Our Home: Part 4

When I left this story last time, Spencer and I had spent just over a month tearing out walls and flooring and pretty much everything else of our newly purchased home.

Once everything is ripped out – you have to start rebuilding and you start rebuilding with the important, but really boring stuff like electrical work and plumbing.

For weeks we worked and worked – and by “we” I mean mostly Spencer and from the looks of things… things just sat.

Like I said… for weeks our house looked like this, while spencer worked really hard running new wires, electrical and plumbing.

He just loves when I take photos while he is plumbing!

He also loves when I sneak a photo of his get-up he created by duct taping garbage bags together – so he can climb up into the attic for hours to run new lighting! Believe it or not, this fun little outfit actually kept all the insulation of his skin so he didn’t spend the next three days scratching until he bled. He is so clever!

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This step is one of the most frustrating because from the looks of it nothing is being done and when you are living in the nasty basement not seeing any progress is hard. But I sort of like indoor plumbing and flipping a switch for lights so we sorta had to… ya know!

Want to read more of the story or need to catch up?

Our Home Part 1
Our Home Part 2
Our Home Part 3
Our Home: Part 4
Our Home: Part 5
Our Home: Part 6


The Alden Street House Reveal

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After three LONG weeks of grueling work and one LONG week of teaser posts – we are finally ready for the BIG REVEAL! 

Before and After Collage

Before we get started on all the great photos I wanted to answer some questions really quick!

  • Spencer is a General Contractor and Owner of a Licensed Business Called Redline Construction. However, I did think of the company name!
  • Spencer works with an investor and a real estate agent. He is the General and we do not own the house.
  • Spencer must make sure everything is up to code and is passed off with a City Inspector.
  • Spencer had a crew of himself, two part-time (PRN) guys, an electrician, a tile guy, a painter and the carpet guy.
  • Yes! Three weeks to remodel a house is grueling and hard on everyone involved — or a least everyone under this roof. There were many, many nights I would be in bed when he came home and still asleep when he left in the morning.
  • Yes! We would meet up for lunch dates (with three tag- alongs) so that we could see each other at decent hours of the day and so our children would remember who their daddy was. (just kidding, sort of)
  • Sort of! I did feel like a single mom. I was with our kids from sun up to sun down and every moment in-between without any relief from another parent. However, single mammas have to go to work and I have the privilege of staying home with our three rugrats darling kiddos!
  • Yes, our marriage survives long hours such as these because we understand one another and we both sorta love each other!

Okay!! here we go!! The BIG REVEAL! I have been excited about this all week long!

I am only going to narrate a little bit throughout all these photos so you can just enjoy them.  It is sort of like that game where you have two pictures and you have to pick out the differences!

This house was built in 1924 in the Sugar House area of Salt Lake City.

(some pictures were taken from the MSL site … just giving credit where credit is due!)

Outside Before:

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Outside After: 

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Front Room Before: 


Front Room After: You guys! I swear to you it is the same room!! Amazing right!!??

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Dining Room Before:


Dining Room After: I really love those old corner cabinets and was glad Spencer was able to incorporate them back into the dining room. 

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Kitchen Before: 


Kitchen After: I love that we still kept some of the old charm from the original home, like the brick wall in the middle and beam on the ceiling, but were still able to update and make it fresh and new.

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Main Bath Before: 


Main Bath After: 

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Master Bedroom: I am not sure why there isn’t a before, but just imagine crappy paint, horrible wood floors and and nasty baseboard – and you pretty much have the before.

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The little door on the wall is the ironing board cabinet and the metal piece is where the iron sits. I love this feature and love to think about all moms that have lived there that ironed all their little kids clothing on that board. The cover is new, but I love the charm of the history behind it.

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From the Kitchen we will go downstairs first.

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A lot of work went into this area right here (and I sadly don’t have one good picture of it) to move the water lines and dryer vents and such to make this room a laundry room. Spencer moved the laundry out from underneath the stairs in a crawl space to this larger and more convenient space. The crawl space area can now provide storage.

