How to Do a Subway Tile Backsplash in Your Kitchen

Installing a subway tile backsplash in your kitchen is an easy and affordable way to add a touch of elegance. With some planning, patience, and basic DIY skills, you can transform the look of your kitchen. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do a subway tile backsplash in your kitchen.

Materials Needed

  • Subway tiles
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Grout sealer
  • Trowel
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Tile spacers
  • Tile cutter
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil

Prepare the Surface

Before starting the installation, make sure the wall surface is clean and dry. Remove any old backsplash, then wash the wall with a mix of mild detergent and water. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry completely. Use painter’s tape to mask off any edges or fixtures.

Step-by-Step Process

Plan the Layout

Measure the space to determine the tile layout. Subway tiles are rectangular and installed in a bricklike pattern. Draw a diagram of the pattern, figuring out where cuts may be needed. Leave room for grout lines when calculating measurements.

Apply the Tile Adhesive

Use a notched trowel to spread a thin, even layer of tile adhesive on the backsplash area. Apply only as much adhesive as can be tiled in about 20 minutes before the adhesive dries.

Install the Subway Tiles

Starting at the center, press tiles firmly into the adhesive. Use spacers between tiles to get straight grout lines. Work outwards in each direction. Periodically check the tiles are level using a spirit level. Cut border and specialty tiles as needed with a tile cutter.

Let the Adhesive Cure

Allow the adhesive to fully cure for 24-48 hours before continuing. This allows the tiles to firmly bond to the wall. Remove the tile spacers once dry.

Apply the Grout

Prepare grout by mixing it with water according to package directions. Apply grout over the tiles using a grout float or rubber grout float. Push it into joints between tiles. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping excess grout off the tiles.

Seal the Grout

Once grout has cured 24 hours, apply grout sealer as per manufacturer directions. This will protect the grout from moisture. Allow sealer to dry completely.

Finish and Clean

Remove painter’s tape and other masking. Wash the tiles with a soft sponge and mild detergent, then rinse. Use a clean, dry cloth to polish the tiles and complete the installation.

Tips for a Successful Subway Tile Backsplash

  • Use a level and spacers to get straight, evenly spaced grout lines. This gives a clean finish.
  • Plan out tile layout and make necessary cuts before starting. Measure carefully.
  • Apply painter’s tape to protect walls and countertops from adhesive and grout.
  • Clean tiles immediately if any adhesive or grout gets on the tile surface before it dries.
  • Use a grout release agent on tiles prior to grouting for easier cleanup.
  • Seal grout to protect it from moisture and prevent cracking.
  • Use a tile cutter for clean cuts. Score the tile face and snap it.
  • Check wall for moisture issues before tiling. Use a waterproof membrane if needed.

FAQ About Subway Tile Backsplashes

How do I choose the right grout color?

Grout color is an aesthetic choice. For a minimal look, choose a grout close to the tile color. White grout suits lighter tiles. Gray or black grout pairs well with darker tiles. Contrasting grout colors highlight the tile grid pattern.

What type of tile adhesive should I use?

Use a polymer-modified thinset adhesive for a strong, water-resistant bond on backsplashes. Avoid multi-purpose adhesives. Thinset mortar modified with latex polymers offers the best adhesion and resistance to moisture.

How are subway tiles different from other tiles?

Subway tiles are rectangular, spacing-friendly ceramic or glass tiles designed to have narrow grout lines similar to tiles used in subway stations. They create a classic brick-like pattern and come in a range of colors.

Should I seal subway tiles before or after grouting?

Sealing is not required for ceramic subway tiles before grouting. Sealing natural stone tiles before grouting prevents staining but can make grout cleanup more difficult. Always seal grout after it has cured, regardless of tile material.

What’s the easiest way to cut subway tiles?

A manual tile cutter is the easiest way to cut subway tiles for most DIYers. Score the tile face with the cutter, then snap it cleanly along the score line. A wet saw can cut subway tiles cleanly and precisely but is more expensive.

