Monday, May 27, 2013

Subway Tile Backsplash

Our kitchen is FINALLY finished! Like I mentioned in my previous post, over my spring break, I had the bright idea to tear out the current backsplash and replace it. Mr. Crane swore it was going to be a bigger project than I thought it was going to be, but that didn't scare me! ;) Well, that project dragged on and on but now it is complete! And I am SO happy with it all! It makes it so much better that we did it ourselves! Here are some before pictures:

This one is from the night we moved into the house- such a fun memory! We ate pizza and slept on our bed which was the only piece of furniture we had brought over! But you can see that the backsplash was only two rows high with a little bronze border around the top. And the paint was a very dark tan. 

Here is a picture of the microwave area. As you can see, I had taken the border tiles off. It was SO easy!!! And SO misleading... as you'll see shortly. 

So now I'm thinking, "I've got this..." Mr. Crane was outside with his dad. I thought of how impressed he would be when he came inside and I had it all neatly removed. I moved on to trying to tear out the actual tiles. And what did I tear out? Humongous chunks of drywall... like it went really deep. I could see the studs in the wall. At that point I was thinking "Oh crap"... and I could already hear him moaning and groaning and saying "I told you so". 

Rather than tearing up the wall trying to rip the tiles out (they were stuck on there REALLY well) we (Mr. Crane, my father-in-law, and I) decided it would be better and leas messy to use a razor blade and just cut around the existing tile to cut those pieces out of the wall. Here is what that looked like:

This part that Mr. Crane did actually didn't tear the wall up much at all! 

Ahhh! Drywall stuff raises my blood pressure. And the ONLY reason I agreed to this plan was because Mr. Crane and his dad assured me that they could easily repair it... before the in-laws left for the weekend. It was Sunday when this was all going on. My fear was that we would cut all the tile out, my in-laws would leave, and then it would never get finished! No offense to Mr. Crane, it's just that I know he hates drywalling just as much as I do!

Anyway, here is what it looked like with the drywall repair in process. The GREAT part is that it didn't have to be perfect because the tiles would go right on top. However, it did look pretty perfect thanks to the men and their precision! It just had to be solid, which meant they had to cut out enough drywall to be sure they were drilling into studs:

They worked very hard on this part and I will be forever grateful!!! Thanks guys!!!

The next step was taping and mudding the cracks, done by the wonderful Mr. Crane. Then came my part... the new tile!!! FINALLY! 

I chose a white subway tile from Lowe's. I am obsessed with subway tiles. I just think they look so clean and classic. I wanted them to go all the way up to the cabinets because really, what is the point of having only two rows?? 

Here is the tiling process... the worst part was cutting the tiles with the tile saw. Don't get me wrong, it was fun, but it was so time consuming! Toward the end of the tiling, I asked (maybe more like begged) Mr. Crane to help cut them. I was so over measuring, going out to the garage, cutting the tile while getting soaking wet (I wore my raincoat), coming inside, and doing it all again. I figured it would be much faster with one person measuring and the other cutting. Unfortunately, the night I started, he was at work. So I had to wait until the next night to sucker him into helping. 

Here are some pics from the process: 

First of all, check out this cut... that's skill right there :)

Hooray!!! HUGE thank you to my loving and hard working husband and his dad, my father-in-law, for all of the free labor!!! You guys are awesome :) 

And thank you to my mother-in-law, who suggested that we take a trip to Barnes and Noble rather than sitting around waiting for the guys to fix the walls... because when we came back, they had almost finished! :)

Read the "Kitchen Reveal" post for pictures of the finished product!

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