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everyday I’m tilin’

7 October 2012

I guess I should clarify that when I say “I,” it really means Joey….

Since this project commenced during the early parts of my first trimester, I was beyond useless [aka.asleep]. But hey, at least I got some pictures of the process, right? That’s a victory in my book.

Last you saw our kitchen, we had some tile backer up on the backsplash between the countertops and the upper cabinets. This is the same stuff that went down below our floor tile a while back.

Joey set up camp in the back yard with his tailgate tent and a borrowed tile saw. [thanks Charlie!]

Since the process of laying wall tile is painfully similar to laying floor tile [which I wrote extensively about here], I won’t bore you with the repetitive details. We’ll focus on the few differences, and move right on to the after photos. That’s why you’re here anyways, right?!

Since we still had some leftover supplies from the floor tiling, we began the wall tile with the same x type spacers we had used before. [If you squint, you might be able to see them at the corners of each tile in this picture below.]

They worked great for our 12″ x 24″ floor tile. But once we started using them on the wall, we discovered that they are NOT the way to go for our 2″ x 4″ backsplash tile. Our tile did come with a mesh backer [which made it a sheet of 21 tiles], but this offered no real support when it came to resisting the Earth’s gravitational pull. The tile was slipping down and closing all the grout joint gaps, so the only immediate solution was to have a ton more of those spacers at each joint – which meant we immediately ran out of them.

Plan B? Remove the tile and scrape away the thinset on the wall behind it. Tile is just not one of those things that’s easy to fix later, so it’s better to just know when to call it and start over again.

After another quick shopping trip, Joey was able to determine that “T spacers” are actually the way to go on wall tile. As you can see in the picture below, you just shove one of those spacers into each T joint of the running bond pattern and you are good to go. Notice how we also placed a thin spacer along the bottom edge of the tile to hold it up off the counter top too. This joint will be caulked at the end so that these materials can move independently of each other. If that caulk joint wasn’t there, you’d likely end up with cracked grout and/or tile if and when things move [they always do].

much better!

Now, just keep going…

Next up – grout. Not much about this is different from the floor tile except for one pretty major thing. Since we chose to use glass tile on our backsplash rather than a ceramic tile, we had to make sure our grout was un-sanded. If the grout you use on glass tile has sand in it, it will scratch the face of the glass tile as you smear it on and wipe it off.

As I’ve mentioned before, the goal with the grout is to get more than enough into each space between the tiles. It’s much easier to take away excess grout during the smoothing/wiping process, rather than adding more once it’s all dry. Actually, it’s impossible to add to once it’s dry because the new grout wouldn’t bond to the cured grout. Thus, it’s all the more important to take your time and get it right the first time. That seems to be a common theme in tiling, no?

Once it was all cleaned up, here’s how it looked.

ta da!!

It’s a good thing Joey usually doesn’t see the pictures I decide to post until AFTER I hit publish…

The last step was to caulk around the bottom edge where the tile meets the counter and the top edge where the tile meets the upper cabinets. Tile stores sell colored caulk to match their grout selections, so it’s something to keep in mind when you are shopping for supplies. Since our grout is “Arctic white,” the color match on the caulk is pretty good. I’d have my doubts about the ability to color match had we picked a grout color other than white.

Once the grout was in, we had a pretty good looking kitchen – if I do say so myself!

and because no post would be complete without a baby update, here is one of September’s monthly baby bump photos.

Happy weekend, everyone!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Lindsay Kay permalink
    8 October 2012 1:58 am

    Your kitchen is gorgeous! You look amazing, too!

  2. Rand Pinson permalink
    9 October 2012 12:26 am

    you look like your halloween costume….

    • 9 October 2012 10:36 pm

      rand, I will try to take that as a compliment… :)

  3. 10 October 2012 9:38 am

    Woo hoo! The tile looks awesome! Great job! That bun in the oven is coming along quite nicely as well!

  4. 21 October 2012 3:10 pm

    Kitchen is looking great! Love that bump too.

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