

I was so bummed when we got to this and I realized that it wasn’t sticking, so I cut it off with a utility knife and left this top part open.  I did go back and add more Bondera on here and after pulling off some of the plaster that wasn’t totally set the 2nd time, it seemed to be sticking for the most part.

sink with subway tile

Here’s the After shot, all grouted, so we did make it work and I may have had to get out the Liquid Nails for a couple of pieces.  Smile I’m  sure a professional would shake his head, but we made it work and hopefully it will hold up just fine.  That area will not get a lot of wear and tear, I don’t think.  My sink is so deep that water will not even splash out of it.

rows going in

Back to the tiling process. It’s really not hard, just takes time and patience to make all those cuts around the outlets and fill in all the gaps.  You will have to cut some small slivers of tiles at time on the ends of the row, but for the most part, we made those work out as well. I tried to disguise them as best I could and didn’t take a pic to show you, but we did have some small fill in pieces.

how to install subway tile backsplash

Tile going in, one row at a time.  After we got all the tiles set up and all those gaps filled in, it was time to grout.  YAY!  I will tell you that I had visions of walking in the next day to grout and seeing fallen tiles everywhere, but happily that did NOT happen.

grout and admix

I got the grout bag from Lowes, Mapei Keracolor in Silver and the Grout Admix came from Floor and Décor. It’s a liquid that is mixed with the powder grout and seals the grout instantly, so that it doesn’t ever have to be sealed again. That sold me!  The Grout Admix was $25 at Floor and Décor.  The bag of grout is about $12.  The Bondera directions said to grout within 8 hours, but we didn’t make it in 8 hours.  We got all the tile set in one day and then came back the next morning and grouted.  I’m not sure what the 8 hours thing is all about.

mixed Grout Silver

Grout all mixed and ready to go.  The consistency is about like cake batter.  Thick, but not too thick.  I forgot to take a pic of the grout float I used to spread the grout, but it’s a square rubbery thing with a handle that spreads the grout around. I actually used my index finger a whole lot too, to get it into the crevices.

how to install subway tile backsplash

Get yourself a couple of pans of clean water and at least 2 sponges, because you will go through a lot of dirty water, grouting, wiping and rinsing out the sponges all along the way. I started at the top of this big wall and worked my way down.

how to install subway tile backsplash

I didn’t get a lot of pics of this step and dad took this pic of me in action, but I did one section at a time and then wiped, rinsed, wiped some more until most of the grout was off the tiles.  You don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself, because the grout does start drying pretty fast once it goes up.  You have plenty of time to wipe, but it will begin to set up on the tile face.  I wanted thin grout lines, so I made sure to wipe my sponge over each grout line, taking out any bulky build up of grout.  Thin, thin, that’s what I wanted.

during grout

Here’s a progress pic of the grout on the tiles.  Keep wiping until you get it all off and mostly clean.  Then at the end of the process, I went back with a clean rag and wiped down all the tile one last time, until  it was sparkling and shiny.  And you end up using your fingers a LOT to get it into the crevices.

how to install subway tile backsplash

Here’s the after on the big wall.  It will be getting 2 beautiful rustic shelves soon.  Can’t wait to see those go up.  We marked ahead of time where the studs are in this wall so we can get those brackets in studs.

subway tile with gray grout

Sink wall AFTER.  Just a bit more tweaking in here and I’ll be done completely.  I was so, so happy to get this tile project behind us.  What a milestone!

After Silver grout

You can see at the end of those rows on the right, a small sliver of tile that we had to put in there. I used a white caulk on those, so they wouldn’t stand out as much and need to go back and add a bit more white to them.  Not bad at all.

So, would you attempt your own backsplash after this?  It was a full 3 day project, but well worth it to me.  Here’s what I spent on this project:

Subway tile from Floor and Décor (Interceramic, in Bone):    $88

Grout:  $12

Admix:  $25

Bondera:  No charge, but these cost around $34 a roll. That’s the only drawback, they are a bit pricey compared to buying a bag of thinset for tiling.

Total I spent:  $125 with free labor and a wetsaw

Not bad at all! A lot of bang for the buck.

