I hope everyone had a great week. Mine was crappy. The strep throat demons decided to pay me a little visit so I've been hold up in the house. Not fun, people. Not fun. I wonder... how on Earth did our fore fathers ever survive without antibiotics? Well, I guess many of them didn't? Thank the heavens for the power of modern medicine. I digress....
I took my temporary quarantine as an opportunity to get some stuff done around here, the largest of which would be finishing up the back splash.
I'm back today with the conclusion of how we finished up the project. Now where were we? Ah, yes. We had just left off with our initial application of mosaic tiles...
The next day we finished up the tile application. We let them set overnight before moving on to grouting the next morning.
After applying all the tiles and letting them set up for about 24 (ish) hours this is what they were looking like
Don't mind the face plates, Naomi was trying to figure something out with them....
Before moving on to grout we needed to seal our tiles. For us this step was essential because our tiles are inclusive of natural stone and because thats what the manufacturer's instructions told us to do! We chose this
Now this step was a bit tedious because we could only apply the sealer to the marble, not the glass. So with a lint free white towel I applied the sealer to the stone following the instructions on the back of the bottle. Its a good thing I had nowhere to be, because that part of the project took a minute!
After finally finishing the sealing and letting it cure for a bit we moved on to grout. Now this is where personal choice totally comes into play. We opted to, again, follow the tile manufacturer's recommendation and chose to go with a non-sanded grout. Because our mosaic tiles include glass we didn't want to take the risk of scratching or damaging it. I've read and seen many applications where folks have chosen to go with a sanded grout as well. Again, its all a matter of personal choice.
We also chose to go with a white grout. Originally I wanted a grey grout, but we decided on white after we saw the tiles in our space with our lighting, etc. This is what we chose
If there was one part of this whole installation that I would have to admit to hating, it would absolutely without a doubt be grouting. Holy smokes grouting is a pain in the neck. That accompanied with the pain in my throat almost did me in. But alas, I live to tell the tale of how much I hate grouting.
It was a very slow, messy, process and it took me FOREVER to get it done. But the reward was pure joy. As much as I didn't like grouting, it truly is THE part of the project where everything totally comes together. The results were wonderful. I let the grout set overnight and woke up the next morning to this
The tiles had a bit of grout haze to them which is completely normal and annoying to get rid of. If you've never seen grout haze, its basically a cloudy film left on the tiles from the process of wiping away the excess grout during the actual grouting phase. There are products available to deal with it, as well as various home remedies, but I tackled it with good old fashion elbow grease and a clean white terry cloth towel. I simply buffed it away in circular motions.
Next up came caulking. Notice the gap at the bottom of the tiles where they meet the counter top. You don't want to grout that. That is left for caulk. I'm pretty sure you can use whatever caulk you'd like to, but we chose this
We mainly chose it because it what a perfect color match to the grout we chose. After caulking we were headed into the home stretch.
The only thing left to do was add electrical box extenders to the outlets to accommodate for the new tile depth. Sorry I was super bad and didn't snap a picture of this step. Speaking of outlets we opted to replace our face plates with over sized ones. Honestly there wasn't really a specific reason for this. I had heard about them and thought it would be a perfect time to give em a try. I ordered them from here.
They are definitely larger than your standard face plate, which may not be everyone' s cup of tea, but they really aren't nearly as ridiculous looking on the wall. Remember this my friends: over sized face plates. They are totally gonna be a "thing" soon!
And that does it! Done and done! We are so happy with the results and so proud that we did it ourselves. So here we are. The moment of truth.....
After: (I love how different lighting situations alter the whole look of the space)
So glad we can finally cross this project of the to do list. On to the next one. Until next time....