A couple of weeks ago, I published a post where Douglas made his own comments at the bottom of each paragraph. We received a lot of feedback telling us that this was a popular feature, and so whenever there is a project that Douglas was heavily involved with, or did on his own, he will be adding his own two cents… or more.
Last weekend we FINALLY tiled the backsplash! This is a project that I was sure would be complete by March. Here we are halfway through July, and it is finally happening. I am thrilled that progress has at last been made in the kitchen. The backsplash has not been completed, but the end is in sight. Today, I will share with you the prep we undertook to have everything ready to go. (The end in sight? Never is the end in sight these projects, I just sometimes get lucky and get there…)
These are the little tasks that rarely get explained on blogs. Prior to any big project there are always a million little tasks that need to be performed before the “real” work can begin. If you are planning to tile your own backsplash, it is unlikely that you will have to do these same things, but I am certain there are other jobs that you will have to do before commencing. (A million tasks like marrying a guy stupid enough to do them…)
For us, the first task was to move the outlet over the stove that was driving me crazy. I hated that the plug for the stove came up in plain view. It looked terrible. Of course, if you have been following this blog for a while, you know that when trying to relocate that outlet in March, we discovered that the entire kitchen needed to be rewired. If you have not been following the blog, you can read about that disappointing discovery here.
That realization led to the postponement of the project for much longer than we would have liked. Finally, in June the electricians came to update our wiring and $3,750 later, we were ready to go. (The actual kitchen rewiring was cheaper than that, but unfortunately our electrical panel was maxed out and we desperately needed to upgrade our service).
Only a hole remained where the ugly outlet had once been, and so Alex received his first lesson in patching drywall. Douglas is a believer that every young man needs to learn this skill. He himself has earned many a beer patching walls after drunken friends had put various body parts through the wall. Alex did a commendable job for his first time.
In the meantime, Douglas needed to level this cabinet to close the gap that was driving me crazy. We discovered that it had not been built correctly during the installation of the counters, but it took us a while to get around to rectifying the problem. (I think the gap was driving me more crazy than her, but I was afraid what may happen when I tried to fix it).
It took Douglas quite a while to free the cabinet from the self-leveling concrete that we used when tiling the kitchen floor. There was much cursing, but he finally got the cabinet straightened out. I feel much better now that there is no longer a gap. It was only visible while sitting on the far side of the dining room table, but it really bothered me just knowing that it was there. (And I was correct, it took several hours of frustration to resolve).
Next, some of the trim on the windows needed to be removed. We debated about removing the trim from the sides of the window as well, but in the end, we decided to leave it and only remove the piece on the bottom.
He then trimmed various little bumps and imperfections from the wall. This was particularly necessary where the old counters had come up the wall.
Next, Douglas was thrilled to be able to take the sink back out for the hundredth time since January when the kitchen renovation commenced. Hopefully, this will be the last time that we have to remove it. (Last time on the sink? Yeah, right! Have to remove it again to caulk below the backsplash, and possibly to put on window trim and seal the grout).
The last step was to remove the outlet covers. These outlets were installed by the electricians last month. We originally had two, but those were changed out and two more were installed. Here is Crème in front of one of the outlets wondering what happened to her sink.
Finally, after several hours of preparation… after two years and several hours of preparation, we were finally ready to tile. Check back next week to see how it went. Most of you are well aware by now that few of our projects go according to plan! Will this be another saga?
Post script: If you are wondering what I was doing while this work was occurring, I was in the basement preparing for the yard sale we are planning to have on August 23.