This is just a sneak peak (I installed three rows for now to get a sense of the look and to help us plan for the open shelving we’ll be installing above). But I can say: Our impression so far is really positive — the tiles really fit the space. It’s like this little kitchen is finally starting to come together…
When the tiles arrived, a few were broken (naturally), but the company had included extras, as if foreseeing this. I think that’s a huge plus as I still had plenty of perfectly intact tile despite the transit damage. Also, there was a little bag of candy in the package — so sweet (pun intended). Some had mentioned in product reviews I’d read that this was a thing, but I still wasn’t expecting the swag. It’s so darn cute that they actually do this — I’d like to think it’s because they figure their customers are in the midst of a kitchen reno and are hungry all of the time. (I know I am.)
I was in a state of near-utter panic as I prepared to install the tiles — a feeling that only went away after the entire first row was completed. I had never installed tile before and Manny was at work. I planned to do it as a pleasant surprise for him, not realizing until I had actually gotten underway that there are *nice surprises* and then there are “Betsy-what-the-heck-were-you-thinking?!?!” surprises. Thank goodness we both liked them, I guess.
I watched some videos on tile-installation to help set me up and spoke to people at Home Depot for opinions on materials, etc. While the prevailing wisdom seems to be that the tile mastic (i.e., adhesive) should be applied to the wall, I applied a thin layer to the actual tiles. Mostly this was because I was unsure how high up I wanted the tile to go for now.
By the way: Did you know you don’t need a tile cutter to cut ceramic tile? I watched a great little video from Today’s Homeowner that told me how. Basically, you need a glass cutter (or, in my case, the X-acto knife we used to cut our drywall…), a wire hanger, and a squaring device.
To cut ceramic tile by hand without a tile cutter:
1. Mark the top of the tile where you want to cut it.
2. Place a square on the tile slightly away from the mark.
3. Use a glass cutter to score the tile on the cut line.
4. Place the tile on solid surface with a wire clothes hanger under the tile aligned with the score mark.
5. Press down on either side of the tile to break the tile along the score line.
6. If needed, smooth the cut by rubbing the edge on concrete or a brick.
(Source: Today’s Homeowner)
What do you think, btw? Leave it short or add a few more rows? Like the color? Any grouting advice?