- Rhoda


  1. Wow, you really are a DIY ninja! Tiling seems scary to me, but it just goes to show that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. That tiled wall looks amazing. Have fun today putting everything in its place! ~Kerri, A Pop of Pretty

  2. I love the grout color – I wonder if I can re-grout my tile to get that look? One of my favorite things about this series is watching your father’s beautiful hands doing all of these wonderful things with you. What a great record of a project marked by loving collaboration.

    • You could buy grout stain and ‘color’ the grout a shade of charcoalish-gray. Not sure if it’s really called ‘grout stain’ but there is a method to doing exactly what you would like to do without regrouting because I can tell you that is a difficult job. You would probably tear up most of the tiles trying to get the grout out. Even if you use just a hand tool and sand it down it’s easy to get tired and rake right across it. I have done that before and ended up pulling out all the tiles I damaged (and you always damage one trying to get the first one out. UGH
      But, if you are careful and can get enough of the grout out, you can then go over the original grout with a skim coat of a another color. I’ve done that as well. But then I read about the ‘grout stain/color’ add-on. Good luck! And they did do a GREAT job on this backsplash didn’t they!!!!

  3. The tile looks great ! I want to put white subway tile in my kitchen, thanks for a great step by step outline of the process. I also have a Dad that has a tile saw and tiling experience !

  4. I love the subway tile and it is so fun watching your dad work. This was my husband and me when we did our tile jobs. So rewarding doing a lot of the work yourself.

  5. My daughter/blog partner and her husband used this product when they did the backsplash in their 1928 bungalow. It worked great for them and was a lot easier than the traditional method.

  6. WOW! that Bondera is more expensive but looks much easier to work with than thinset. Can you use it for tile in any location – like high moisture areas like bathrooms? We did our own tile back splash too, but with thinset…wish I had known about this product then 🙂 And I like that it has those grid lines on it – great for making sure everything is nice and straight!

  7. Looks fab! I love subway tile anyway! I had it in my last kitchen. I did it the old way. Not sure I could justify the cost of the Bondera, but I guess it depends on how big of an area and how quickly you need it done!

    Best wishes on the move!

  8. Happy Moving Day!

  9. Wow, I love your tiled wall! Looks like Bondera has a great product. It turned out beautiful.
    Debbie 🙂

  10. Rhoda, the tile looks amazing!! Even if you paid for the Bondera the tiling would be less than 300$ A huge bang forthe buck and I really think it’s plus that the bondera has a grid on it.
    I enjoy finding out about new products on your blog that I never would have know about.

    Congratulations on Moving Day!!! Did you ever think it would get here?

  11. Great job!! I want to put subway tile in my main bathroom floor to ceiling. I think Bondera would be worth the expense! Thanks for the tutorial.

  12. Rhoda: Thanks for the heads-up on Bondera. I’m a tiling newbie, so that looks like a great solution for tiling underneath cabins in the kitchen (where I’m looking at using subway tile, thanks to you!)
    Do hope you’ll frame a picture of your sweet dad’s hands to place in your home. His prints (and your mom’s, too) are evident in every room.
    Trust all will go well with the move today. Praises up for all He has done to get you to this new spot. What a journey!

  13. Rhoda, i almost choked on my lunch! I am so excited to see that tiling job done and you ready to move in. All the best and enjoy your first sleep in your new home! Your dad is such an inspiration.

  14. Liz VanKirk says:

    I loved how you explained it so well! One of these days I will conquer my fear of tiling & just go for it. I understand how but putting the thin set on always made me nervous. I def. want to try that Bondera product. You must let us know if it holds up well & the tiles don’t start to buckle.

    Now when you put up the open shelves you wanted in that open area – how do you keep the tiles from cracking when the screws/attachments get put in?

    Can’t wait to see more photos…..


  15. I love your kitchen! Everything has turned out beautifully. Have fun today!

  16. I have been with you from the begain and sooooo happy for you . Every thing will all be together and what a nice place it will be .I was with you when you was in Fl. You are a wonderful person .