How do I remove old existing backsplash tiles?

To remove old backsplash tiles, use a putty knife or oscillating multi-tool to pry the tiles off the wall. Scrape off any remaining adhesive. Be careful not to gouge into the drywall. Use painter’s tape and drop cloths to protect surrounding surfaces.


Installing a subway tile backsplash is an achievable DIY project that can completely transform the look of a kitchen. With proper planning and application of basic tiling techniques, you can create a classic, timeless backsplash. Focus on preparing the surface, using spacers for consistent grout lines, and sealing the grout. Take time to properly spread the adhesive and set the tiles. With some patience and care, you can gain an attractive, easy-to-clean backsplash that will upgrade your kitchen’s style.

How to Hang a Gallery Wall

Hanging a gallery wall of framed photos, artwork, or other decor can quickly liven up any blank wall space. Carefully curating and properly hanging a gallery wall creates an aesthetically pleasing display and avoids a haphazard, cluttered appearance. Follow these steps to hang your pieces in an artful arrangement.

Plan the Layout

  • Measure the wall space and decide on an arrangement – symmetrical, asymmetrical, or grid.
  • Select pieces to hang considering color, size, and weight balance.
  • Print templates of frames and cut them out to scale. Move them around on the floor to map out spacing.
  • Mark focal points and hang larger anchor pieces first. Build the arrangement outwards.

Hang the Anchor Pieces

  • Determine height placement. Center artwork approximately 57-60 inches from the floor.
  • Measure and mark piece locations with pencil. Use a level.
  • Drill holes for anchors. Tap in drywall anchors if needed using a hammer.
  • Attach hanging hardware to frames – D-rings, cleats, or sawtooth hangers.
  • Place anchors in wall holes. Hang framed pieces by resting hanging hardware over anchors.

Add Remaining Pieces

  • Fill out the arrangement by hanging smaller pieces around the anchors.
  • Use yardstick and pencil to evenly space and align pieces. Step back to check.
  • Adjust height and spacing as needed. Levels and laser levels help maintain alignment.
  • Stick removable adhesive tabs on frames to hold in place temporarily if needed.

Finish and Final Touches

  • Check that all pieces are straight and aligned. Realign as needed.
  • Secure frames with any removable tabs you are using. Remove adhesive residue.
  • Add labeling, lighting, or other decorative touches if desired.
  • Stand back and enjoy your gallery wall! Adjust if needed.

Gallery Wall Hanging Tips

  • Use mollies or toggle bolts for added support in drywall instead of just anchors.
  • Position taller art higher, horizontals in mid-section, smaller pieces near bottom.
  • Odd numbers of pieces look best – start with a focal point and build outward.
  • Overlap frames slightly for added depth and dimension.
  • Consider weight balance – don’t group only heavy or light pieces together.
  • Paint the wall a coordinating color to make the artwork pop.
  • Spotlight your gallery with picture lights or wall sconces.

Hanging a gallery wall is an art in itself. With some planning and attention to detail, you can create your own stylish gallery display. Focus on the arrangement, proper hanging techniques, and using quality hardware. Take a creative approach to liven up your wall and show off cherished pieces in a aesthetically pleasing way.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gallery Walls

How much space should be between gallery wall frames?

The ideal spacing between gallery wall frames is 2-4 inches. This prevents the display from looking too cluttered while still achieving a cohesive arrangement. The exact spacing can vary based on personal preference and the sizes of the frames.

What is the best height to hang a gallery wall?

The standard height range is 57-60 inches from the floor to the center of the gallery wall display. However, the height can be adjusted based on your needs. Slightly lower (50-55 inches) works well in smaller spaces, while larger walls and ceilings may call for hanging the gallery a bit higher.

Should all frames in a gallery wall be the same?

