It’s been a while… we misplaced the camera cord, and then my favorite free photo-editing website became part of the “Google+” social network and went berserk, losing some of the best features in the process, which made me dislike Google+ more than I already did. Yes, I’m a little bitter. And to think all this frustration took energy that should have been channeled towards house projects! For shame.
Well, the last recorded kitchen update had us with half the tile laid and no grout, like this:
We grouted it right away, and then had to take a little unscheduled break in the tiling for a minor freak-out while deciding what to do about Aaron’s job offer in New York, but we got busy with the rest of it on another sunny weekend. And when I say “got busy,” I mean that I spent hours chipping out the old cork flooring and ended the night with five blisters on my hand. There are no pictures of this process. I was in a hurry, and my goal is always to get the project finished, not just get a good blog post out of the whole deal. I also have no pictures of Aaron with the tile saw, but rest assured that he slaved away to get everything cut correctly while I spread the thinset adhesive and laid the tile in place. As usual, we are modeling superior footwear safety measures during all construction projects.
It was so fun to see everything start coming together. I’m amazed at what a difference the new streamlined flooring made! You can see that the first half is already grouted while we’re laying the second half.
I started talking about my dreams for the bathroom overhaul on the schedule for this fall. Aaron looked at me like this:
The tile floor was a little higher than the previous cork/linoleum/carpet combo from before, so we had to make the back door shorter. This was the perfect opportunity to use the antique plane Aaron’s grandpa passed down to us earlier this year.
And then, just when the dining area was completely tiled and we could shut the back door again, we proceeded to cover most of the new floor. This is where things got, if you’ll pardon the pun, a little rugly. Since we don’t want our table or chairs to be scooting harshly along the floor, we decided a rug was needed right away. First, I got one rug that was the perfect style, but was a foot too long.
Then I couldn’t find anything in the right size that looked good. Rugs are expensive, and I have West Elm taste with a dumpster-diving/hand-me-down budget. As we often say to ourselves, “Wal-Mart clearance shoppers can’t be choosers.” After driving all over looking at what was available, I picked up this yucky, boring, dull, “off,” brownish one because the price was right ($19.99) and I have some DIY ideas up my sleeve to jazz it up in the future.
For my records just as much as sharing with you, for the floor we used “Rialto White” 12′ and 6′ tiles to make this pattern. For the counter’s back splash grout, I used a mixable recipe and I thought I just hated the grouting process. I would not recommend the Spectra-Lock Stain Proof mix-it-yourself grout to anyone. It was sticky, it made the tile shiny, and my hands are itchy just thinking about it.
Because I was unhappy with that experience, I shelled out an extra $6 and tried a different pre-mixed style for the floor and I really LOVED IT. For the kitchen floor we used TEC Sanded Premixed Grout in Vintage White. It went on and wiped off smoothly without adding any unwanted shine to the tile themselves. I think there was a lot less waste with this kind, too. If we do more tiling, which I’m hoping is the case (hee hee), I’m getting this kind again.
This “Vintage White” color is a little “yellower” than I would have chosen, but the tile has a slight gray tint and they balance each other out to mimic the carpet, which was our goal! We are so happy it’s done!
And on another house-related note, this week is our 3 year homeowners anniversary! Our potential moving scare gave us a chance to pause and reflect about what we have going on with our house, so we have culled a little furniture and finished a few other “little” projects that have been waiting around forever. We also did a bunch of spring cleaning, gardening, and organizing. It’s such a good feeling… and there are pictures to share, so stay tuned!