Friday, January 20, 2012

Laying the Field

In my last post I included a photo of a white 3x6 porcelain tile.  I've also mentioned a few lingering projects in my kitchen renovation.  I bet you can guess where this is going!

When we decided to work on our kitchen last year, every aspect fell into two categories: things I could do myself and things that shouldn't be attempted by a novice DIYer.  I knew I could paint our 1980's oak cabinets a creamy white (I mean there are tutorials all over blog land) so why pay someone to do the work?  I also painted the entire kitchen for the second third fourth time since we moved in four short years ago and changed out the cabinet hardware.  Saving money on things I could accomplish myself left more money for things that should be left to the masters.  Such as, removing a load bearing wall and reinforcing the new door frame, laying granite counter tops, building a tiered island, adding an additional kitchen cabinet and changing out the kitchen faucet (OK, maybe I could have done this myself but have you read the directions that come with a new faucet?  Not all the YouTube videos in the world make me want to tackle that one...yet).

After all the dust settled I still felt like something was missing.  Maybe a back splash?  The "kitchen remodel project" was done in my husband's eyes.  He doesn't have the same vision as I do.  That left me two options.  Live backsplash-less (is that a word?) or get it done myself.  Option two please.  

I decided to buy just enough tile to do a small section as to not overwhelm myself.  But what do you know?  Tiling is an addiction.  I was back at Home Depot bright and early this morning (with a two year old screaming, "Not Home Depot again?!?") to grab the remaining tiles.  Here's what I was working with to start. 
(Don't mind the unfinished cabinet on the right...or the protein shake mix...or the alcohol.)  

Does anyone else let their world around them crumble when they have renovations going on?  Avert your eyes from the mess because I see back splash progress!

Wine is entirely optional while laying tile.
 Here's where I am now.  Laying the field work, as the professionals call it.  My Dad got a good laugh when he received an e-mail with a photo of my work and a note that said, "This is so much fun!"  I was informed I'd feel differently about tiling after I started cutting.  But look at how nice it looks?  I already love it and I haven't even grouted! 

I did one step a little differently.  Normally, you would spread the mastic on the wall and adhere your tiles.  I have kids around here and the thought of mastic drying in fifteen minutes while I tend to them made me nervous.  Instead I spread the mastic on each individual tile as I layed them down.  I'm sure my method isn't as quick but it is much neater and I can stop whenever I need to.  Using this method, I did have to dip the spacers (one side of the "x") gently into the mastic so they would stick between the tiles without falling.

Our tile cutter's wheel is worn dull and the feet (to break the tile in two) are missing.  How in the world do a tile cutter's feet go missing is beyond me?  I'm off to borrow my Dad's tile cutter and I'll be sure to update as to whether or not tiling is still SO MUCH FUN!



  1. Jeannie, you rock for taking this on yourself!! That is so awesome and makes me want to rip off the current ugly slab of peach corian that is my current backsplash and add subway tiles!! Can't wait to see the after and I would say the wine is definitely a requirement for this project :)

  2. O.K. first the subway tile looks great. Second, I looked around your blog and your home is lovely. And most importantly my name is Jeannie too. So I had to become your newest follower. Stop by and say hello!

  3. Looks great - I'm thinking about tiling our backsplash soon, just working up the courage!

  4. Well so far it looks amazing! I'm dying to do ours too, but I'm scared! Maybe you can motivate me to get it done :)


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