Friday, August 2, 2013

coffee anyone?

Tiling the coffee bar.

This has been my favorite project so far.  This is what I was working with from the house tour about 6 weeks ago:

Sure painting the living room made a huge difference in our living space (sorry I still haven't put that change up).  But this one was so awesome to do.

Thank you dad for bringing your tools and helping me do this.  I feel pretty awesome after that one.  The difference it made in the kitchen is so neat.  It is the first thing I notice when I come in from the carport.  And it makes me smile.

Before we could worry about the tile, we had to prepare our space.  I removed the outlet covers, and then since we decided to install a light in the top of the space, we thought* we needed to drill holes in the nice piece of cherry dad cut for the new base of the space and the cabinet underneath so that we could bring the cord around and up behind the coffee pot to be plugged in.

*thought= we automatically assumed that the outlet we could see was the one we had to use.  Dr. Kyle, once home, reminded us that there was an outlet above the cabinet concealed by cabinet doors that was a shorter distance, would require no rewiring of the light, and would have saved our nice piece of cherry from getting drilled to death.  Check all of your spaces before drilling.
Now we could start dealing with the tile.

I found the glass tile back when Kyle's parents came to visit about a month ago, and had been dreaming up a way to incorporate stainless steel into the pattern.  I finally decided to do 2 rows of the brick pattern in the main part of the coffee bar but couldn't decide how to do the glass with it.

we chose horizontal.
Once that decision was made, we started cutting.

caution:  cutting glass tiles means there are little shards of glass flying... wear safety glasses and be careful with your fingers... a stray shard ended up under my finger where I was trying to put pressure to cut a piece and slightly stabbed my finger in the process.
Once some tile was cut I could start throwing on a thin layer of mastic to hold the tile to the surface.  Just throw it on and press the tile to it.  It wasn't too hard to wiggle the tiles to get them straight and evenly spaced after this.  

thick enough to hold the tile but thin enough not to squeeze through the spaces between the tile.
pressing and wiggling tiles.
Once all of the tiles were up, we let everything dry overnight.  Early the next morning I begged dad to get the grout mixed up for me.  Since dad already had it with him, and we agreed it would work with the tile, we used a dark grey grout.  I laid down a few layers of painters tape up against the tile to protect the rest of the space from the grouting process as best I could and then... once again... just a lot of throwing it on, pressing it in, wiping excess.  

Just wiped off the worst of it with the spatula thing I was using to put it on with.  Once the whole area was grouted, I took a large sponge and gently started wiping off more.  Mostly the goal was to get big amounts off of the surface of the tile.  Then wait... and repeat.  Let dry a good bit (I fixed and ate breakfast for everyone) and then used a clean wet sponge to get the last of the thin layer off of the tile.  

Few hours later, I used an old dry washcloth to polish it all up.  And this is the result once the cherry was turned over and the accent piece added to the top shelf (to eventually be painted white).

And all filled up for use!

Hope you all have a great weekend!  I'm going to try to finish a project or two over mine... we will see though... Kyle is off so I probably won't be too productive!


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