Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Backsplash Install

I couldn't wait 24 hours after finally choosing the backsplash to start the install.  We decided on the 2x4 glossy white mosaic from Lowes by American Olean.  Cost: only $3.57/sq ft  It was the cheapest of all the tiles considered though price was not a factor in the decision process.  (However, after recognizing the savings, I admit, when I found the same tile, different brand. at Home Depot for a $1.10 less, I briefly considered another trip back to Lowes.  Because I had literally been in Lowes 11 times already this week, I opted to pay the extra $ and head home to INSTALL MY NEW TILE).
We got an early start and figured it would be about a 1/2 day's job.   We covered our new granite with brown craft paper and decided not to install backerboard after reading many blogs where others installed the tile directly to a painted wall.  Fingers crossed that they were right!  Applying the tile adhesive directly to the drywall helped us get to the fun stuff faster.
Using sheets of the mosaic tile made us feel down-right optimistic that we would have the wall whipped out in no time.  That was until the sheets started sliding down the wall (too much adhesive?) and then I noticed the spaces were not uniform.  No problem, it was a tiny area 18"x18".  We quickly cut the tiles apart and used spacers to keep the tiles equidistant.  The first section looked fabulous!  On to the next section, which is a bit bigger with wide open spaces.  I thought tiling with the sheets would make the job go quickly.  There were only 3 plugs, so very few cuts.  We threw 3 sheets of the tile on the wall only to notice that now the spacing on the tile sheets didn't match the first tiny section of perfection. Ummm...that is a problem.  Seriously.  I tried not to make a big deal about it, but I am very particular about symmetry in everything I do.  It takes hours for me to put up a bulletin board at school if I don't have a straight edge and spacer for the letters.  I honestly can't help it.  And somehow this quirk in my personality managed to escape my precious husband of 22 years until now.
 Once I realized the spacing was not right nor would ever be right when all of the little tiles were attached by globs of adhesive on the backs of the tile sheets, the only way I knew to correct the problem was to cut the tiles apart.  We put a towel down on the granite bar, placed a thin sheet of wood to be used as a cutting board and started slicing.  My father-in-law grabbed a knife and went to town.
In no time, he had a box full of single pieces of 2x4 tile.  I haven't stopped to Google the availability of said tile.  If I did it again, I would see if these were available in anything other than sheets since we used over 675 tiles. Armed with single tiles, adhesive, and 1500 spacers, I set to work,  Mike did the cutting and I placed the tiles.  It took a bit more than the estimated 1/2 a day...more like 10 hours with 2 of us working (and an emergency run for more spacers, 1500 didn't quite do the job), but I love the results.  The tiles are symmetrical!!!
We still need to grout,  
but we are happy with the results so far.

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