So, where were we? Matt had just installed the under cabinet lighting and he was finally getting ready to relax. That is just not allowed around these parts these days.

It was time for the back splash. We had settled on the popular and common white subway tile for a back splash. When we were first talking about this kitchen remodel, Matt was really nervous about doing the tiling himself. The kitchen is a pretty public place and any mistakes could be seen by all. But, I think the counter replacement gave him the confidence he needed to tackle this project. Plus, we both read a ton of online articles on how to tile a back splash.

We took advantage of having the counters off for the week between his parents’ visits and removed all of the hideous pink tile from the back splash.

By some miracle, the tile and the adhesive came off fairly easy.

Then a few weeks passed and a few other projects were completed. Also, we had to order the tile from Home Depot (they didn’t have enough in the store! We thought that white subway tile was a staple! Apparently not). Fiiinnallly, after weeks of waiting and me begging, the tile project picked back up. If we learned anything from the sinking sink, we knew that we needed to do everything we could to protect the drywall behind the tiles. So, we painted a coat of primer/sealer and a coat of white paint on the walls.

Our beautiful counters went into hiding for this and the painting of the cabinets.

Matt’s a planner, so he laid out the tiles for the first section of the back splash. Look, he’s so happy. (Note: This is actually a fake smile and he was smiling just to stop me from saying, “Come on, Matt, turn around and smile!”) We had to determine where all the cut tile would go and if we wanted the edge pieces offset. All those little things that you never think about.

And now, laying them out in the almost real space.

Ready to go! And now, Matt is thinking that he has done all the prep work. There is nothing standing between him and his first tiling experience. I, his life coach, was there cheering him on the whole time. Especially if cheering includes, “When do you think you will be done?” I’m such a good wife.

Here we go! (It sure is convenient that he installed the under cabinet lighting the day before!)

And, then he hit a snag.

The outlets! (Say in a Jerry Seinfeld voice while grabbing the air, much like Jerry says, Newman!). The tiles around the outlets needed to be specially cut and his cheap-o tile cutter (seen in a photo above) is only able to cut a tile completely in half. So, off to Home Depot he skipped to rent a wet saw. Unfortunately, the only wet saw you can rent is huge and wouldn’t even fit in his car. But, for $40 more, you can be the owner of your very own portable wet saw. If anyone ever needs to borrow a wet saw (or a biscuit joiner) you know where to find us.

He hooked up the saw to the hose in the backyard and grabbed the first tile to be cut. He came back in a few minutes later and I heard him say, “Well, it sure is a wet saw.” He was soaked. And then a few moments later, I heard a GHHAAAHHHHH (not sure if I spelled it right. Just read it out loud and you’ll know what I mean). The tile had broken.

This happened about 10 times. No joke. I was in the other room painting cabinet doors and every time he would walk in the house and start to install it, I would hear the cry of frustration that I awkwardly spelled out for you above. Finally, he changed his approach. See image below.

He was using the wet saw to cut to cut two slits in the tile (white spaces) and then use the other tile cutter to finish the job (dashed line). The cheap-o tile cutter was breaking the tile in pieces. He eventually decided to use the wet saw for the entire process. Victory! He zipped through the rest of the wall.

I think he did a phenomenal job! I would never have guessed that he had never tiled before! Then, we got busy and the project was put on hold….again. Maybe, I’ll have a Tiling Part 2 post for you someday. Maybe…

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