Sunday, June 30, 2019

That's a Wrap... Finally

What we started with in February
In the last post on our kitchen remodel the cabinets were in and everything else needed to get the kitchen functional was waiting on installation of the countertops. We were very excited about being so close to completion of the project. We should have known better.

When we ordered the countertops, we ordered one style for the main counters and another style for the island, just to create a little interest. The main countertop material came in, but material for the island was nowhere to be found. After a little investigation the dealer discovered what we wanted for the island was no longer made – this was April 5.  

“But the good news,” the dealer said cheerfully “is that we can install the countertop we have, and you’ll have a functional kitchen. You just need to pick out a replacement style and I’ll put a rush on the order.”

What we ordered
Great. Another trip to the showroom and a substitute countertop was selected. The material was more expensive, and I do have to give props to the dealer for selling it to us for the same price as the original. And he wasn’t kidding about putting a rush on it. By April 19 the kitchen was finished except for tiling the backsplash.  

There had been a six-week lag in getting the tile. (The tile is made in Italy. It is shipped to the U.S. by rowboat.) There was great jubilation and numerous high fives as we happy-danced around the island upon notification of its arrival. This was April 25. FINALLY! The completion of the project was in sight! We would be done in time for our daughter’s visit the end of May. 

What we got, and returned

Not so fast, Fluffy. Upon opening the first box of tile it was apparent the wrong tile had been ordered. Trip back to the store to return and reorder. Two days later we were informed the tile we wanted was backordered. It would not be a six-week wait; it was an unknown wait. With that bit of news, we cancelled the tile order completely and started an intense search for something suitable that was in stock locally. Our efforts paid off when we found tile that was just the right shade of green and even had a much more interesting pattern than simple circles or squares. The backsplash would be a masterpiece!

Lots and lots of little pieces to cut
We opted to do the tiling ourselves because… well… we are stupid. Mrs. Poynor does the tiling and grouting while I do the cutting. It has been a successful symbiotic relationship for decades. She gets to do something she enjoys, and I get to swear – lots.

The tile we selected was one of those mosaic types where the pieces are attached to a mesh in roughly one-foot squares. The mosaic pieces were of two differing shapes and two differing sizes. The biggest was two inches at the widest; the smallest was an inch and a half. It took less than twenty minutes into the effort for the question, “What the HELL were we thinking?” to escape my lips. It was a question I offered up frequently as we proceeded.

On the top and bottom of the backsplash, mosaic pieces would have to be cut. Not just in half. Oh, no! That would have been way too simple. In the end, 256 little pieces had to be cut. And let’s not forget going around the electrical outlets. In the end, all I can say is that it is very fortunate tile saws use blunt diamond blades, not ones with teeth. Otherwise, I would be typing this with my elbows.

Master grouter at work... do not disturb!
In the end, however, the finished product was as nice as we had hoped. AND we got it done with three days to spare before our daughter and her family arrived.

The finished project, and we're very happy with it.