Friday, June 7, 2013

Splish Splash Backsplash

I'm back. It's only been a month and a half. Stop complaining.

Moving on . . .

The backsplash is done. Almost a year ago I bought the tile, then for the last month 2 months 3 months OK! OK! For the last 6 months at least I've had the tiles laid out, marked for cutting, ready to go. For 6 months I've been trying to ignore my carefully laid out tiles. It wasn't too hard because they were out of the way for the most part. But the kitchen wall wouldn't stop nagging me. I tore the old backsplash linoleum off the walls 8 months ago and it wouldn't let me forget that it was still sitting there, all ragged and naked and pathetic.

So last weekend I finally broke out the wet saw, fired it up and in a single very wet, hot, noisy weekend, I cut all the tiles. The cat really enjoyed it - all her favorites - noise, water, heat. Ok, so the cat cowered in the basement while I worked. Come to think of it, the entire family was pretty scarce that day. But anyway, the cutting was done. Which meant the tiles were now not only laid out like they had been for the last 6 months, but now they were laid out in the middle of the floor - yes, the middle. Right in the way. So now I had no choice but to finish the job.

So, this past weekend I got to work. Saturday was a long day of mixing mastic, slathering it on the wall, on the tiles and on myself, sticking tiles and tile bits into the sludge, cutting and re-cutting tiles that weren't quite the right size and cleaning up my many, many, many messes. There was a little bit of cursing, some lost snacks, some takeout (we can't very well cook or prepare anything in the kitchen when it's covered in plastic, toxic dust, sludgy gunk and bits of tile!). But finally it was done.

Then Sunday was another long day of mixing grout, slathering it on the tiles and myself and trying not to stick myself to things. And of course the grout involved lots and lots and lots of wiping the tiles and wiping them and wiping them and wiping them.

And then, once the tiles were done it was hour after hour after hour of cleaning. Cleaning up grout and bits of mastic, plastic and dust and grime and slime. Cleaning the saw and the buckets and the tools and clothes and the floor and the counters. The cleaning up took longer than the actual work.

But overall it was very successful. There was only one 'oh crap!' moment where I realized my measurements were slightly off and I had to quickly reposition some stuff. And only a few minor things that will drive me crazy for the rest of the life of the kitchen - a slightly uneven edge on one side, a couple of missing bits in one spot and a few tiles that stick out a bit farther than the rest. But even though it's not perfect, it's done. And that's all that counts! And besides, once we get the microwave, coffee maker, bread machine, breadbox, toaster oven and other assorted crap back in place, you won't be able to see any of it anyway.  And by doing it myself I saved $600-$1000 bucks. Not a bad deal for a weekend of work.

And I even managed to fit in a few bikes rides, some meals, grocery shopping, snuggling, plant re-potting and a bit of sleeping.

I'm exhausted!


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