Monday, February 20, 2012

Houston, We Have a Backsplash

In what seems like the blink of an eye, which is more than I can say for how the rest of the kitchen process felt like, it is finally time to put up the backsplash

Before we could do that, however, we had to install the new microwave so the new backsplash could be placed around it.  J had the bracket already up when I got home from work Friday evening so he just needed me to hold the microwave into place from below while he screwed into it through the top of the cabinet.

I gave you the short and sweet version of this story mainly because what actually happened isn't suitable for young ears.  But the PG version?  Here you go:  While securing the microwave into place the first time, a piece of the microwave where the screw needed to go fell inside of the microwave itself.  Cue cursing.  Cue nasty call to Sears to complain about the product's quality.  Cue packing up the microwave to take it back to aforementioned Sears, only to have the piece fall out of the microwave.

So we pulled the microwave back out of the box, J masterfully put the loose piece back into the microwave, and we successfully mounted the appliance a second time.  
  Saturday morning J was feeling slightly under the weather, but he powered through and began working on the backsplash.  To start, we gathered our tools:
All of this plus one wet saw:
J began by marking off the edge that we would start laying the tile on.  The counter is slightly longer than the upper cabinets (an issue we inherited, not created) so we had to make the decision whether the tile would be square with the cabinets or go slightly over and be square with the counter.

The counter won so J marked off the line:
And then he busted out the mastic and got to work.  Moving in 1' x 1' increments, J used the trowel to spread the mastic onto the wall and used the teeth on either end to achieve the correct amount of mastic depth.  
Typically, this would be the point where you lay the tile on top of the mastic, but because we have glass tiles and you can see through them, you don't want to see the ridges left behind by the trowel.  So J smoothed them out.
He then put the spacers on the counter to make sure the tile didn't sink too close to the counter:
And then the first square was put up:
He used the float to press the squares down into the mastic and continued like so, fitting the un-even edges together like a puzzle as he went.  To fit the smaller areas, he was able to cut the mesh on the back of the tile:

Mid way point:
Once the wall was done with the bigger sheets, it was time to fit smaller tiles into the open spots.  This required cutting actual tiles and not just the mesh, which required the use of the wet saw.
And once he was done filling in the spots along the middle of the backsplash, it was time to even out that edge by the counter:
For this, J had to cut each individual tile:
 And then filed the rough edges:
A few dozen times of this, and the backsplash was complete!

Next on the list is the grout.  Unfortunately, the tile store gave us the wrong kind of grout so we have to exchange that before we can get started.  Thankfully, however, the delay is giving J plenty of time to get some rest so he can hopefully get over whatever it is that he has.  We're both looking forward to completing the grout and getting the stove back in place for the look of a more completed kitchen.

And that was our weekend, how was yours?


Messy said...

Looks great! I love those skinny glass tiles!

Shannon @ Bungalow960 said...

Alright so I just died a little over your back splash. It is GORGEOUS. My boyfriend and I can't agree on what we want in our kitchen/how much to spend so we're at a standstill with our back splash.

Melissa said...

Thanks ladies!

Shannon--I completely understand! We ended up painting our cabinets and spending the budget on new counters and the backsplash. It helps that we're going to turn around and sell the house so we can have fun and make quicker(ish) decisions :)

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