Kitchen Redo Redux Number Two

Everything takes longer than it takes.
-- One of Murphy's Laws of Life

I must say...I never imagined that redoing our kitchen would take almost six months to complete. Not in my wildest dreams.

All I wanted was to replace the World's Ugliest Formica Countertops with granite. And create a tile backsplash that would incorporate some hammered copper tiles (from our kitchen redo project in O'Fallon), and some glass mosaic tiles (although not for the entire backsplash)...with a clean, bright white ceramic background. Oh, and add some undercabinet lighting, since our kitchen is quite dark, especially with the cherry cabinets. And, while we were at it, I wanted to finally install a stainless steel organization system I purchased 7 years ago from the no-longer-open Home Expo in St. Louis for that MO kitchen...but never installed. Was that too much to ask?!

You've read all about the countertop installation which took place back in June, under Mr. T's supervision, while I was in Lville with Daughter-With-The-Broken-Foot. Need a refresher? Click here.

Here's a photo he took after the granite guys finished, looking at the "ceiling tile" backsplash we used over the stove.

Then came Bell's Palsy...and my life turned sideways for a while. When I was finally able to see again (after my cataract surgery), I felt comfortable in making tile selections, thinking we'd then call the tile guys back in to finish the job.

While selecting the tile, I was convinced by a fellow (whom I have never seen before in my life) that we could do this part of the project ourselves...and live to tell the tale. (Remember that post? Click here for a refresher.) After all, we have painted, wallpapered, built a deck, and-most recently-a patio together. We could do this!

I took these pictures as we were starting last Saturday, to remind us of what the wall looked like before our backsplash became a reality.

On Day One of the backsplash project, we worked long and hard on getting the design over the stove as close to perfect as possible. We'd looked at...and fiddled with, and redesigned six ways to Sunday...this part of the project for a couple of months now, as we had purchased tiles to "play with" (like a puzzle) on the breakfast bar. Here's what that part looked like after Day One, complete with the blue painters tape we used to make sure the tile adhesive held.

And then here's a close up pic, showing both the hammered copper tile as well as the glass-and-granite mosaic tiles in one of the 4x4 diamond cut-out ceramic tiles we used with a 4x8 rectangle to create a repeating pattern in the 4x4 ceramic tiles.

As a matter of fact, I went to bed on Sunday, dreaming of this idea of a repeating pattern throughout the wall space. Soooo, come Monday morning, the first thing I asked Mr. T to do was remove a section of 4x4s so we could create the repeating pattern. Ahem.

Day Two saw us finishing adhering all the non-cut tiles. Day Three was the hardest so far: that's when the cutting began. I measured, and Mr. T made the cuts with the wet saw. He became quite good rather quickly, with no breaks until it came to a couple of cuts for the tiles around the window sills. Ugh. Not fun.

After a two-day break for Thanksgiving, we got right back at it. Day Four we grouted, and Day Five we caulked and began the putting-Humpty-together-again part. While I caulked the parts I could reach (and then climbed on the countertop for the parts I couldn't!), Mr. T worked on extending the outlets...which you have to do because of the increase in wall-thickness due to the width of the tile. And then he mounted the organizers and one of two undercabinet lights.

Here's a couple of after-shots for your viewing pleasure:

Are we done yet? Well, as of this post, we still have a few things to finish: both the coffee maker and the can opener are spacesaver models that are mounted under a cabinet; a magnetic knife bar goes on the wall above where I keep my cutting board; and the remaining undercabinet light has to be returned/replaced due to missing parts. I'm "weeding out" some of the items that used to occupy prime real estate, so I'll have less clutter...I hope.

Then I can return the plants to the area behind the sink...and all will be done.

Ahhhhh! And to think, it only took six months.

BTW, if you are keeping score, I got three out of the four things I said I wanted in this project...and we only did one out of four things That Fellow told me to do. Oh well, I think we win, no matter what the score is!


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