Last we left off with the kitchen remodel we had installed all the new soffitts and crown molding as well as the new window, which meant it was finally time to tile the back splash! We decided to go with a subway tile (or white 3×6 field tile) in a herringbone pattern. You may remember that we did subway tile in a running bond pattern in our last master bathroom and hall bathroom. Every time Cody does subway tile he swears up and down that he will never do it again because it takes so long to install it due to the small tiles. However, we keep coming back to it because it is simply a beautiful and timeless tile (as well as budget friendly). This time around however, we thought we’d shake things up by installing the tile in a herringbone pattern. Herringbone is a classic design in a zigzag pattern that is often used in tiling as well as fabrics. It’s reminiscent of the recent chevron trend as well. Cody immediately loved the idea when I pitched it to him since it kept our kitchen feeling bright and classic but was slightly less traditional because of the pattern.
Herringbone uses basically the same amount of tile as the typical running bond pattern and is only slightly more difficult to install because of the angles. Aspect Metal has a fantastic tutorial on installing a herringbone pattern that we used. The best tip I could give you is that it is easier to install the tile vertically rather than horizontally because vertically they all go in the same direction.
Cody originally began installing them horizontally, but after a couple of rows he realized that the pattern was wrong (can you spot it below?) Installing it vertically makes it almost impossible to mess up the pattern.
Once the tile was all installed we gave it a day to dry before grouting it. We wanted the pattern to stand out so instead of white grout we choose alabaster. Our one regret is that we didn’t pick a darker grout. In really bright light the pattern sort of fades away. Whatever color you choose remember that the grout will go on darker when wet then dry to a lighter color. You can see it looks like a sand color when wet.
Here is a close-up of how it turned out. Don’t be deceived by the picture (it was really difficult to photograph). It is absolutely gorgeous in person. I really love how the tile reflects light around the room.
The herringbone pattern makes the room feel a lot more elegant than the typical running bond pattern would have done. The tile is such a beautiful back drop for the new open shelves for our plates. The room is really starting to come together now. All we have left is to build the range hood and buy a new stove. Stay tuned for those updates!
Oh and did I mention how budget friendly this tile was? We bought the 3×6 field tile from Home Depot. For the whole kitchen it came in at just about $100! Can’t beat that!