  17. Rhoda,
    You did a fabulous job! I am loving the “less mess” way of tiling, especially with a backsplash. Your dad is so sweet to help you too. The pictures are darling of him. Love your kitchen!

  18. Rhoda, this is gorgeous! What a wonderful product Bondera seems to be. This is a great tutorial and your subway tile looks amazing! Wow!!! I know you are so happy! Congrats on your first night in your new home! Many blessing to you!

  19. Rhoda,
    Your kitchen is absolutely stunning. I love the subway tile! You and your sweet Dad make a great team. Your Daddy is an amazing man – you are so Blessed to have him.
    I can’t wait to see all your things placed inside your home. I know it will be awesome. God has truly Blessed you this year as you have travel this journey while “building your nest” – so happy for you.

  20. Rhodarama! Happy moving day! I’m so happy for you. This tiling job is fantastic, and that Bondera looks awesome. You’ve given me courage to try this in my own kitchen. Many happy days are ahead of you in that adorable new house!

  21. I can’t believe you did this yourself! I’m so impressed and it looks terrific!

    Getting excited about the big move in day!

  22. I love watching your dad work and your whole family being involved. I love subway tile it is so classic and never goes out of style.

    Isn’t the big move day around the corner?


  23. So excited for you! Welcome home!!

  24. Christopher says:

    WOW! What a great job, totally gorgeous! I am so happy for you, and a little bit jealous too! Love your blog, fairly new reader, but totally hooked.

  25. I saw this product on This Old House awhile back but didn’t get the name of it. My son-in-law wants to tile their kitchen so I will direct him to your tutorial!! And I’m so happy for your move in date today!! 🙂

  26. Rhoda ~ The subway tile looks FANTASTIC!! My hubby and I have tiled a small bathroom and a kitchen floor and used thin set. It IS messy and clean up isn’t fun. I can’t wait to try the Bondera on our next tile project. What a great product, thank you for sharing with us.

    Enjoy your move in today!
    p.s. I love the pictures with the wood level. Reminds me of my childhood watching my dad and grandpa working on projects. Sweet memories 🙂

  27. I have loved watching the transformation from day one! Such an inspiration! The house looks amazing….love seeing your sweet mamma and daddy helping all the way. Hope your moving day goes smooth…..can’t wait to see the house decorated!

  28. Congratulations, what a hard earned journey! You all need a vacay for sure! I can’t wait to see all of the awesome decorating!

  29. Rhoda,
    I have been following your house transformation since you started. You and your Mom and Dad are amazing! The first thing I do in the morning is check your blog to see what exciting progress has been made on your new house. I am so excited that you are moving in today! I cant wait to see how you put each room together and add your special touches. Congratulations!!!

  30. Clean, elegant and stunning! I am so thrilled to learn about the Bondera product – calling my mom right now to tell her about it as she has been dreading a backsplash project after getting gorgeous new granite countertops….always wondered why there wasn’t a product like this!

  31. Rhoda.well girl I know you are over the moon today..the kitchen is beautiful .You have chosen a kitchen almost like the one I have chosen for my kitchen . The granit the cabinets the tile and so it is kinda exciting to see what it is all going to look like when we get finished . I for sure am going to use this product you used. I have done it the traditional way and it is messy. This looks so easy.I am so very happy for you Rhoda . You have had a season of suffering with all that you have had to endure the last year or so , now you can rejoice and began to enjoy the fruits of you and your sweet parents labor.Happy day to you !!!

  32. The backsplash looks wonderful, Rhoda! I’ll have to remember this product if I ever get up the nerve to try tiling on my own.

  33. Wow! It looks so nice and clean! I love it! You guys did a great job!

  34. Oh, Rhoda!
    The sweetest of dreams for you tonight in your own home!!!

  35. The tile looks great. I’ve tiled several walls and used a product similar to Bondura but it was much cheaper and I loved it! We got it at Lowe’s I love a full wall of tile and yours looks fabulous. Great job. Have fun moving!

