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Backsplash in the Kitchen!

February 22, 2012

This past weekend we finally got around to finishing the last row of backsplash tile in our kitchen.  We also added matching new tile on the opposite wall.  If you remember, after the new granite was installed a few weeks ago we had a two and a half inch space between the existing backsplash and the new granite (from the removal of our old laminate counters), last mentioned here.

And there was no backsplash on the opposite wall.

First we removed four existing tiles to the right of the sink.  Our power outlet and disposal switch were not properly installed and the plate cover looked all wonky.  We carefully removed the four tiles around the electrical unit so we could replace the tiles and pull out the switches to allow them to sit flush with the backsplash.

Ryan is very good at measuring so he drew the lines on these four new tiles for me to eventually cut.

We got lucky with the 24 bottom tiles, they all measured exactly the same so we were able to use one template to mark the cut for all of them.  With my MK Diamond tile saw, I took that pile of twenty four 4×4 white tiles and ran them carefully through the wet saw.  Ryan used 1/8″ tile spacers and some “Ready to Use” wall adhesive to adhere the tiles to the wall.

Those 4 ‘replacement’ tiles took just about as much time (if not longer) than laying the 24 lower backsplash tiles.  Ry wanted to make sure they were all perfect and perfectly flush before we moved on.  We are both OCD ‘Type A’ personalities, have I mentioned that?!

Adding that last row of tile was a semi-breeze.  I’m sure I woke the neighbors with my skillz on the tile saw (we forgot to get action shots of the cutting process, but you can see more on my handiwork with the tile saw here) and Ryan meticulously laid and spaced each one.

Once all 24 tiles were set on the main wall we were able to move to the opposite wall and repeat the process.  This wall was mostly full size tiles, only the trim and edge pieces needed to be cut.   We (that’s the Ryan part of ‘we) just had to calculate correctly where to start.  It worked out almost perfectly that four 4×4 tiles fit under our cabinets.  One tile needed about 1/8″ taken off so we decided to start at the bottom and just cut the top row since it would be hidden under the cabinets (much easier then trying to center ourselves like we usually do…what’s an eight inch between friends and a cabinet?)  Ryan used his trowel to apply the adhesive to the wall.

I am way too much of a perfectionist for this job (not to say Ryan isn’t) so I stick to the cutting and let Ryan piece together the puzzle.  If you really think about it, that’s all it is, one big puzzle.

Next, we turned the corner and started on the adjacent wall.  This wall  has several electrical switches on it.  Ryan carefully pulled out the switches so the tile will fit beneath  and the outlet over will lay nicely on top.

It was then back to applying the adhesive again with the trowel.  (oh yeah, Ryan also removed that weird exterior outlet which sat 3″ out from the drywall…the topic of another post).

We used bullnose edge tiles on the corner to make a smooth transition at the corner.  We also used bullnose tiles at the end, where it buts up to the fridge.

Once the tile is grouted it will look smooth and uniform.  Nothing fancy with the grout.  Just plain old white to match the existing backsplash.  It should complement the opposite wall nicely.

And the finished product before we grout…purdy, isn’t she?

The last two things on the kitchen list:

  1. Find/make cabinet doors to the lower cabinet that Ryan built
  2. Cut/Prime/Paint three corner shelves between the two cabinets

Once those two small-ish project are complete we can call this kitchen transformation dun-zo.  yeah!

What do you think?  Much better with a little glossy white backsplash, right?!  Have you installed tile lately?  do you like white like we do?  let us know by commenting below!

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