Sunday, August 14, 2016

Kitchen Reno Part 3 - Subway Tile

YOOO. I left  you with just having laid our butcher block counter tops on top of the cabinets. I knew I wanted a backsplash and I just wanted something timeless and simple. A few years ago I would have probably went with something flashier and busy because that's who I was as a younger version of me. I am glad I've matured because this subway tile is perfect. I bought the tile at Menards and we got the sheets of tile rather than individual. It was easier and faster to work with which is saying a lot because this project took FOREVER. It was by far the most labor intensive project we've ever done to date.

Before starting the tile we did cut the hole for our kitchen sink.

I don't have a lot of pictures of this mostly because I had to go back to the store to buy a new sink. The one we had purchased was missing a part or had a dent...I can't remember! But I had to go back to check that our sink would work. It was the same sink as before just 3" deeper. Again if I did this over again I think I would have went with 1 bowl vs. 2. That's a hard choice. I also had already ordered the sink clips online so this sink would work with the butcher block.

My father in law and husband drilled 4 holes with the thickest drill bit they had then used the jigsaw to cut out the hole for the sink (they traced the hole using the sink or a template that was provided). It came out great! Except for a bit of an indent into the wood from the jigsaw bouncing. PRO TIP: Use some cardboard around your edge to prevent that from happening.

After the hole was cut, we laid out some plastic and got to work. I had purchased pre-mixed mortar. We followed some different blogs and youtube videos and this part was pretty easy. Work in small areas so it doesn't dry out, and keep it level. Simple enough.

Every time I see these pictures part of me regrets not using a darker grout. I went with the whitest of white mostly to hide imperfections. The grouting was the worst part for us and I think it was mostly because we had to mix the grout ourselves and did not have the proper tools so the consistency was wrong and while we followed the package directions to let it sit before wiping the tile with a wet rag that was the wrong choice and it did not come off easily.

I don't have pictures of this because like I said, it went fast and it was not pretty. We realized pretty quickly that the grout was setting fast so we were able to get it off of the area behind the sink but for the rest it was too late. We spent the rest of the night scraping each tile.

Here is the finished product:

The grout haze was a real pain. I went to the Tile Shop to buy grout haze remover and I swear Windex did a better job. The picture above it before I caulked the edge below the subway tile.

Using a tile saw was terrible, the grout job could have been way cleaner but in the end I really like it. It looks 'finished' and so much better than had we just left the drywall with no back splash. We also learned a ton for if and when there is a next time.

Fast forward to today. I took these pictures after getting a new phone with a much better camera a few days ago. One year our from the reno, two years out from the first time the cabinets were painted.

And Just for a reminder:

Untouched Kitchen

Phase 1
Three years in the making, but I am beyond glad we did it and we did it all ourselves. Saved a TON of time and money. Happy DIY'ing.

We also love our chalkboard paint inside the cabinets. I had two bare cabinets I had never drawn on and I told my husband I wanted some dumb puns! Well he surprised me with these winners and I'm never taking them down.

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