Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Backsplash - Take One

Oh my, it's been quite some time since I've updated everyone.  We've been busy since J has finished up school for the semester.  He says he's bored without homework, so he has to keep himself busy.  I'm not complaining, we're getting a bunch of projects done.

This weekend, we finally got around to the working on the backsplash in the kitchen.  Woohoo, new tile in our kitchen.

This was something new for the both of us.  I've helped my mom lay tile before, but not glass and/or slate tile.  And J has never done anything like this.  It was a scary, but exciting project.

First the old tile had to come down.  There's J pulling all the old tile down.  I know, the countertops were not covered before he started.  He sort of jumped into it before I could put anything down.  That's okay, we were careful and it wasn't scratched.

We used the good ol' hammer and crow bar method of taking down the old tile.  We have a rotary tool that has a tile blade, but it was useless on this project.  You see, the last owners glued the tile to the wall.

Yup, that's liquid nails right there.  Not thinset, but liquid nails.  I'm not sure why they did it this way, but they did, so we had to deal with it.  We took the tiles off the wall as carefully as we could because if we didn't, it took the whole wall with them.  We didn't want to replace the wall if we didn't have too, but we were ready with new cement board if we had too.

Look at J cleaning up.  Taking down the tile only took an hour or so.  Not that bad of a job.  I worked on my garden while J did this.  He likes the demo part of projects, so I just let him go.

After we got all the old tile down, we had to prep the wall.  We scraped and sanded all the old glue off of it without damaging the wall behind it.

I worked on smoothing out the wall on day two while J measured and cut all the tile.  Making sure the wall was as smooth as we could get it.

Luckily, J's dad owns a nice tile saw, so that made cutting the tile an easy job.  We tired a bunch of different methods for cutting the glass tile.  We used a diamond blade on a angle grinder, a tile nippers, and then the tile saw with a diamond blade.  The saw won out.

We taped the tile on the side that we would be using to decrease the amount of chipping.  And away we went.  It made the job so easy.  I'm in love with that tile saw.  Maybe we should keep it.  I mean we'll have to do the downstairs bathroom soon enough.  ;-)

On day three we ran to Home Depot to pick up something called SimpleMat.  You use that instead of using thinset, it's like double sided tape for tile.  J thought it would work better then thinset, but the tile guy at the store thought otherwise.  I just stayed quiet, because I knew thinset would work just fine.  So back home it was to lay the tile.  

And after a few hours, we had this.  Sorry for the dark picture, it was around 9:30 pm when we finished.  It was also a dark and gloomy day filled with thunder storms.  But it was bright and exciting in the house.  We were so excited with how it looked.  I mean look at it.  It looks great.

We will be grouting later in the week.  I'll make sure to get some pictures of that as well.  I'm just so happy with how it looks right now.  The tile is the finishing touch on the kitchen.  Our kitchen no looks like it's modern and not from the 1950s.  Who knew that a new counter top, a little bit of staining, and some tile would make such a large difference.

And this is what Nacho thought of the whole process.  She spent most of the time out on the sun porch (when it wasn't 90+ degrees out) looking angry.  Maybe it's because she was sitting on our ugly chair.  No I'm pretty sure it was the noise and mess.  She hates when things are like this.  It makes her cranky.  But even she likes how the new tile looks.


And don't forget to stop by my other blog and enter my giveaway.  You could win this wonderful beaded pendent.  The giveaway ends tomorrow at midnight (central). What are you waiting for?  Go enter today.


Rose said...

Our cat gets pretty cranky about home renovations, too. Anything that disrupts the regular routine is irritating. Your kitchen looks great, though! I can't believe how far you guys have come with it.

Anonymous said...

It looks so great! Really a very dramatic difference. Good for you all for taking on a project like this. We've never done it before either, and need to, but M is very anti doing this ourselves. I'd like to try, but sigh...he's the one who owns the house, so he's the final word!