  36. Great tutorial on this Tile job! Very Professional! Ya’ll are pros now in everything it takes to renovate a house! It truly takes a village! Good luck moving today and enjoy your own bed in your new master bedroom tonight! It’s all yours! Thinking of you today! It’s all sunshine and rainbows in your neck of the woods. O Happy Day! Praises! I think I hear Angels singing!

  37. The tile job looks great! Very impressive!! I know you (and your parents) are beyond thrilled that your moving day is finally here! Enjoy your new home.

  38. This is such an amazing project! Looks terrific! I also love seeing your dad’s old, experienced hands hard at work!

  39. Wow look great! I would love to give this a try. I’m going to check with a few friends to see if they own a wet saw and are will to help me cut.

  40. To answer a few of your questions, this is from the Bondera website. It’s made for walls and backsplash, but NOT floors. You can use it in wet areas of a shower though, so I thought that was great.

    From Bondera:

    Bondera makes it easy for anyone to add the beauty and durability of tile to kitchen walls, backsplashes and countertops; bathroom walls and countertops; tub and shower surrounds; and other horizontal or vertical interior spaces. Bondera is perfect for tile repairs, decorative columns, niches and detail areas, metal surfaces, mosaics and more.
    Note: Bondera is NOT recommended to use on floors, ceilings, fireplaces and exterior applications.

  41. You are moving!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! So happy for you! Subway tile looks great! 😉

  42. Carol Higgins says:

    Your kitchen looks great. I’m investigating new countertops?
    What are yours—granite, quartz, or corian?

  43. The tile looks amazing, Rhoda! If I ever had the nerve to give this a try, I would definitely use the bondera, looks so much easier than thinset. Praying you have an easy move today!

  44. Lady Delores LeBoeuf says:

    Looks Awesome, I have always loved the look of subway tile, I remember it even as a kid growing up and liking it then, too. I did not know about the ‘bondera’ and may try it on my next project, it looks much easier and less messy, always a good thing. I am so excited for you, move day…..FELICIDADES (CONGRATULATIONS). Sweet Dreams on your first night at home. Love & Blessings, Lady Delores.

  45. That is amazing!!! I’ve never heard of Bondera, but that product makes tiling look like a project I could actually do! I’ve always been very intimidated by the idea of putting up tile with thinset. Thank you so much for this post! Off to pin Bondera

  46. Moving day is finally here, I’m so excited for you! The kitchen tile looks great! I’ll be thinking of you today as you move in, hope everything goes smoothly.

  47. How surprised I was to find out I will be using the same green “Fennel” paint color in my kitchen too! I’m going to paint two walls this color including the backsplash until I have time to put up subway tile! I am SOOO excited to learn about Bondera ~ never knew there was such a product. I now think “I can tile my backsplash!” Thank YOU and your sweet parents-you are such an inspiration to me!
    Happy Moving-in Day!

  48. Gloria McAllister says:

    You did a great job and it looks lovely. But not all of us are so fortunate to be given free products. By the time I’d add the cost of that Bondera to the rest of the suppiles, I beileve I could have a professional come in and do the job for me. And, I would have zero patience for cutting those corners! Yikes!

    Gloria in Virginia

    • John in Texas says:

      You are right, if I had someone to give me FREE things to do ALL of my projects then I would be happy to give them a try.
      I have used this product “BONDERA” and waited for the time specified, Come to find out 2 wks. after enjoying a job I thought I finished was not. Tiles started falling off the wall, so when they did they fell on the floor cracking & breaking. So saying that, I had to purchase more products to replace & repair.
      Soooo, I am DEFINITELY NOT recommending this product.
      Also, read all the reviews on new products. That will give you more advise from people that have already used & failed with this product & other things that are recommended by people that get stuff for free.
      I have not seen any follow up pictures or comments on this blog. So, would I or should I not use this product? I guess it is up to everyone.
      Good luck.
      I hope this helps some people.
      Just a note.

      • John, I am sorry you had a problem with Bondera. I did not experience anything like that and my tiles are holding up just fine. No problems at all.

        • Followup to these comments, 4 years later, still no problems with Bondera. It’s holding up totally fine for me!