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There are three doors in this room, one to go upstairs, one to outside and one into a mother-in-law apartment. The most work done here was in the kitchen and bath. These rooms simply got a coat of paint.

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Here is a before of the Basement kitchen


and the after…


And an after of the basement bathroom.


From the Kitchen you can also go upstairs. If you have been following along this week, then you already know about the love affair I have with these stairs! If not, then I’ll tell you that I LOVE these stairs! The character and personality and charm they give the house is simply perfect!

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 Upstairs Bedroom Before: Most of the rooms upstairs looked just like this one.


Upstairs Bedroom Afters:

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And the Upstairs Bathroom:

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All the crazy bushes and trees and ivy and such in the backyard was cut back and under control once again.


And that my friends is the end of the tour!

Did you like it? It is crazy to see how much one house can change in just three weeks!

It is always kind of sad when a good thing is over – right?

If you want to see more of this house and the work done you can read the series here:

Alden Street House
Alden Street Demolition
Alden Street Rebuild Part 1
Alden Street Rebuild Part 2

If you want to see more pictures of all our hard work or more information on the house you can look up the house here.

Linked to Remodelaholic and Tatertots & Jello

Linked up To #CWTS2012
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We hope you have a great Weekend and we will see you all on Monday!

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The Alden Street Rebuild {Part 2}

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We have ONE week until Open House day and still have a lot of things we need to get done. Yesterday (part 1) we showed you the sheetrock, paint, flooring and tile – and today we are going to talk about pretty much everything else!

Just as a refresher – here are a few pictures from yesterday.

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Do you have a mental list of the things we are missing?

Cabinets. Countertops. Sinks. Appliances. Carpet. Outlet Covers. Switch Plates. Baseboards. Vent Covers. Light Fixtures. Doors. Door Knobs. Railing. Are you tired yet?

Here we go! One week!!

The front door was sanded down and re-stained. Spencer also installed white vinyl railing to the front porch. He installed it for code purposes but I love that curb appeal and brightness it brings to the home.

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Brand New Custom Maple Cabinets were installed in the kitchen and bathrooms.  Spencer’s father owns a custom cabinet shop called Cabnicon and built the cabinets for this house. Spencer and his dad installed them all. Granite was installed in the kitchen with an under counter sink and brand new stainless steel appliances.

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The corner cabinets were painted white and placed back in the corners of the dining room. Granite, matching the kitchen, was cut and placed in the window seals.

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White baseboard was installed in every room but the front room.

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And last, but certainly not least… carpet was installed throughout the home!

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It is open house time people!!

Tomorrow is the big daddy reveal! Before pictures and after pictures and all the info you need and want to know!!


The Alden Street House Rebuild Part 1

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Now that the house is completely torn apart – the real fun begins!

To bring this house up to code, the entire home had to be rewired. Spencer had to cut out walls, flooring and ceilings so his electrician could run all the proper wires, outlets, breakers and everything else needed for new electricity. So, when you see large holes in the pictures with a bunch of wires… now you know why!

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The brick on the outside of the house was all taped off and a new coat of paint was applied to all the stucco (plaster) and all the eves for the porches and doors.

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A brand new garage door was purchased and installed and new framing went up around the opening to fix the weather damage in the front.

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New subflooring was installed in certain rooms and everywhere where flooring was taken out for new wiring.

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New and proper headers were installed so the house didn’t come crumbling down!

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With all new framing, plumbing and electrical – it was time for sheetrock.

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As well as all new marble tile.

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And then a fresh new coat of paint! Painting is always my favorite part because I feel like it makes the biggest change and brings all the progress together. Can you even believe the above picture is the same room as the picture below?

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Brand new room heaters were installed in each room.

