Wednesday, 13 August 2008
DG: Project BS
So, the Back Splash has been a long time coming. Perhaps due to fear of making a mistake, perhaps due to lack of knowledge of how the heck tiling works, or perhaps due to laziness... either way, I finally undertook this "weekend project" last weekend.
At left, the before shot. If I hadn't taken that picture, I wouldn't believe that it's my kitchen. It is not very often that the counter is that neat and clean, but anyway.
Phase I: Mental Preparation/Accumulation of Supplies
I did the requisite research on the web (to the Internet! Away!), printed out 2 sheets of terribly insufficient instructions, went shopping at Home Depot, peeked at their Tiling 123 book, noted that it was $29, decided to wing it, bought spacers, adhesive, a wall trowel and a grout float (which really is a lot of fun to say) and was all ready to go.
... this was three weeks ago.
Phase II: The Renting of the Tile Saw
This is actually a surprisingly intimidating step, in which you are openly, publicly committing to do this project in the next 24 hours, or die trying. Also, it's heavy. And the guy didn't want to give me the manual to take with me - he wanted me to initial the little box that said "instruction manual declined" - no way. True, it wasn't very helpful, but still! I brought the manual home.
Phase III: The Changing into Tiling Gear
One can't tile in designer labels, you know. I switched into ratty gym shorts (they still fit) and a large-yet-ratty tank top.
Phase IV: The Actual Tiling
The instructions say that you shouldn't apply more adhesive than you can cover with tiles in 45 minutes. I did them one better. I applied almost enough adhesive for one tile. It stuck. It looked good. It boosted my confidence, so I applied some more.
AND THEN I had to cut some tiles. (Keep in mind that I didn't choose an intricate pattern; that would be silly. I simply chose a size of tile that wouldn't stick perfectly to my wall, go around three inconsistently-spaced outlets and cabinets without any trimming, which, in retrospect, was my second mistake. My first was not hiring someone with skill to do this for me.)
Saws are generally loud and scary things, especially ones that have a water tray, plug into the wall, are in my kitchen, and are being operated by someone in garden gloves who honestly is not qualified to even wear garden gloves, let alone operate a tile saw.
The important thing, at the end of the day, is that I still have all of my fingers. It matters not that I have a half-finished backsplash to show for my efforts, nor that now I have to spend all NEXT Saturday finishing up with the tricky bits... also, nor that the pressure is REALLY on to finish it next Saturday so that I can grout (with the float) on Sunday.
Actually, all that matters is that, even only half done, the beauty and wonder of my backsplash makes the lino on the floor look cheap and insipid... so I guess that'll be the next project.