Saturday, November 24, 2007

One-track mind, I know

I swear, I will write about something other than tile and grout soon.

It is really just all-consuming right now.

Fresh grout looks a lot like pancake batter

When I got home from work Thursday, the manfriend had grouted all the tile behind the cooktop and half the tile under the glass-door cabinets.


I thought it looked pretty freaking awesome before, but with the grout it really is beautiful.

The first shot here is the dramatic night shot with the hood lights making it all pretty.

The second shot is the part of the wall that is half done.

So you can see the difference in how it looks good and how it looks great.

Then when I got home from work Friday, he had pretty much completed putting up the tile above the hood. He had left only five small pieces that required tricky cuts, but it got too dark to be outside with the tile saw.

This morning he finished those five pieces.

The photo at left shows the bottom with grout, the top without grout.

My task was to mix up another batch of grout and start putting it on the wall behind the sink.

I used a grouting bag, which just looks like a giant pastry bag like you use to decorate cakes. It seemed liked this might be a better way than using a grout float since it would put the grout just in the grout line and minimize the amount that got on the tile.

It was pretty easy except for having to hunch over under the cabinets to see what I was doing.

After the grout had a few minutes to set up a bit, MF started to smooth it out and work it a little.
Then he cleaned the tiles up with some water and a sponge.

He was working on that when I left for work today.

I think the part I will have left to finish over my weekend will be the other half of the wall under the glass-door cabinets and the part above the hood.

He said he might seal that tile today so it would be all ready to go.

Then I have to go over everything again to give the grout a good seal.

There also are some tricky areas around the window frame that I need to ponder.

It seems like this project will not end.

I am still waiting for the workers to come back and fix one last thing with the faucet.

There was a bad part, the diverter part that stops the water from coming out the faucet when I press the button for the sprayer hose.

I just have to keep nagging I guess.

The other reason I want them to finish is so they can take the lockbox off my door.

I have had a couple neighbors ask me if I am selling my house and the real estate agent with the listing across the street asked how much I was listing it for and when I was doing showings.

Um, no. Not for sale.

But it is good to know there is such interest and that my neighbors are paying attention and keeping such a close eye on things.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful for...

I worked Thanksgiving. But that is fine.
It gives me a chance to earn some OT. And for that I am thankful.
I'm thankful for a few other things.
Things like a family that I can count on no matter what. A family that loves me and doesn't judge me in spite of my many faults and foibles.
I am also thankful for my friends, both online and in the real world. They make me think, they make me laugh.
I really don't want to get maudlin.
I really just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving.
Be well, be happy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tile ain't so tough

With help Sunday from the manfriend, I got the tile up behind the stove and on the wall where the new glass-door cabinets are.

It went pretty fast with two of use working, but since we didn't start until almost 1 p.m., there was not time to do the wall behind the sink.

The tiles are 3x6 inch hand-glazed ceramics from Sonoma Tile in a color called Damask.

I ordered it at Classic Tile in Hermosa Beach and it took exactly a month to arrive. The people at Classic Tile were very friendly and knowledgeable and they had an amazing selection.

I felt like what I was ordering was so mundane compared with some of the displays they had.

But the tile looks great on the walls.

There is some fine crackling in the glaze and some color variations. I like that.

I think it gives the tile more dimension than if it was all perfectly the same color.

The only thing was that there also were slight variations in size. So the grout lines, as best we tried to keep them perfectly straight, will not be.

Oh well.

I am fine with that.

I sealed the stove and cabinet walls yesterday and then set about doing the sink wall.

Yep. All by myself.

I no longer fear the wet saw.

Of course it was still a bit daunting. I have never done this by myself before and at $17 a square foot, I really didn't want to mess it up.

It's not like I could run out to the Home Depot and buy more tile if I ran out because I miscut a bunch.

I do have a fair amount of tile left. The manfriend thinks I should go ahead and tile all the way up behind the hood.

It would be much more dramatic that way. But those diagonal cuts at the top of the hood might be tough.

First I would need to measure very carefully to make sure I even have enough tile to do that space. It was not factored into my order, but I gave myself a large cushion for mistakes that didn't happen.

Then I would need to be so, so, so careful not to miscut anything because I wouldn't have a lot of leftover tile to play with there.

Anyway, it took me about the same amount of time to do the one wall by myself as it took the two of us to do the two walls. Seems logical.

So I didn't get any grouting done.

But it will get done. Maybe by next Monday.

I think it looks awesome. It will look even better once the bright white grout is in and I paint the trim moldings and back door a bright white.

Overall, I am pretty darn pleased with my tile and with myself.
Click here to see what the kitchen used to look like and a picture of the inspiration kitchen.
I think it stacks up pretty nicely compared to the inspiration kitchen. What do you think?