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And the master bedroom floor was sanded down and refinished. The front room also had really beautiful wooden floors, but after the mirrors and tile in the corners were removed it was discovered that the wood under the tile was water damaged and ruined. We could either rip up the damaged wood and replace it or carpet over the wood flooring. The choice was made to carpet.

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I mentioned in the introduction post that there was a really great staircase in the home and it is my very favorite part of the home! There is a door leading from the kitchen towards the back of the house and you can either go up or down. The stairs leading downstairs and straight and boring. The stairs leading up are awesome with so much character. They wrap around the wall and to the top floor. They just add so much personality to the home and you just don’t see stairs like this anymore.

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At this point in time, we have about a week until the open house! Are you making a list of the things we are missing? Because we sure are!


Alden Street Demolition

Yesterday I introduced you to a cute little house that Spencer and his crew flipped in three weeks. We are showing you all the work and covering it in just a week. Wait until you see the work and you will be amazed that he did it all with just two extra weeks.

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Demolition is easy.

You go in with sledge hammers swinging and bust out every.single.thing.

Spencer always rents a dump trailer (a trailer that has power to dump like a dump truck) and will fill it over and over and over. One night he called me at 11:30 and told me he was on his way home, but the but the dump trailer had blown a tire 1 mile after they got on the freeway (I-80) and busted up the wheel. It was cold and yucky and dark and he sat in his truck on the freeway for an hour waiting for the dump trailer owner to bring some welding equipment to “jimmy-rig” the wheel so Spencer could “gimp” it home. He walked in the door at 3:30…

Here are some pictures of the mess they made. First, let’s rip off the house numbers and head inside.

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He ripped out all the shelving and tile and window seals in the dining area.

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He ripped out every single thing in the kitchen.

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I love this picture because it shows the old walls with the plaster.

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Say goodbye to the wall mirrors….

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…and everything in the bathroom…

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… and the basketball hoop!

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This will be the new laundry room.

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I’m not sure what this mess is….

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This is the main floor bathroom. I think it strange that it used to be the outside wall with a window… or something.

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This is the hallway upstairs with the green flooring I mentioned yesterday.

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and what used to be the upstairs bathroom.

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and more downstairs demo.

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Exploring an old home is always exciting and messy… and sometimes a nightmare, like when you find out you have to run new electrical wiring through the WHOLE. ENTIRE.HOUSE! and while we are at it… let’s add all new plumbing too. But we will talk about that tomorrow! See ya then!


The Alden Street Remodel

Happy Monday!! I am so excited about today’s post (and the rest of the week’s posts too.) In Salt Lake, there is a darling little area called Sugarhouse. Sugarhouse is full of fun, older homes full of personality and natural charm. The neighborhoods are dotted with beautiful, tall trees that shade the small lanes and adds character. Spencer has been working on a few of these houses lately and this week we are going to show you one of these houses. Spencer had exactly three weeks to flip this house and get it ready to sell. Spencer works with a few different people to make this happen and has a lot of different input from here and there but I love that he always asks for my opinion and I see the houses every step of the way.

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Here is the house on day one.

side note: Spencer took the pictures… I would say more but that’s all there is to say… He is the typical male that doesn’t understand the power of the photo on a blog… he is a work in progress, but I love him so what do you do?

Here is the front door/porch area… sorry… no before of the door but it was in bad shape to say the least. On the full house photo you can see it is gray and worn and in desperate need of help.

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When you walk in you are in the front room.

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To the left of the front door is the dining room. You can see the front door and the failing plaster around the door and the horrid tile around the door.

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Here is the dining room.

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The dining room leads into the kitchen (of course!)

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Down the hall from the kitchen is a bathroom to the left, the front room on the right and the master bedroom at the very end.

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Here is a few of the bathroom… you gotta love that wooden toilet seat!

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From the kitchen is a door that leads to a staircase that winds around the wall and upstairs. There are no before pictures of the upstairs.


I know.

but there are three small rooms and a bathroom. All the floors are done in a fun minty linoleum… You will see pictures tomorrow when I show you how they demoed everything.

