Kitchen Update – 8 Months in the Making

I know I’ve said it before, but my dad is amazing.  Back in April, he demonstrated his skills in helping Chase and me update the kitchen.  The update is finally finished with the exception of accessories like curtains, rugs, and barstools.  Here’s our kitchen as it existed once we moved in and painted.

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We wanted to put a backsplash in because we (but Chase mostly) are messy in the kitchen.  Water gets splashed out of the sink onto the walls, as do food particles and coffee grounds (only Chase drinks coffee so it can’t be me, I swear!).  Behind the stove, the vent never seems to really suck up the moisture and there are water stains.  See below examples (I apologize for the bad photos but it’s hard to take pictures of these wall stains.)

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Several months ago, we had purchased a glass mosaic tile for our backsplash.  We looked and looked but had a hard time finding something we liked that looked okay with our cabinets and countertops.  Finally, we settled on this guy from Home Depot:

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With plans to install the backsplash on a Saturday, I prepped the kitchen Friday by taking everything off the counters, removing outlet covers and light covers and taped some drop cloths on the counter to protect them.

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Early Saturday, Dad arrived and we got started.  So evidently, the key to tiling this room is to start in the middle and work out.  For us, that meant starting in the corner behind the sink and under the windows.  UGH.  Even Dad was frustrated with this.  We didn’t really have a saw that could cut glass really well and some of the tile pieces are made of stainless steel.  Let’s just say, cuts weren’t always pretty and we had to patch in some random tiles.

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Once we got the tiles cut under the windows and around the window trim, Dad mixed up some ThinSet for glass mosaics.  Basically, you just add the powder to water and mix well.  From what I could gather, you want it to be sort of thin but not so much so that it drips or runs down the wall.  Once the ThinSet was on, we placed the tiles at the bottom and then rolled up and pressed the tile hard against the wall to get it in place.  Once there, we had to move a few tiles here and there that got out of place or slightly crooked, but for the most part, we moved onto the next tile.

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We also pulled the stove out and tiled behind it where people would see it.  We screwed a board to the wall to support the weight of the tile as the ThinSet dried.

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Ultimately, all that tile was up.  Insert angels singing and giving high-fives.  We were so thrilled to have managed our way through this project.  We could not have done it without my dad’s help and ability to cut tile with the saw.  We used a glass nippers which Chase pretty much mastered but the sawing was a must.

After everything had dried completely, we moved on to grouting.  This was fairly painless but the thin space between the tiles made it difficult to get the grout in the tight spaces.  Once the grout was dry, we sealed it and then grouted along the edges.

After the tile, we decided to get rid of the boob light.  We had ordered the Eglo Troy light from Home Depot to go over our island and our sink. This process took forever!  We had to adjust the cords for the pendants and then cut all the wires because there was too much to fit in the ceiling.  Chase doubted my electrical skills but I totally managed to rewire everything with the help of my dad on the phone and when he turned the breaker back on, we had light!  He doubted me (said so himself) but I came through!  Biggest downside: depsite our measuring, the pendants hang at different lengths.

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Despite the new lighting, the kitchen is still fairly dark at night.  To install recessed lighting would be expensive and messy since the kitchen is on the bottom level and any electricity would have to be run upwards.  So for Christams, Chase got me under-cabinet lighting!  And it looks so awesome and makes the kitchen so much brighter!  As soon as I get around to cleaning the kitchen, I will take a final picutre with the new lights.

We love it so far and feel like our kitchen took about a million steps towards modern.  We still need to get some rugs, barstools, and curtains but those things can wait.  I think we spent enough money so far, but…that was last year. 🙂

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