Monday, October 12, 2015

My Unusual Backsplash Choice

Well hello! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes last week and all weekend. I so appreciated every one! I had a fantastic weekend. I woke up to this in our yard on Friday, courtesy of my husband:
It was an easy way to remind people where we live for the party Saturday night -- just look for the ginormous sign in the yard! It was up till yesterday morning and I honestly kind of miss it. It made me so happy to see that every time I pulled up to our house. I love my husband. Even though I'm so getting him back at his next big birthday in a couple years! :) 

So onto the new backsplash. This is when I'm glad I take my time to do renovations because I will often make changes along the way. All along I've planned to do a subway tile backsplash. I wanted to see the granite in before I decided for sure on the design and color. Turns out there's like four versions of white subway tile, just at Lowe's. Who knew? 

Well the night before I was going to purchase the tile and get started, I was just not feeling it. I wasn't excited about it like I've been every other step along the way. My plan was always to tile up to a certain point and then perhaps plank the wall above it, to bring in the design of the fireplace and the island. 

But that was feeling too busy in my head. And the tile just wasn't really me…so I did some more research. And I realized the photos that I've pinned and saved that really struck me had one thing in common -- planked walls: 
I just love them. They are simple and clean but still have a farmhouse vibe that's feels warm. There's a big part of me that loves symmetry and clean lines and I'm just naturally drawn to planked walls. (Or shiplap, the term that has become popular again thanks to Fixer Upper.)  

Here's a another one of my favorite images: 
ship lap walls kitchen
My original plan was going to be super cheap -- I was going to to use the underlayment I used for over the fireplace in the family room. It's about $14 for a four by eight piece and I would have needed a few. 

But I noticed something I didn't have to worry about before -- the area behind our stove was now exposed. We got a slide in range last month and because the burners are closer to the wall than before, I had to consider some safety issues: 
planked wood walls backsplash in kitchen

I came across this image on Pinterest and dug a little deeper. I emailed the designer and she shared that they don't use wood, but hardi plank siding: 
hardi plank backsplash behind stove
It is composed of brick and cement and other similar materials (fiber cement siding) that make it fire resistant and non-combustible. Brilliant. 

I was bummed when I first got her response because I assumed it would be crazy expensive. I did some research though and it turns out it's actually a great price -- an eight inch wide by 12 foot long piece is only $7. When you're siding a house that would get expensive, yes. For a wall in the kitchen? It's a DEAL. 

I did some more digging and found another designer who uses it inside as well: 

It offers that great wood planked look because it's so wide. The front of it has the look of wood too: 
But that's not the side you want to use. Along the top edge it has lettering that is hidden when installed like siding. You want to flip it over and use the back. I like this side better anyway -- it still has some texture but it's not as pronounced:
fiber cement board backsplash
I'll share the installation process with you soon, when I reveal the whole thing all painted. I've been hyping this up for a few days so I wanted to at least share what I'm using with you. :) It's pretty easy stuff to work with, just heavy (but no heavier than thick wood).

This weekend was crazy busy but I was able to get most of the kitchen done. I have some smaller pieces to trim down under the cabinets and around the window:
planked kitchen backsplash
Within seconds of it going up I was in love with it. I loved it even unpainted, I can't imagine how much I'll love it all white. :) 

So far I've spent a little over $60 on it and I have to go get one more piece. Not bad for the impact it's going to have in the room! I'll prime it and paint, but before I do that I'll caulk between each plank: 
fiber cement boards in kitchen
They butt up pretty close to each other but because this is a kitchen I want to make sure nothing can get behind them. 

The area over the stove will have a vent hood soon but here's an idea of how it looks in that area: 
hardi plank walls kitchen
LOVE it. 

I'm dying to get it finished up. The area around the lights and window trim will be the hardest, so I saved all of that for today:
planking walls in kitchen
I'm making one other small change that I think will make a big impact too. I'm so glad I decided to ditch the tile and go with what felt more like me!

I keep saying this along the way, but after this is done I'll REALLY feel like I'm almost there. I have lighting to add to the cabinets and shelves to hang on the wall, but after that it's just painting the cabinets, which will be the biggest part of course. But I'm getting SO close!!