From the kitchen you can also go down the stairs and out the side door to the driveway. You can go down another set of stairs to the basement as well. The basement is also an apartment. There is this nasty little crawlspace under the stairs. You can see a broken stair… creepy and a bit scary.

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There is also a small room that divides the apartment from the stairs leading upstairs. I am so sure why there is this strange pipe coming out of the wall and into the ceiling but there are strange things like this all over the house.

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From the small room you go into a larger room, like a living room and then there is a small bedroom separate from the living room by only a wall. Picture-less… sorry. There is this small kitchen around the corner.

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And then a bathroom…. this is his bathroom shot…. I told you… work in progress!! haha!

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Behind the home is his shabby garage. It is structurally sound but not much to look at.

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And the backyard needed some help too…

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So, there you have it! Let’s flip this house!

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Tomorrow we begin demolition. Hopefully some of those pictures will fill in some of the missing ones from today.

Have a great Monday and come back tomorrow and follow along to see all the updates!


Remember to follow us over at Instagram to get behind the scenes and sneak-peeks of our lives!

White Subway Tile Backsplash

I am in la, la, la love with my white subway tile backsplash. When we set the first few tiles I sort of gritted my teeth and hoped I had made the right decision but every day I just love it more and more! I love the contrast of the white tile and gray grout with the granite counter tops and (hopefully soon) cherry cabinets!

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Are you ready for a picture overload??

Here we go!!

A couple before and after’s….


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It’s quite the difference huh? The white makes our kitchen so much brighter and cleaner and adds such a fun farmhouse aspect to our home.

(farmhouse may or may not be a little bit of foreshadowing!!) {wink!} {wink!}

Here are a few more beauty shots for you to enjoy!


One of my favorite things about the new tile, is that it goes up and over the window around the sink. At first we only had it as high as the tile underneath the cabinets, but then changed our minds and carried it all the way up and it was the best decision.

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Another fun decision we made that we both really love is replacing our white outlet covers for silver covers. We purchased ours from Home Depot and they are actually nickel covers and you can find them here. I love the simple step detail of the covers. It adds a bit of personality without being “too much.”


What do you think? Do you guys like the subway tile? Do you guys have it in your kitchens? Are you thinking about it now!!

I hope so!!

If you are on the fence – do it! You will love it!

To create this look in your home you can find all the tips and tutorials you need here:

How To Use A Tile Saw
How to Cut Tile for an Outlet
Create a Subway Tile Backsplash
How to Grout Tile
How to Seal Tile


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How to Seal Tile and Grout

Let’s talk sealer shall we?!  We have tiled and grouted and scrubbed the tile clean and now it is time to protect all our hard work! I know nothing about good sealers so I went to Home Depot and looked around at the ones they had. I compared a few by looking at the bottles and finally settled on this one:

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SurfaceGard Maximum Strength Sealer — in a spray bottle.

I bought for a few reasons, the first being I was tiling  backsplash and I liked that I could just spray it onto the wall. Second, it is made for natural stone, tile, grout and masonry. Third, it is “supposed” to protect for 20 years. Lastly… it didn’t get too bad of reviews.

All I did was spray it on all over the tile. Easy right?

I made sure I sprayed it on in a uniform pattern and made sure all my sprays overlapped. I paid close attention to the grout lines and the amount of sealer they were absorbing – if I felt there was a spot that was absorbing too quickly or was too dry, I would give it another quick spray.

After waiting about 5 minutes I wiped off all the extra sealer with a clean dry rag.

Because we like to over-do some things…. I repeated the process one more time just to make sure it was really sealed!

I sealed the tile in the morning and waited until the evening to really utilize my kitchen. You only need to wait about 3 hours for it to fully dry but since I did two coats I personally wanted to wait just a bit longer.

We have had this backsplash finished since July. Surprise! This project was one of the many projects we completed over the summer while we were gearing up to start our blog and share with you. Since it has been done since July… I feel I can give you a better  and honest review of the tile sealer.

