The $6 Tile Project

One thing I’ve noticed about being a homeowner is that you must have a little savings set aside, because when you least expect it, something will break. I miss having a landlord sometimes. Case in point, my garbage disposal died last week. Granted, I don’t expect my appliances to give me two weeks notice (wouldn’t that be nice), but this is getting a little out of hand. In the two years I’ve lived in this home, my washing machine has burned out, my AC has stopped working, the oven heats up hotter than the sun, and now my garbage disposal died. I should also mention it all happened right after my home warranty expired. 

This is where a contingency fund, and a DIY attitude comes in handy. Of all the appliances that could break, the disposal is fairly inexpensive, so I’ll count myself lucky for now. Since I was clearing out the kitchen cabinet to replace the disposal, I also decided now would be the perfect time to cross another little ‘to do’ off the list.

This is the cabinet below the sink. This picture is about 2 yeas old, but it generally looks this bad. The pipes create a bit of an organizational challenge. I’ve also found that the inexpensive cabinetry bubbles badly if it gets wet. I needed a fix for that STAT. 


First step was to fix the garbage disposal, so everything had to come out. I ordered the replacement disposal through Amazon since it was cheaper than the model at Lowes, and it had great reviews. At Lowe’s it would have cost me about $240, but through Amazon I scored the disposal and necessary electrical plug for about $150. I did have to go to Lowes for a small container of Plumbers Putty, but overall Amazon offered the best deal.

Installation was fairly easy and took a little over an hour. I did have some help, but it could be done by one person if necessary. The hardest part was lifting the heavy unit up to attach it to the sink. We ended up propping it up with an upside down bucket which helped keep it level while we attached it.

Under Sink Tiling_1

It’s amazingly quiet, I never realized how loud my old model was before this was installed.

Now for the fun (& surprisingly easy) part!

To keep the bottom of the cabinet from getting destroyed by any leaks or spills, I decided to add tile. I picked up 6 vinyl tiles from Lowes for less than $1 each. Vinyl tile gets a bad rap for being dated (hey I know, I grew up with it too), but it’s come a long way. I was really impressed with the styles they now have available, they are a great knock off for stone if you’re looking to do an inexpensive update.

Under Sink Tiling_2

The tiles are self adhesive so all I had to do was cut them down to size using a box cutter. The project took less than 30 minutes from start to finish. The hardest part of installing the tiles was that the cabinet isn’t square, so some edges were difficult to meet, but it worked out.

Under Sink Tiling_3

Not bad for a $6 makeover. Pretty and functional.

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