To match our black kitchen appliances, we chose a near-black grout color that contrasted highly with the white subway tile. In general, this can be a striking and high-end look, but in hindsight I wish we had chosen a lighter color. Choosing a grout that contrasted so highly with the tile shows every imperfection and uneven line—and as first-time tilers, there were many imperfections!

After receiving contractor bids to tile our kitchen backsplash that didn't fit our budget, my husband and I decided to tackle the project ourselves. With one weekend and a lot of hard work, we transformed a plain, white wall into a farmhouse-style tile backsplash. Though we are very happy with the results, this project came with almost immediate lessons learned, and there are definitely some things we would do differently if we did it all over again. Here's a list of what to do and what not to do when taking on a subway tile backsplash project.