Tiling preparations #renovations

We have been trimming out the countertops preparatory to tiling the bath/shower and backsplashes (kitchen, bathroom). This has involved milling oak trim to line the back of the countertops. Of course, as is the case with every renovation, there were complications that held us up.


In the kitchen, we had to figure out exactly how the gas range was going to slide into the space provided for it. This led us to finally purchase all the appliances. Now we know exactly what range is going to be arriving, and we have a little more oak trim to cut, as well as a side piece to install to clad the far side of the range. As well, the concrete needs a little sanding along the back edge so the trim can slide in. Matt has been milling the trim and we are almost ready for me to start sanding and sealing it so we can install it. We have the basic tile layout done, now we just have to draw in our grid guidelines so we can be confident we are getting our mortar and tile placement right.

Other prep work in the kitchen still remaining is repairing the gyproc where an electrical outlet got moved. That is it. That is all that is left before we can tile the kitchen backsplash. Never underestimate the complexity of a kitchen.

The kitchen tile is going to be a combination of a very common (and inexpensive) 6″ white porcelain tile, with a decorative band of 1″ x 2″ stone tile. We have figured out that there is only one line we can use for the decorative band, as we just don’t have the tiling skills to deal with too many wall elements. I have decided not to tile the posts, after all, because I fear they are going to become too big and prominent, instead of simply sitting there.

In the bathroom, the search for a bathroom mirror took two days. We ended up purchasing the size of mirror glass we wanted and then ordering a custom frame. I shopped for one whole day, and there were no mirrors the size we wanted, much less with a frame treatment we could live with. I am very happy with our solution, I can’t wait to see how it looks in the bathroom.

With the mirror dimensions settled, we are ready to map out the tile design for the bathroom backsplash and bath/shower. We have two kinds of tiles. The main coverage is going to be 6″ square white porcelain, a very common tile. Our decorative element is this beautiful 1″ x 2″ stone tile. The stone tile came in 12″ sheets. We are going to cut these sheets to make decorative lines. Once again, our design is constrained by our tiling skills. We don’t want to try to tile around outlets with the thicker stone tile so we are organizing the design so the stone tile does not intersect with any outlets.

That constraint means we have one line that can transverse the bathroom sink and the bath/shower. It is my job today to figure out how to arrange the stone tile around this line, to travel across both surfaces and create an interesting, dynamic effect.

This is the line that the stone tile can sit above at the sink, but possibly below, in the bath/shower.

This is the line that the stone tile can sit above at the sink, but possibly below, in the bath/shower.


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