Monday, June 4, 2012

Backsplash - Take Two


How was everyone's weekend?  I hope it was full of joy and creativity.  On Sunday we went to J's cousin's graduation party and then stopped by J's parent's for a while afterwards.  It was a nice little party.

On Saturday however, we took step two in the new backsplash.  We grouted!!!  Oh yes, we spent our Saturday working on the backsplash, rebels we are!  But it looks amazing, so totally worth giving up part of a Saturday afternoon.

I won't go over all the steps in grouting a tile, because you can find how to's on the internets that were written by professionals.  We, we are far from professionals.  But I will go over some of the things we learned and some of the things we did.

Here are the tools we needed.  1) tile float, 2) grout (either premixed or powder), 3) putty knives, 4) rags, 5) two buckets of water, 6) sponge(s) 7) caulk

We went with Biscuit colored grout.  It's lighter then the tile and complements the rest of the colors in the kitchen.  Because we have glass tile, we had to go with the unsanded grout.  The sand could scratch the glass, so it's a really good idea to skip it.  The company that made the grout also makes color matched caulk, which is fantastic.  


And here is the first grout going up.  J applied the grout while I followed behind trying to clean up some of the corners and edges.  The grout should sit for 15-30 min before you start cleaning, so I set a timer for 30 min when J started.

Now because we have a slate and glass mosaic tile, clean up was a little trickier then ceramic tile.  A lot of people suggest using a grout bag and individually grouting each line, but that would have taken us hour and hours to do.  So we applied the grout as you would normally do and then took a few extra steps in cleaning.


I first took a small sponge and scrubbed all the slate tiles as well as I could.  I got as much of the grout off as I possibly could.  I then used a larger sponge to wipe the majority of the grout off the wall.  Then came the third sponge which was used to get what was left of the haze.

This took a very long time.  A lot longer then it normally takes to clean up tile.  And after I had finished half of it my hands were sad, little, painful, prunes.  J had finished applying the grout by this time, so he took over the cleaning part for me.  He's such a good guy.

After you sponge the wall a haze will appear which you need to buff out.  My method consisted of me using a damp cloth to clean out any of the tiny crevices I missed with the sponge.  I then wiped a small areas with the damp cloth, rinsed it out, wiped the area again, and then dried/buffed with a microfiber cloth.  It worked like a charm.

J finishing doing some cleaning
Now the tile has to sit for 72 hrs to one week before I can seal the slate.  The grout was , so it does not need to be sealed, which is nice.  We also are waiting a few days before we put the trim up, just to make sure everything is set up and dry.

We also plan on replacing all the different colored outlets with dark brown or black outlets to blend in with the tile.  But that will have to wait until a little bit.


So this is what the kitchen looks at this moment.  I'm in love.  The tile needs the trim and the cabinet needs to be cut down and stained.  As soon as we get those few things done, the kitchen is done for now.  We can move one to other projects, like the sunroom and the bathroom.   

After we were done with all of this tile, we did tackle one other tile related task.  We got down on our hands and knees and scrubbed the haze that was still on our flour tiles.  We installed the grouted vinyl, so we could not use any sort of de-hazer.  The only option left to us was a scrub pad, vinegar with a little bit of blue dish soap, and some elbow grease.  I know, the flour has been in for almost a year and we're finally getting around to cleaning up the haze.  It's just such a tedious, awful job, we didn't want to do it.  But it's done now, and we can cross that off our list.

Take care and never stop being creative. 

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Gorgeous! That is an awful lot of work, but I'm sure you're glad that it's over with!