  49. The backsplash looks beautiful; can’t wait to see your shelving when you get to that point. THANK YOU so much for introducing me to this product. I’ve done a lot of tiling in my day and could have used a product like this, especially for small projects and vertical surfaces. It can really speed up the process since you can grout the same day instead of waiting 24 hrs. Plus, the tiles don’t sag so you don’t need spacers. There is also no waste, which there generally is with thin-set since it’s hard to judge the correct amount. Great job! CTDl

  50. Good luck moving today, Rhoda! The tile job is absolutely gorgeous! Great job you two did!

  51. Rhoda – Congratulations on your move!! I know you will be so glad to get into your new home!! Your tile job is fantastic.


  52. Yeah for you!!!
    It looks so professionally done – and I can’t wait to see
    how you spiff out the rest of the room with your unique
    Happy days are here again – – – – –

  53. Congratulations on the move in! I know you are ready to unpack and settle in. All things for a reason . . . moving in a little early gives you the upcoming weekend to start putting it all together. Enjoy!

  54. Beautiful job, Rhoda! Can’t wait to see those shelves you speak of! Twenty years ago I tiled both my kitchen and bathroom. Counters, backsplash, shower and floor. Had never done it before in my life, and I was scared! Back then there was no internet, no you-tube, so I bought a Sunset How to Tile book and went for it! (did I really do that?? lol) All in all it turned out quite nicely. It’s one of those projects that scares people to death, but if you go step-by-step, like you show in your tutorial, it really is something the lay person can do. Congrats on finally getting to move in. Enjoy your first night!!!!

  55. Marsha Kern says:

    Good luck with moving, I am so happy for you! You and your Dad are amazing!

  56. Well done, Rhonda! I am especially impressed with the *correct* way you ‘wrapped’ the tiles around the inside corners so it looks like you just folded the tile and kept going. Even the ‘pro’ who did my bathroom didn’t get that concept until I showed him how. Congratulations on moving in, too; I’m so glad for you!

  57. I’m sure you are very excited at the thought of sleeping in your new home tonight, as you should be! You’ve turned a vanilla box of a house into a beautiful home. Congrats and Happy Moving!

  58. Rhoda, your kitchen re-do is amazing and the subway tile is the icing on the cake! I used the G&B bead board wallpaper from you on my backsplash when I did my kitchen remodel 2 years ago but had plans to possibly replace it “someday” with subway tile. After seeing your tutorial, I want to do it NOW! Even though we’ve never tiled before, the Bondera product actually makes me think my hubby and I could probably DIY instead of paying the tile guy to do it.

    Sending congrats on Moving Day! I know you are so excited to finally be moving into your new (and beautiful) home after so many months of hard work. I’m truly happy for you. Have fun unpacking and “puttering.” 🙂

  59. Rhoda,
    The new tile looks great! what a huge project to tackle. The Bondera looks like a terrific product to help!

    2012 Artists Series

  60. How ironic that I’m reading today’s post about this new product. As I’m typing this, I have workmen re-tiling my entire shower. (only 12 years old) I was having to replace the shower door due to improper waterproofing of the curb area, but when the workman started taking off the door, tiles starting falling right off the walls! Besides lack of waterproofing, turns out that the original tile man did a poor job using the thinset and let it dry too much before placing the tiles on the wall. Bondera sounds great! I’m happy for you that you’re finally in your house. You and your parents have to be proud!

  61. Love the back splash, it turned out beautiful! Enjoy your move in day! So happy for you.

  62. Paula Lusk says:

    I am soo excited for you! You and your parents have worked so hard to get you to this point. Plus you kept up with all of your blogging, conferences, etc. You now get to embark on a new life, in your own home. The Lord has blessed you.

  63. That tile is absolutely gorgeous! I love it!

  64. WOW I know you’re a happy camper about moving IN! YEA!!!
    Looks great Rhoda! I figured it would be more than that for the tiles. I really want to do mine one of these day.

    good job you guys!

  65. Leila Case says:

    Cannot wait to see you all moved in. SO glad the movers did it today So now all you have to do is get it arranged and start living there. Loved following your blog through this daunting project. What a challenge you all took on. Your dad is awesome.