I wanted to share this with you because it's such great option in general -- the price is fantastic and it really gives that nice thick ship lap look. I'm really excited about it! There are some things to consider when installing it and I'll go over all of that soon, hopefully later this week!

45 comments:

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! Can't wait to see it finished!

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  2. Amazing! Can't wait to hear the nitty gritty- we are moving in a week and I am watching your kitchen renovations with great interest....can't wait to implement some of these ideas!

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  3. We planked ours, too, and I couldn't love it more.

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  4. I am excited to see the finished product as well. I would of never thought to use wood on the wall. You are an amazing woman to take on this project and host your birthday party in the middle of it!

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  5. awesome! Love that you are sharing info about unusual products. Looks great, can't wait to see the rest.

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  6. I can't wait to see the finished product! My husband and I hardi-planked the outside of our home last year ourselves. It's fun to see the siding that I spent so much time painting and helping install used inside!

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  7. LOOOOOOVVVVEEEE IT !!!!!! It adds a whole different dimension to the kitchen! Great choice!

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  8. oh my gosh I LOVE THIS! I have been racking my brain about back splash... feeling pressure to do subway tile but... to be honest... it just feels so trendy to me! I wanted something more rustic and more ME! This just might be it! You and your blog are such a help! Is it bad if I just steal all your creative ideas!? ;) One question for you - you mentioned it having a "farm house feel" We do not have a farm house.. just a little brick 1960s ranch in the suburbs that we are re-doing. Is it odd to have wood like that in a non-farmhouse?

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    1. We have a 1969 tri-level. I have used some beadboard and would install planked walls in a heartbeat!!! I wanted it in our dining room but my husband insisted more traditional. If you like it, use it! I call my style Traditional, Farmhouse, Cottage. I have it all in my home and I get complements from many people that visit how beautiful our home is and complement my decorating style. It is not odd at all. I have seen numerous homes that are not farmhouses with this look!! I was able to put it in my daughters bedroom and will be redoing our laundry room with it. Go for it!!!

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    2. Thank you! I think I may just do it! Because I could not get myself to settle on tile! I would say my style is contemporary, traditional, cottage if that's a possible combination! :) I know what I like when I see it... just not good at translating it to my own design! :) thanks for the encouragement!

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  9. I love this idea! I can't wait to hear about the paint you use, and see the finished product! I'm curious about how to keep it clean?

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  10. Are you going to use a heat-resistant paint behind the cooktop? Because ordinary indoor paint will not hold up to the heat and/or steam directed on to that perpendicular surface. It will crack for sure--and I tell you this from experience.

    Sue

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  11. Thank you, thank you for enlightening us to yet another awesome idea! It is so great to know about the Hardi siding!!! I am always so impressed on how you attack so much of the work in your home yourself. I also love how you come up with brilliant information like this and share. THANK YOU!!! Your kitchen is really going to be stunning.

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  12. I adore plank walls. We're in the middle of a basement reno and plan to have a charcoal gray plank accent wall. It'll add some interest. Going to use a thinner material than traditional planks though. Your fireplace inspired one of our basement decor choices. I often refer to you when my husband and I are trying to decide on a decor issue. Love your style and how you make certain decor choices doable.

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  13. Hi! First of all -- Happy Belated Birthday! Second -- I love your idea to use planks for your backsplash -- I've been so on the fence with what to do with ours. Tile isn't my thing either. Thanks for the push to do something else!

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  14. Great idea! We ended up using hardi board to plank the fireplace wall in our master for the same reason--we had to have a noncombustible product around the firebox. It turned out beautifully. Good luck with the kitchen!

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  15. I love this! I have been planning on doing a herringbone style planking in our kitchen. Thanks so much for posting about the material. We have a slide in range too and this will work perfectly... Especially with our budget.

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  16. That is such a fantastic idea about the Hardi boards! Glad you shared that information with us!