Mixing up frame sizes, colors, and styles is recommended for visual interest. However, some cohesion should be maintained through coordinating colors or materials. Striking a balance between variety and harmony is key for an appealing gallery wall.

How do I arrange an asymmetrical gallery wall?

Plan an asymmetrical arrangement by choosing one large anchor frame as the focal point, then building outward with frames of varying sizes. Use odd numbers of items and place frames close together in some areas and farther apart in others.

What is the best hardware to hang heavy frames?

For heavy wall art or large gallery wall frames, O-rings, D-rings, and cleats provide the most secure hanging hardware. Screw eyes can work for lighter pieces. Use drywall anchors rated for the weight of the art, or install wood blocking behind the drywall if needed.

Should I hang a gallery wall on one nail each or two?

Hanging gallery wall frames on two nails, screws or hooks provides the most secure support, especially for heavier pieces. For light frames under 15 pounds, a single nail, hook or cleat may suffice if properly anchored into studs or drywall.


Planning is key to creating a stunning gallery wall that enhances your living space. Decide on an arrangement and design the layout before hanging the first piece. Use proper hanging hardware and anchoring according to the weight of your frames. Mix artwork and frames for visual variety. Keep a balanced, proportional look and align all pieces. Take it step-by-step to artfully fill your wall with cherished photos and art.

How to Give a Great Massage

Whether for your significant other, family member, or as a professional therapist, learning how to give an excellent massage is a valuable skill. The techniques and proper application of pressure can relieve pain, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. Follow these tips to give the perfect massage.

Create a Relaxing Environment

  • Play soft, calming music and keep lighting gentle.
  • Set temperature in the room to a comfortable level.
  • Use scented massage oils or lotion. Lavender and eucalyptus are soothing.
  • Provide a padded table, futon, or bed for the recipient to lie on.
  • Drape a clean sheet or towel over massage area for comfort and hygiene.

Warm Up the Muscles

  • Have the recipient lie down on their stomach to start. Keep them modestly covered.
  • Apply warmed massage oil or lotion over the back.
  • Gently rock or shake the muscles to release tension and get them ready.
  • Try long, light effleurage strokes outward along the back and shoulders.

Focus on Key Areas

  • For the back, use thumb pressure along the spine outward. Target shoulders and mid-back.
  • Knead the neck carefully with fingers and thumbs. Support the head.
  • Massage the scalp with fingertips in small circles from front to back.
  • On legs, use hands and elbows to apply long strokes and pressure to calves.

Vary Techniques and Pressure

  • Alternate between light and medium pressure based on reactions.
  • Knead muscles between thumbs and fingers. Use fists or elbows on larger areas.
  • Try petrissage techniques of kneading, rolling, and lifting muscles.
  • Repeat any techniques that elicit positive responses. Ask for feedback.

Finish Relaxingly

  • Have recipient turn onto back for upper body, arm, and hand massage.
  • Gently shake out limbs and apply compression along arms.
  • Use lighter pressure and pacing at end of massage.
  • Finish by holding hands palm down with light finger pressure.

Provide Aftercare

  • Thank client and allow time for them to transition up.
  • Offer water or tea to rehydrate.
  • Provide privacy for client to dress.
  • Clean massage space and linens thoroughly after each use.
  • Suggest the recipient take it easy and drink water to aid muscle recovery.

Massage Pointers

  • Never apply pressure directly on bones, bruises, cuts, or inflamed areas.
  • Keep hand and arm movements fluid, not jerky. Flow with muscle contours.
  • Use caution and communicate with recipient if pressure needs adjusting.
  • Focus on relaxing recipient and relieving muscle tension – not rigorous deep tissue work.
  • Take cues from reactions on pressure and pace preferences.
  • Ensure client is comfortable mentioning any sensitivities or allergies beforehand.

Giving a great massage takes practice, intuition, and learning what works for each person. Set a calming environment with soft lighting and music. Warm up muscles before broad strokes and kneading techniques. Focus on key tension areas but vary pressure. End with light relaxation. With patience and care, you can master the art of massage.