  66. Looks great, I remember you telling us about this at the Conference last weekend, I was eager to see this post b/c I sell tile and I had heard of Bondera but was unsure about it. I think after reading your post I’d try it on a job b/c of the lack of mess! Great job!

  67. Lovely tile job. Hope your move went well. Sweet dreams in your new home!

  68. Wow that turned out amazing! You make it look so easy, I think I/we could do it one day if we wanted…but I am such a sucker for old-fashionedness that I will probably stick to painted bead board or the bead board wallpaper. But the tile looks fabulous in your kitchen! What a difference it made!

  69. love it…this looks amazing and I love that tile mat!!! you go girl. Happy, happy life in your new home!!! XOXOX

  70. This looks great! I used to hate subway tile, but lately I’ve been seeing it done so nicely that I’m starting to come around. Y’all did really good with this. And I am surprised at the cost, I would have expected much more. I hope you treated your “free labor” to a nice meal out!


  71. Sweet Dreams in your new room! Love the tile and the Dad/Mom that helps out so faithful. What a team you have there.

    I bought Bondera and chickened out. Went with the messy stuff again. Oh! I hate grouting.

  72. Congratulations on getting into your house! The tile is beautiful and I know you will have your house decorated beautifully before long.

  73. Nif @ Call Me Nif says:

    Looks great, Rhoda! And how sweet of your dad to help. Congrats on your new house!

  74. Oh, Rhoda, this is beautiful! I love the big wall all tiled and, as several have already mentioned in one way or another, a framed picture of your Dad’s & Mom’s hands should grace your home somewhere!

    Bondera, though tougher on the budget, looks like it would be well worth the cost and makes me think that “even I” could manage this in my kitchen!

    Bless you in your new home!

  75. We used this Bondera tile mat on our backsplash project and it has held up extremely well. Faster and a lot less messy than using thin set. Happy move-in!!!!!

  76. Wow! That looks crazy good. Nicely done!

  77. I hope your are gazing at your beautiful tile and that you’re having a little snack in your kitchen after moving today! We had a toast to you at dinner this evening hoping all was going well.

    Love and blessings to you!
    The Windhams

  78. Absolutely fabulous! I have never heard anything like this product in NZ but definitely will be looking out for it on my next house project as it truly is a DIY opportunity. Tiling is normally left for professionals but you have truly done a professional job. Rhonda it looks amazing, I bet your so excited about moving in.

    I am currently doing up my mums house to put on the market, it is just a mini do up as in new paint and styling for putting it on the market, however, I now feel like I want to replace her kitchen and knock out the old cabinets between the kitchen and dining area, after I get the agents around to look at it I will make my decision as it might be worth it to get the best price.

    I love your kitchen, everything about in fact, and I am keen to use your style of cuboard doors when I do my makeover early next year. I have a nice modern kitchen but too modern for my liking, I want to replace the work surfaces with granite and the stainless steel back splash with subway tiles too.

    Excited about you moving in and seeing the final makeover with all your furnishing in place.

    Lee 🙂

  79. So excited that you get to move into your new home today! I am a newer reader and went from start to finish today reading your home reno posts. It’s beautiful! You guys have done a fantastic job!

  80. Congratulations on your move! Great DIY tutorial on your subway tile! Lovely job!

  81. Rhoda I love the tiles!!!! You and your dad did a great job!! I love your kitchen!!

    WAY TO GO GIRL!!!!!!


  82. Looks gorgeous, Rhoda! I’m preparing to do a little tile work myself. Thanks for the great info. I may try this whole Bondera thing. It looks much simpler.

  83. It’s beautiful, Rhoda! I love the subway tile and it looks great with your counters!

  84. Rhoda, The subway tile looks amazing!!! I’ve never heard of Bondera, but it looks a lot easier than having to mess with thinset…So glad you’re moving in (that in itself is a lot of work)….I know you’re estatic…Good Luck, Rhoda…..