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  17. Love it! Did you see this blog post by Erin Gates the other day? Good to know you are not only doing what you love, but a look other 'celebrity designers' are coveting :) http://www.elementsofstyleblog.com/2015/10/my-current-favorite-kitchen-look.html

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  18. Love this, Sarah! What an unexpected change, but soooo cool. Great call - glad you listened to your gut and didn't go with the tile! Happy Belated Birthday too! :-)

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  19. Happy Belated Birthday, Sarah! I love your idea for the backsplash. Your kitchen is going to look so good. I can't wait for the reveal.

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  20. It looks fab Sarah!!! I'm so sorry I missed wishing you a happy birthday! Glad it was great!! (:

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  21. Such a great idea - we built our shed out of this and it looks exactly like timber but way cheaper.

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  22. I was a little worried when you said you were going to use something unusual- but this looks awesome!! It looks great unpainted, too. Love the kitchen updates, you are doing a great job!

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  23. It's looking fantastic! I can start to see it coming together. Almost there!

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  24. I am always so excited when I get your posts in my inbox....can't wait to see what you're up to!! This is looking fantastic, what talent you have. Your house is super cozy!!

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  25. I love the idea, but if you caulk in between boards, won't that diminish the planked look? I understand your desire to make it so nothing can penetrate, but what will that do to the design? I'm sure you know what you're doing and thought of everything, but this comes to my mind.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. Can't wait to see the finished product though :)

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  26. Stunning already!! So excited to see the finished product, but I really appreciate seeing the in between photos as well. Such an inspiration for future projects of my own!! Kudos.

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  27. I love that! Great tip, and great look! Where do you get the hardi plank siding?

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  28. I love shiplap walls and the Hardi planks are a great way to get that look. I think this was a far better choice than subway tiles. Can't wait to see the completed kitchen. You are an amazing DIYer and have great design ideas!

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  29. Looks awesome! Is the bathroom wall next? :-) We're residing our house in Hardi board, so I know exactly how this looks. Might use our leftover pieces to make rot-free planters for the patio. Great thinking, Sarah!

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  30. Wow, what a great idea, Sarah. We had hardiboard on the exterior of our last house, never thought of using it inside. This just might be the answer to my backsplash dilemma as well. I just couldn't bring myself to go the subway tile route, but haven't found anything I absolutely love. Can't wait to see how you installed. mwah! <3

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  31. I have been waiting a long time for a backsplash because I can't seem to find one that's right for me. This might be it... we'll see!

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  32. We just installed this as walls in a dressing room at a local boutique. We stained then painted and then distressed them and they turned out amazing. You can see them on my blog, just search dressing room! Can't wait to see how this looks in the end!

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  33. Love this look in your kitchen!

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  34. This is a great idea. I love the look. How do you think the Hardi will handle cleaning? Will the surface be smooth enough to wipe down when things splatter?

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  35. Genius! Love the look you've got going there. It's going to be so beautiful!

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  36. Okay, I thought I already posted but must not have. I've been wanting to try this look in our kitchen and around our fireplace and LOVE the idea of using cement board. So smart.

    My husband's only concern is whether PAINT is an issue? (Mostly around the fireplace since it's a lot hotter than the stove.) Still looking for an answer on that one.

    Looking forward to seeing this all come together. It's looking amazing already.

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  37. I gotta ask because I'm nosey that way ;) plus I'm considering using this as well. In your inspiration photos, there appears to be a small space between each plank, which looks great. But if you butt them up close to each other and caulk between each plank, isn't that going to look completely different?

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  38. I love your blog:) Have a nice weekend!

    www.irenethayer.com

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  39. Thanks for the inspiration. I was going to use subway tiles, too, but have started leaning toward rustic brick. I like the idea of the planks, though. I'm wondering if you glued them to the wall? Or just nailed? I can't wait to see what it looks like when you are finished.

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  40. Wow, I absolutely adore it. What a great option and probably easier to keep clean then tile!! It definitely fits your style and if it feels right to you and is more you. Then I say go for it!!!

    Can not wait to see more! Your getting so much closer! Your goal of being done before Christmas is definitely in reach :)

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor
    xx

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If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!