Frequently Asked Questions About Massage Techniques

What oil or lotion is best for giving a massage?

Grapeseed and sweet almond oils absorb well with less greasy residue. Unscented lotions also work well. Essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint can be added for aroma. Avoid using heavy creams or oils that absorb poorly.

What are the main massage techniques?

The main techniques include effleurage (gliding strokes), petrissage (kneading), friction (circular movements), vibration, and tapotement ( rhythmic tapping). Using a combination of these techniques provides a thorough massage.

How can I avoid tiring my hands and thumbs during massage?

To reduce hand and thumb fatigue, avoid using thumbs and fingers for prolonged deep pressure. Instead, use palm pressure, fists, forearms, and elbows on broader areas like the back. Take breaks to stretch and shake out your hands.

How long should a full body massage last?

A full body massage usually lasts 45 to 60 minutes. Focus on spending 5-10 minutes on each major area – back, arms, legs, neck, etc. Shorter 30 minute massages target certain areas like back, shoulders and neck.

What is the proper hand placement for effleurage strokes?

Effleurage is performed with hand placement either overlapping, with palms slightly apart, or anchor and glide with one hand after the other. Using some oil or lotion reduces friction for smooth gliding strokes.

How much pressure should be used in massage?

Ideal pressure depends on the individual. Indicators of appropriate pressure are relaxed muscles and positive feedback. Start light, then gradually increase pressure while gauging reactions. Deep tissue massage requires very firm pressure but beginners should stay gentle.


Learning massage techniques takes practice, but being able to relieve aches, pains and stress via therapeutic touch is a valuable skill. Set a calming mood with music, aromatherapy oils and dim lighting. Warm up with light strokes then focus on key tension areas while varying techniques and pressure. End by easing off pressure and allowing time for the recipient to transition up. With patience and attentiveness, you can master the art of giving an excellent massage.

How to Make Money on YouTube

With over 2 billion monthly users, YouTube presents major money-making opportunities for content creators. While becoming rich and famous overnight is highly unlikely, with dedication and resilience, you can start earning income through YouTube. Follow these tips to build a sustainable channel and turn your skills and creativity into YouTube revenue.

Produce Quality Content Consistently

  • Choose a niche you’re passionate about to build an audience.
  • Script, plan and edit videos carefully to maximize engagement.
  • Record videos with good lighting, audio quality and energy.
  • Optimize video titles, tags and descriptions for discoverability.

Build Loyal Audience Relationships

  • Stay active and post videos consistently on a schedule.
  • Interact genuinely with viewers through comments and live chats.
  • Join a multi-channel network (MCN) for cross-promotion opportunities.
  • Give fans exclusive, bonus content through channel memberships.

Monetize Videos

  • Enable monetization once eligible with 1000+ subscribers and 4000+ hours watched.
  • Place relevant, non-intrusive ads in videos. Longer videos can have multiple ads.
  • Create sponsored content, product reviews or brand deals related to your niche.
  • Use affiliate links in video descriptions to recommend products.

Diversify Income Streams

  • Sell merchandise like t-shirts, mugs and other branded items.
  • Publish ebooks, courses or tutorials for fans to purchase.
  • Promote fan funding sources like Patreon for exclusive content tiers.
  • License your content to be used by other platforms and websites.

Promote Your Channel

  • Share video links on social media, blogs, websites and with friends.
  • Participate as a guest on other creators’ channels.
  • Purchase YouTube ads to expand your reach and find new viewers.
  • Pitch your channel to relevant podcasts, magazines, etc. for interviews.

YouTube Success Tips

  • Stay authentic and connect with fans on a personal level.
  • Collaborate with other creators to gain exposure.
  • Respond to all comments, even critical ones.
  • Analyze your metrics to fine-tune content for higher viewers