Who said, “What you see is what you get.”? We bought our previously owned 2007 RV in 2013, and even though we love it, there are some things—mostly cosmetic—we would like to change. For example, we wanted stainless steel appliances; ours are black. We would prefer a single-basin farmhouse-style kitchen sink that doesn’t hold stains like our porcelain one does. Replacing the appliances and even the sink is a pretty big investment, but there are several easy ways to create a dramatic impact on the look and functionality of the kitchen.Put in a New Backsplash
Adding a backsplash—or replacing an existing one—goes a long way in modernizing your interior. Begin by shutting off the power to that area. Remove the switch-plates and covers, and then tape off the outlets on that wall, as well as the cabinets and countertops.Remove the Old One
If you already have a backsplash, carefully remove it to avoid damaging the wall behind it. Use a grout cutter to run around the edges of the tile that you plan to start with (preferably on the end), and then scratch an X within the tile to loosen it.
In the middle of the cuts, gently tap the tile with a hammer. Then use a flat head screwdriver and hammer to chip away at the corner of the tile. Once you’ve popped the first tile out, use the opening created to continue removing the rest of the tiles in the same manner.
Use a damp sponge to wipe down the wall, and then let it dry.
Measure and Prep
You must leave an 1/8-inch gap around the perimeter of the backsplash to accommodate expansion between it and the cabinets and countertops. Mosaic sheets makes the process easier than using individual tiles.
Find the center of the area you’re adding the backsplash to and then lay the sheets on the countertop in front of where you’re tiling, as a dry run. Use spacers, as needed and cut the sheets accordingly to fit your space.
Roll out your SimpleMat adhesive sheets, overlapping the edges 1/8 to ¼-inch and cut to size.
Apply Adhesive and Tiles Sheets
Apply the flat adhesive side of the SimpleMat to the wall and flatten out any air bubbles or creases. Then place the mosaic sheets on the wall, rocking the sheet up and down as needed to remove any ridges and help the tiles settle in place. Add spacer and use a grout float to flatten the tile if necessary.
You may end up with a space between the top of the mosaic sheet and the cabinets. If it is larger than an inch, cut tiles to piece into the space. If it is less than that, you can fill it by adding a decorative molding.
Finish the Job
Fortunately, SimpleMat adheres very quickly, which allows you to grout almost immediately. However, if you’re using natural stone tile, protect it from stains by applying a pre-sealer at least three hours before grouting. Then use a rubber float to spread the grout diagonally, pressing it into the joints. After letting it set for about 10-minutes, use a damp sponge diagonally to remove the excess. Make sure to rinse your sponge frequently to minimize haze.
Let it thoroughly dry before applying a grout sealer and filling the expansion gaps with caulk or sealant before replacing your outlet covers and appliances.
Replace the Cabinet Doors
Changing out the doors to your cabinets might be the easiest—although one of the costliest—remodels you can make in the kitchen. It merely requires a trip to your favorite home improvement store (or a virtual trip to Amazon) where you pick out a set that fits your dimensions. Just make sure to measure first. Then you unscrew the hinges for the existing doors and install the new ones.
If you want the update without as much expense, consider only replacing the hardware. Handles can usually be easily unscrewed and replaced with more modern options.Change the Colors
If installing a new back splash seems too daunting, perhaps a change of color is more doable. You can either use masking tape or painter’s tape to cover the back splash and paint a different color on the walls or cover the walls and paint the existing back splash another hue. You could even paint both the same or complementary colors for a striking finish.
Install New Light Fixtures
Another easy, yet dramatic change is to replace your existing light fixtures with contemporary (or retro) ones. Funky lamps can become an interesting focal point, where LED ropes or recessed light sources create an energy-efficient modern look.Substitute Accessories
There are many easy ways to update your RV without spending a lot of time, money, or effort. For example, you can change the appearance quite a bit just by changing the blinds, window treatments, throw rugs, seat cushions, or placemats.
Rather than trade in your RV for a newer model, invest your money and time into making key updates that make your home feel—and look—like new. With just a few improvements, you’ll fall in love with it all over again.