Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ok, I'll Say It: "I'm Good."

My tiles have been sitting on the counter for more than a week now. Troy's been patient about it because, as he put it, even without that counter we still have way more than we did a month (two?) ago.

I could say that it has been sitting there because I had company and wanted to show it to them and obviously I couldn't work on it while they were here. But really, I was gathering the fortitude to begin this new thing.

I thought it would happen last Friday when I was off work for the day but I spent it on other more comfortable projects (like knitting and more knitting). Saturday I was gone all day and Sunday didn't make it happen either. (Probably watching too much football. Oh ya, and catching up on paperwork and banking.)

Yesterday I almost got started, but somehow didn't follow through on the thought. But tonight! Tonight I ate dinner promptly and started prepping the space by 6:30. I originally thought I'd just give myself two hours and see where I got. Then I thought, if I work til 10:30, that's four hours (as much as I'd probably put in on a Saturday) and I'd still have time to get to bed on time. So I started.

It took me half an hour to get things set up. Clean the tiles off the counter, organizing them as I did so. All the coloured ones were numbered/coded so I would know where they went. I put all the worst cut cove tiles together so I could use them in the back corner. Cover the counter with a drop cloth and an old shower curtain, and then gather supplies and read some directions. I was glad to discover that the thinset was premixed (I was thinking it was the grout) so I could just open the bucket and go.

Oh, but first I had a miter cut to make on the very first tile to lay. I think it will be the only one in the kitchen:
I think I did a pretty sweet job. And this was only tiles #3 and 4 with miter cuts. ;)

After that it was throw up some thinset, throw up some tiles all night. By 8:30 when I had put in my original two hours, I had a pretty good inkling that I was going to have this licked in one good night.

And I did:

Once again, I have to ask: pretty sweet, right?!

Worst spot of the night was this cut around the box:
Not so sweet, but I am living with it. I misunderstood Troy's direction about the electrical boxes so the holes are all a little big.
With a white cover, they will blend in nicely:
I have to say I enjoyed tiling more than I thought I would. I thought I would be under more of a time crunch with the thinset drying out, but it stayed pliable for a long time. I was able to cut around the boxes without any pressure. I expect the grout and cleanup to be a big chore, but it is the final step so that will be motivation enough.

Any opinions from tilers out there as to whether I should grout this before moving on to putting tile on the east wall, or put all the tile up and grout it all at the same time?

Another thing that got done this week was the counter edging:
Troy's been working on sanding and staining some hickory after putting on the beveled edge. He custom tinted the stain because he couldn't find a pre-mixed one red enough for him. I think the red highlights the "Colorado Granite" counter top beautifully.

One more shot of the north wall just to bask in it a little longer:
I probably won't tackle any more tile work tomorrow, but we may be (finally) moving the fridge in. Can I get a wOOt wOOt?

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