This post is definitely not timely. In fact, we ordered our tile at the end of December and probably finished installing it by the end of January or early February. Touche'.
Anyway, after buying a bunch of samples from The Home Depot and Lowe's we really did not find anything that we felt was just right. We found ourselves at The Tile Shop in late December with a fantastic '20% off' offer. Plus, I asked if he could add in the Young House Love (YHL) 10% discount. He came back with 5%, giving us 25% off everything. I'll take it! It was a difficult decision but I think part of it was because the one that we liked the best was $23.99 per sheet (a far cry from the most expensive 10.99/sheet from the big box stores). Then we rationalized that the tile was to be the "bling" of our kitchen, what we look at every day and here for a very long time. So we put the cheap aside and ordered 4 boxes and all the proper materials and grout. Our tile is called Black Shimmer Magic.
I will forgo giving a step-by-step tutorial on installing a tile back splash because it has been done a million times. We followed the steps on YHL to gain the confidence needed to start and just dove in. I will of course give a run down of what we did do that turned out to be very helpful and what we would do differently if we "could turn back time." [Now Cher is blaring in my head....]
Lay tile out on counter as if it were going on the wall - a 2 person job. One person holding a piece in place on the wall and the other getting beside and placing next piece and making the proper cuts as you go.
Mix only a small amount of your thinset so it does not set up before you finish placing your tile.
Do not put too much thinset on your wall or it will ooze between your tiles.
When you think you're done with the wall, go back after a while and check it to make sure none of your sheets of tile have slipped and that everything is still lined up.
Grout. This is a 2 person process. One person applying and the second person washing down the tile before the grout dries to a cloudy miss. Once relatively clean, go back and clean more detailed, but getting the grout off before it completely dries is the key to your sanity.
SEAL. Definitely invest in the sealer and apply it after the allotted amount of time. We waited a week or so to make sure the grout was fully cured. The sealer is good for all types of stone so we also did the concrete countertops while we were at it.
I see these happy little owls from Guten Tag Fiber and Clay on Etsy everyday at the sink!
I finally found the size table we wanted from Walmart and made pillows or bought them from Little Peeps and Wild Blossoms Designs on Etsy. Need to make or buy 2 more in orange.
So, what's left on this project that is taking way longer than I thought? You can see Part 1 here for the overall list and the paint.
Make Roman Shades in a charcoal fabric using a couple tutorials. I am afraid of starting this and messing up such expensive fabric. I have the fabric, backing and blinds and am frozen from fear to start!! HELP!
Add a couple more orange pillows in one of the patterns already on the bench.
Touch up the small messes I made when doing the stencil.