Updated: Nov 2, 2018
I knew going into my house renovation that my inexperience would inevitably create more work over time but I did not expect tile work to be so frustrating...
Timing is everything.
I've known this for years, yet for whatever reason I have these lengthy periods in my life where I inadvertently choose to ignore such wisdom.
I was fortunate enough to receive help from my brother, William, on putting up marble subway tile for our kitchen backsplash. As you know, Katelyn and I have been renovating our little suburban #fixerupper the better part of the past year. William has recently remodeled two kitchens on his residential/rental property...so he brought over his #Ryobi tile cutter and a slew of tools to help crank out this weekend project.
William worked on our tile while I was installing our flooring. This plan, made sense from an efficiency standpoint. He worked quickly and was able to complete about 75% of the backsplash. Instead of using typical tile adhesive, we decided to try Simple-Mat. William had used this on his kitchen projects and helped to save on time and mess.
I was concerned about doing the tile this way. I felt that the process would make smaller tile adjustments more difficult. In the end... it was less the product that was the challenge, but my process.
William completed what he could, and then left the remainder of project for me to complete.
...And then I let months pass.
Every night during the dead of winter, Katelyn and I would live in fear of hearing "plinks" happen in the kitchen while we were laying in bed.
... it was the sound of tiles slowly falling off of our wall.
I had waited far too long to finish and I should have grouted much sooner. To be honest, I wasn't anywhere close to grouting. I kept avoiding any and all of the tile work. It appeared to be a boring task, and a task that would surely drive an overly obsessive, detail-orientated perfectionist insane.
Our kitchen backsplash became my personal hell. The tiles that weren't completely falling off the wall were sagging or shifting, altering the spacing between them. Several of the full mesh-backed pieces had completely different spacing than several of the other sheets that were put up nearby. Color inconsistencies from sheet to sheet were obvious and abundant.
I became overwhelmed.
So... I decided to start from scratch.
See TILE WORK (Part 2) for more!