Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Backsplash/Tile wall

We've been consistently working on getting this kitchen remodel into the final stages, and this past weekend we got the tile and installed it on the back wall.  Shopping for tile was one of those tough decisions - we wanted travertine to match the sink, so those would tie together, but so many choices!  The tile we'd looked at in the past were sheets of mosaic in a nice linear pattern that we'd thought of putting in vertically instead of horizontally. 

(Notice the broken tiles in the sheet above)

 We also considered this tile for texture, but all the installation pieces showed how visible the individual seams appeared.  And the texture could have been a problem considering that this would also be behind the stove.  We don't want to keep dust and airborne grease specks trapped in this -- so we rejected this one.

We ended up getting the tiles in the first photo - but as we went through, so many of the tiles were broken.  We had to pick through all the boxes to find sheets in good shape - and since we were buying around 500 dollars worth of tile, we wanted them perfect, of course.  After got them all loaded on the cart, an employee came by and told us if we wanted to buy the sheets that had broken pieces, they'd give them to us half price.  Ohhhh, tempting -- we could pull out the broken ones and buy a couple extra sheets and fit them in......but, from past experience I know that fitting in individual pieces on mosaic sheets is a lot of hassle, and often it's difficult to get everything to lie flat.  So we decided to just make it easier on ourselves and buy the nicest tiles available.

The wall needed a bit of touch up sanding in spots, but we got going quickly enough.  These things always take longer than we think, so I didn't want to delay.

 I worked from the flat outer wall, left to right, so I could have a perfect edge to start.  I got one vertical row done, nice spacers all placed, but this tile is SO heavy that it was just sagging so much -- so instead of using spacers, I used finish nails and propped each tile up on several rows.  This worked great, and held the tiles right where I wanted them.  This way, I could maintain nice horizontal lines.

Dale had to get an action shot of me getting the tiles in place!

We love how it came out!  This is before grout (which I finished last night), and you can see the apparently random support tiles I added in where the vent is going.  The vent was the other project we thought we'd have all done this weekend -- we got it all put up, and when we hooked up the electrical -- nothing.  We tried multiple connections, used our testing tools, and it appears that the switch is bad.  We called all the help lines, and we were told to just take it down and bring it back to IKEA.  Which was WRONG.  We brought it back, and the returns employee was sympathetic, but said they do not take returns on installed items, we had to call the Whirlpool (who makes IKEA appliances) repair and have them come out and fix it.  So they will be here tomorrow.  But in the meantime, we thought it would be good to get the tile in and I placed a few pieces to support some of the brackets so they don't bend when we tighten the hanging screws.  So hopefully, today we get the vent installed AGAIN, and Dale is going to get the venting in place as well.  We opted to go out the wall instead of the roof, since our roof is in such bad condition and it would be easy to go straight out here on this outside wall. 

Kind of hard to see in the early morning light!

I also have a couple of shelves to put up here to the right of the vent, but I want to wait on getting those put up until I decide how long to make them -- I don't want the wall to look crowded now that we can see how pretty the tile wall looks!

(can't get the image turned vertically, blogger is giving me some grief this morning)

Finally -- now that we are done tiling, we can sell our trusty tile saw.  We got it for a hundred dollars, and have saved a fortune on rentals.  We'd like to sell it for a bit of a profit -- we did put a new blade on it (which cost 50 dollars), so it'd be nice to get that back, too. 

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