Tile-clad Kitchen

Project by Patrick Jaromin posted 05-17-2008 03:39 PM 5417 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was actually completed back in 2005. When we moved into our new house in November 2003, the kitchen was in good shape, but rather dull. The cabinets were fairly new maple cabinets and in excellent condition. Beyond that there wasn’t much to get excited about. The countertops were a beige patterned laminate, the backsplash was made of 4” white porcelain tiles. One large, square oak-trimmed fluorescent fixture provided the main lighting while a cheap white chandelier lit the eating area. There were some undercabinet lights—but these were the cheap plug-in style and lacked dimming capabilities.

Something had to be done.

Panorama 1

Tiled Walls

Inspired by a TV show set (which I don’t recall), I thought it might be nice to use ceramic tiles on the countertops and the walls…not just a backsplash, but right up the walls from counter to ceiling. After weeks of shopping and hitting every tile shop for probably 20 miles, we finally settled on a blue Italian tile with a slate-type texture and a nice color variance of rich blues with hints of brown. We used 4” for the walls and 8” for the countertops.



Custom Mosaics

For a more personal touch, we decided that we would create 3 custom mosaic tile backsplashes as well as a number of custom 4” tiles that would be randomly scattered throughout the room. My wife was familiar with a (now defunct) mosaic studio where, for a fairly modest cost you could create your own mosaic pieces. This proved to be a fun activity for both of us and a great way to spend a weekend afternoon (prior to kids!). I sketched out a design on velum paper and then traced them onto concrete board. We brought these into the shop and created our mosaics. I’m extremely proud of the results.


Let there be light

Prior to tiling, and while the walls were open, I brought in an electrician to wire in some new undercabinet lights. No more plug-ins! We also replaced the ugly box light with a couple blue blown-glass pendants from HD, and added 7 recessed can lights for a more modern look. Finally, the brushed-nickel chandelier we had installed in the seldom-used dining room seemed the perfect piece for our new kitchen…so down it came and up it went in its new home.



With the assistance of my wife’s sisters and brother-in-law, we managed to complete the tiling portion of the job in about a week…though the overall project took quite a bit longer. I don’t recall the exact budget, but the tiles were ~$1,700 (must of this was the bullnose edge tiles) and I believe the overall cost was <$5,000.

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL www.TenonAndSpline.com

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Patrick Jaromin

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kitchen tiles countertop appliance mosaic

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7 comments so far

View Michal Bulla's profile

Michal Bulla

17 posts in 5556 days

posted 05-19-2008 10:51 AM

Looks really great, I like the blue-yellow combination..

View MRTRIM's profile


743 posts in 5542 days

posted 05-19-2008 12:35 PM

very nice patrick ! great color choices also

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

331 posts in 5542 days

posted 05-19-2008 04:27 PM

Yeah,those mosaics look really nice!

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

View dustynewt's profile


6 posts in 5542 days

posted 05-20-2008 11:30 PM

What a happy place to be creative! Inspiring meals should ensue. Great job.

View Bill's profile


131 posts in 5542 days

posted 05-23-2008 06:00 PM

Nice work. The tile and mosaics have brought a new color and life into your kitchen. Add in the new lighting and it looks like something you would see on one of those TV shows.

-- Bill - Turlock, Ca. - http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View dennis's profile


90 posts in 5542 days

posted 06-07-2008 07:06 PM

wow! Tiled all the way up the wall…cool. The mosaics are first class.

-- http://woodsongsfurniture.com

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


204 posts in 5050 days

posted 08-15-2009 06:03 PM

Nice work on the kitchen.


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