  85. That is so cool – i had no idea anything like that was out there! LOVE LOVE the brick laid tile look….did that in my kitchen too…:-)

  86. Suzanne Houston says:

    How exciting that you are finally moving in! I have so enjoyed watching the progress on your new home and am so happy for you. Thanks for sharing this experience with us. May you be blessed with many happy memories there. 🙂

  87. I am so excited that you moved into your new dream home. I loved every second of your talk at the Southern Blogger’s Conference and was so looking forward to hearing more about this product!!
    I think the cost is worth it!! I will have to tell my husband about this as we get ready to redo the bath and I wonder if it would work on the floor as well… I imagine it would.
    Love how your kitchen came together!! Thank you for sharing!!
    ~ Lori

  88. Hi, Lori, see comments from me above. Per Bondera, this product will NOT work on floor tile! Thanks for coming by!

  89. Great job, great tutorial. It turned out beautiful. I wish I had my
    dad to help me do some projects. Fun, fun! Thanks.

  90. I love watching you and your parents work together on your projects. My dad taught me so many things about home improvement and since he passed away 21 months ago I miss him so much when I see your dad at work. I know you appreciate their help so much. Give them a big hug every day! Enjoy your new home. You deserve it!!

  91. Hi Rhoda,
    Your kitchen is fantastic and has been a great inspiration as we slowly move along doing our own (with IKEA too :). We did order a sample of the tile from Floor and Decor and would like to now place our final order – are you able to provide me with the color you used: Ultra Brite White or Bright White Ice? Sorry if I missed it, looked back through the tiling blog several times, but couldn’t be certain and we really love the look and would like to order the same. Thanks and congrats on your beautiful new home!!

  92. I just finished the blog. Really very helpful. Thanks for sharing such an amazing blog.
    subway tile

  93. I’m getting ready to re-do my kitchen and ran across your website – great site with helpful information! Is your counter granite or marble?? Do you remember the pattern name, great look! I’ve got a blog myself so I may tie your’s into mine when I start (if you don’t mind?).

  94. The tile is lovely and I enjoyed reading about the process, but mostly I am in awe of your dad. You surely know how blessed you are to have him. He is a role model of how to age beautifully – giving and doing and creating – still capable and willing. That doesn’t leave much time for a rocking chair and a pity party. Thank you for sharing.

  95. Hi- doing a kitchen reno myself and I love your kitchen! In some pictures your subway tile looks glossy and in others it looks matte. I would love to know which it is and also if you know the color, whether it’s a pure white or biscuit? Also, I love the look of the grey grout but I have cream marble countertops, any advice?


    • HI, Carolina, my tile is glossy and it’s an off-white and goes with my slighty creamy cabinets really well. Bright white was TOO white. I think you could still do gray grout with your cream marble countertops, sounds like it would be pretty to me.

      • Hi rhoda, so beautiful! I have been on the hunt for an off white tile, creams have been too dark. I checked out floor and decor, do you remember color name? Thank you!

  96. Just wondering how the Bondera is holding up 2 years later. Any tiles coming loose or having any other problems with it?

  97. I just love all the pics of your Daddy helping you…He is just too darn cute.
    And..i love your site…you have done many projects on my list…thanks so much for the tips.

  98. I love your cabinet handles. Do you remember where they’re from ?


  1. […] Subway Tile Backsplash @ Southern Hospitality […]

  2. […] about a similar product from Rhoda at Southern Hospitality (who also attended this event), when she tiled her kitchen backsplash using Bondera.  The differences seem to be that SimpleMat costs less ($19.97 versus $38.97 for 10 SF) and […]

  3. […] How to Tile Subway Tile Backsplash using Bondera by Southern Hospitality […]

  4. […] How to Tile Subway Tile Backsplash using Bondera by Southern Hospitality […]

  5. […] mat products, which eliminates the mortar step from the tiling process.  You can check out this one or this one here. We were feeling a little nervous about how durable and the long-term strength of […]

  6. […] For a tutorial using the Bondera product click here. […]

  7. […] at ‘Southern Hospitality’ shows us how to install a subway tile backsplash using a totally different technique than traditional thinset mortar. Much less […]

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