Kitchen Backsplash

The kitchen backsplash is complete.  I started it on Thursday last week and finished grouting it this evening.  I think that it really came out well.  I learned a few new skills and have some take-aways that I'll share.  I think you'll be surpised at the progress that has been made.

first needed to trim some overhang of paneling above where I was tiling...I used the circular saw set at the same thickness of the paneling

wall is ready to go

used contractor paper and blue painters tape to protect the countertop

With my notch trowel, I spread the thinset onto the wall.  First, I skim coated the wall with the smooth side, then used the notch side to create lines in the skim coat.

Added 1/8 inch spacers to the tile once it was adhered to the wall.

My tile that I cut using the wet saw...which wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be.

Once I had all of the tiles in place, I used a grout float to smear the grout into the tile.  This was a tedious process and took quite awhile to complete. 

Once the grout is well smeared, then I took a wet sponge and cleaned off the excess.  I had to clean the sponge out over and over again until it was able to take the majority of the grout off the top of the tile.  I used an old bath towel to wipe the tile down after the sponge.

My new backsplash...and cabinets are finally painted.
Here are the steps...

  • Clean space well and prepare the walls.
  • Protect space with construction paper found at Home Depot in large rolls of paper.
  • Apply thin set or mastik with a trowel, first by skim coating with smooth side then using the notched side to create lines in the skim coat.
  • Push your tiles into the thin set and get them in place.
  • Use a wet saw to make the special cuts that you need for the edges. 
  • Apply the grout with a grout float.
  • Use a large sponge to clean tiles.
  • Follow up the next day with the sponge again to remove any haze that remains on the tile.
Take-aways -
The grout went fast.  The instructions said that once container should be more then enough, but I ended up running out half way through the job and had to run out for more.
Removing grout is my new least favorite thing to do...even trumps painting ceilings.  It is messy and takes patience. 
Grout drys darker then it appears in the container...just like patint.
Have a spare towel on hand to wipe down the tiles after you get most of the stuff off with the sponge.

Up next...the floor

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