Tiling : The most beautiful work

Oh my goodness… if you could just see… if you could see me, see this kitchen of ours… it has been over 11 years since ‘we haven’t finished the kitchen.’

Eleven years ago, pre-kids, while I was in Chile one time, Mark did this amazing thing to put a new dishwasher.  What I didn’t know, was that to put the new dishwasher he had to take the counter top out, because the people who owned the house before us (20+ years ago) had put the wooden floors after they had put the dishwasher in… so it made it lower, the dishwasher was “trapped” under the new wooden floor.

So to put a working (new) dishwasher, the countertop had to be removed, which was a great idea anyways, and with it, the whole backsplash of the same sixties, seventies yellow-ish mustard color.

When I got back from that trip I was surprised with this cool remodel Mark had undertaken, and excited to see a new, “modern” color in our kitchen.  Few months later we had one kid, and then another, and eleven years later, we still didn’t have a backsplash.  You know how things go… or at least for us, this is how it went.


We all kind of got to used to the unfinished look of the kitchen.   I learned to take pictures from the top, so we didn’t have to see the photos with the not-so-finished background. But it always showed somehow.

Then this summer I painted the kitchen white, from our dark green and red and yellow I had painted about 15 years ago.  The not-so-finished backsplash looked even worse.  I thought I had enough energy to tile it before school and work started this fall, but I didn’t.  So our kitchen stayed not-so-finished. Until last week!


We had a friend show us how to tile, and spent most of his day guiding us Mark.

DSC_0098-small DSC_0099-small

Mark, on one of his days off this break, happily agreed to go with my tiling project, that quickly turned into his tiling project.  Sometimes that happens.


I had bought all the supplies in the summer, since I was going to do it then.  I went to Lowe’s and asked the guy working there.  The conversation went something like this: “Hi. I’ve never done any tiling before, can you tell me how can I tile my kitchen backsplash?”  He explained to me, and I said something like “mmm… maybe that’s why we haven’t done it in the past 11 years.”  The Lowe’s guy looked at me and said: “if it’s been 11 years then maybe you should try tiling this way, it’s much easier and I think you can do it, and for sure will take you less than 11 years.”


He showed me this thing, like a big sheet of something double sided “tape” (for tiling walls) that I can’t remember the name now.  You put it on the wall, both sides sticky, and then you put the tiles on top. And it’s ready!  It seemed very simple, something I could easily probably do.

Well, while our supplies sat in the basement for few months, trying to find time to do it, I did a little research and found that that sticky stuff he suggested was great if you got the tile in the right place the first time.  It is so good, so sticky, there’s no wiggle time.  It scared me a little.  Then our friend said he’d done tiling before and it was easy and he’d help us.


I couldn’t pass that offer, and set a date.  First it was going to be me doing this, but I quickly turned into Mark for his time and help.


And he did it!  It looks beautiful.  Now, all is white, beautiful backsplash.  No more scruffy walls peeling… It took Mark a whole day of his break, and it was so nice of him to give it up for this project (not sure if he had a choice though) but I am so thankful…. a great Christmas present! And a great way to start our 2013.  Don’t you think?  Who doesn’t like a new fresh kitchen to start the year, right?

DSC_0108-smallThe next day of the tiling being done I got sick with a stomach thing, that kept in bed most of the two following days.  Mark was trying to find time to do the grout but he just couldn’t do it with all with all of us needing from him.

DSC_0109-smallOn the third day of the tiles looking all pretty set on the walls (still unfinished) Mark woke up sick.  I was thinking we were going to leave them like this for another 11 years.  Almost finished backsplash this time.  Looking much better than before though.

I was feeling much better this day, and Lucas and Siena had a playdate.  I watched a couple youtube videos on grouting walls.  It didn’t look terribly hard.  So I set myself to finish the project I had first planned out to do anyways.

I can say that grouting is not difficult at all, and I really liked doing it.  I had a lot of fun! The backsplash is completely finished.  It looks beautiful!  All white, matching walls, oh… so very pretty.  I love it!

I can say our kitchen is almost all the way finished, from when we started our remodel, well… when we bought the house 17 years ago.  Back then the kitchen was white, with the mustard color countertop.  I painted the kitchen green and red and yellow few years into our home ownership.  And then, 17 years later, we are back to white walls.  But with gray and blue countertops, a beautifully tiled backsplash, and working dishwasher we can remove easily.


It is almost done. The backsplash area has two outlets we need to put new and figure out how to make them come out a little, so they are flushed with the new tiles.


There’s also a switch plate it needs to be covered from a disposal we haven’t used in years.  And oh yes… there’s that one little piece of the original countertop (and backslash) that makes the shelf on the window… and I guess we probably need a new (better insulated) window.


But oh the backsplash…. you should see it!  We did a great job.  It looks just perfect and beautiful!


3 thoughts on “Tiling : The most beautiful work

  1. Kelly January 8, 2013 / 11:56 am

    It is beautiful!!! I chuckled throughout your post in recognition of all the projects I’ve started and Dolores has had to take on or finish! This is why we’re all good teams. Speaking of Dolores, I’ll ask her about how to finish off those outlets so you really can be done.

  2. Beulah January 12, 2013 / 2:02 pm

    Your right, it is beautiful…………nice job you two!

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