Judging by the title of this post, you could guess one of two things: 1) that the kitchen remodel is almost finished, or 2) that the kitchen remodel has been the bane of our existence and that we’re ready to jump off the home improvement cliff in about 2.6 seconds. Well, I’m happy to report that it is the former.
Its been a few weeks since I last blogged about the kitchen remodel. But if you recall, the last major step in the process was laying the back splash. Well, we just finished laying the tile today and have grouting and caulking on the to-do list for tomorrow. It’s looking great! But getting to great took some work. And some worry.
See, the floor of our kitchen isn’t level. Which means the lower cabinets on the left side of the kitchen are slightly off in height. Which means that when you start laying tile above those lower cabinets, the tiles begin to slope from one end of the wall to the other. The sloping was pretty subtle at first, but the higher we went on the wall, the more evident the sloping became.
I’m not sure what we could’ve done differently to get a perfect outcome. In hindsight, there were a few things we could have done, but none that would’ve really solved the problem altogether.
- We could’ve started laying the tiles on a straight edge, starting from the bottom, up. But then, you’d see a gap between the counter top and the first row of tiles. And the bottom row (and subsequently, the rows that follow) wouldn’t have had the support of the counter top to stay in place and dry properly.
- We could’ve started from the top and worked our way down, so that the sloping would only be evident towards the bottom row. Then again, the tiles need the support of the ones below them, in order to stay in place and dry properly. If we had started at the top, we would’ve run into an issue of tiles sliding down the wall.
- We could have gradually put more space in between the rows of tiles as we worked our way up the wall — to eventually even out once we reached the top. But that wouldn’t have worked either. Because we were only working with 1/8-inch spacers. I think switching up the spacer sizing would’ve thrown a bigger wrench into things and caused a noticeable difference in the spacing of the tiles.
So what did we do? With Steve’s help today, we kept going, laying the tiles all the way up from the top of the counters up to the hood. We decided to add one more row of full-size tiles underneath the hood, so that any wall space between the tile and the hood is now covered up by tile.
Now the tiles look clean and aligned. The sloping is hardly even noticeable. In fact, the only reason why Mikey says I noticed it to begin with is because I’m short and don’t have any problem seeing directly under the hood. Ha. Ha. Ha.
That said, if you ever come to my house, don’t you dare say anything about my slightly sloping back splash! I will tell you that it gives the kitchen character and then proceed by handing you a series of alcoholic beverages in an attempt to blurry your vision, so that you won’t be able to see anything straight in my kitchen, let alone yours.
I haven’t asked Mikey what he thinks about the level of difficulty this back splash has been in comparison to some of the other pieces of the kitchen. But I think the back splash has been the hardest. That may be because the back splash has been so important to me. I really consider it to be the show piece or main accessory of the kitchen. So of course, it had to be the most difficult thing to install. (No wonder the salesperson at ProSource looked at us funny when we told her we were doing it ourselves.)
Since we are THIS close to finishing up the project, I don’t want to reveal too much more about the areas of the kitchen we’ve finished up. So that’s all the photos for now. More to share when the kitchen is absolutely, positively finito!