04 May 2010

{backsplash finished}

the backsplash tile has been up but i'll be honest, i've been putting off grouting. it sounded intimidating and messy, but finally couldn't be ignored any longer. and to my surprise, it ended up being a lot easier than i anticipated and makes the kitchen look so much more polished.

here's the before picture, along with the prep work to make sure the counters were protected {carrara marble is very porous so to protect it i just used cheap-o trash bags and painters tape}

here's the other side all ready to go as well.
here are the supplies used for grouting. i was thinking gloves would be much more necessary than they were and actually found they got more in the way and made for a messier grout job so about a quarter of the way through, i ditched the gloves. grout comes off your hands pretty easily when it's still wet, so it's really no big deal not to wear gloves. the tools you see pictured are called floats and come in various sizes for smaller spaces and corners. i also found that i had to use my fingers in a few tight spaces, which worked just fine. finally is the grout sponge which is used to wipe down the tile and keep the grout only in the lines. you can find all of these things in the tile section at lowes. though i will say, if you are looking for a colored grout, you might be better served to go to a tile shop for a bigger selection.
mixing the grout {note - this particular grout is unsanded because the gaps are so small. if you are grouting a different area with larger spaces, you may want a sanded grout --i.e. has little particles of sand in it-- definitely ask around or consult the internet if you are unsure of what kind you need}. you can mix it by hand with a paint stick but we bought a metal mixer that can be attached to a drill and it made the job a lot easier and faster.
this is taken after applying the grout with a float -- obviously it looks messy here and will be for a few minutes until it sets enough to then wipe it down with a sponge. read the instructions on the bag to make sure you wait the right amount of time. i think it was only about 15 minutes.
and the final step is wiping down the tile with the sponge and here's how it looks.
finally can put faceplates back on and set up shop.
i will also say that caulking the gap where the bottom tile and the counter meet is highly recommended. you can grout that line but caulk is much more effective in keeping potential splashes of water from getting behind the counter. and really, if you are using white grout, it blends right in.

all in all, grouting the backsplash was a much easier project than i'd expected and i completed it within a few hours.
more to come, as always.

1 comment:

KL said...

I LOVE your kitchen!! The new backsplash is the icing on the cake:)