I really love it and have not had any problems with it. One time I splashed bright red spaghetti sauce all over the backsplash by the stovetop and was able to wipe it all off without any hassle and my grout looked just fine. Some people give advice and suggest to reseal every 6 months but our sealer is holding up just fine and we haven’t had any problems. In the summer, I may reseal around the sink and the stovetop because those are wiped down on a regular basis just to be extra sure they are sealed in tight but other than that we have had no problems and our grout and tile still look awesome!

On Friday, I will show you the finished project!! I am so excited!


How to Grout Tile

Are you ready to grout? Has your tile cured for at least 48 hours? Yes!!?? Then let’s grout!

You will need:

  • Grout
  • A grout float
  • A large grout sponge
  • A large bowl of luke warm water
      We chose to buy and use a pre-made grout. Since we were only doing a small space this worked out best for us. I really wanted the lines to pop a little bit so we went with a gray grout – plus, we really loved the gray grout tile from

this post



    A grout float is a float with a smooth bottom side and the best sponge to buy is a large one with a scrubber on one side and a sponge on the other!

I am really excited about this post because I (Amanda) did all the work! I grouted my new backsplash! Woot! Woot! I’ll admit, I was nervous but once I started it was pretty easy and once I found my groove there was no turning back!

How to Grout Tile:

Add a small amount of grout to the bottom of your grout float.

Using the float, push the grout into the open lines of your tile. There are no tips or tricks really – it sort of comes natural. You push in the grout and then smooth it out and move onto the next line. You want to make sure that you fill the entire space with grout so there are no holes or air bubbles.

I did it small space by small space so the grout wouldn’t dry too much by the time I went to wipe off the excess. Use the scrubber side of your sponge and wipe off as much grout as you can. Make sure that you wipe off with flat and straight motions. Wiping grout out of the grout lines defeats the purpose a little bit (wink!)

When you have most of it off, flip the sponge over and wipe off the remaining grout. You shouldn’t have too much to wipe off but make sure it is as nice and clean as you can get it. You will still have a little bit of grout left of the tiles, it will pretty much just look like dirty water but let the grout dry for 48 hours.

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After 48 hours you can seal the grout. Before you apply your sealer, give the tile one more good scrub. I like to clean each tile one by one. It is tedious – but it would drive me nuts to seal a dirty tile and then have to see it every day!

This tutorial is for a backsplash, but you would use the same exact steps to grout any tile (shower surround, flooring, bathroom backsplash, walls and so on). Just make sure you press the grout in and clean it up really nice.

Tomorrow I will show you the grout sealer that I purchased and used and I’ll tell you why I went with the one I did.


How to Cut Tile for an Outlet

Now that you know how to cut tile with a tile saw, lets get down to business! Today we are going to give you step-by-step instructions on how to cut small tile for an outlet. It may seem super complicated… but it’s not and when you see how easy it really is you may start thinking about adding tile for your backsplash!

First, hold the tile up to the wall where you will be placing it and (using a permanent marker) mark where the cutout for the outlet box is width wise.

With your tile facing the same way, move it to the side of the outlet and position it where it will go and mark the tile length-wise.

Using a level, so your line is nice and straight and well… level {wink!} …draw a line using your mark length-wise.


Use your level and do the same for the width marks.

You will now have a nice little outline of the outlet.

Take your tile to your tile saw and cut out the outlet piece.

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You may have seen this tile before because we used this tile in our post and video about how to use a tile saw. You will want to watch the video! Spencer walks you through the whole process of cutting the tile and gives lots of good tips to make it easier for you. I have embedded it below but here is a link in case it won’t pull up for you.

Your cut out piece will slip nicely over your outlet…

And will pretty much look freakin’ awesome!!

Now that we have shown you some tips and tricks for creating a backsplash, next up… How to Tile a Backsplash!

See you Monday!