Tiling is like Tetris

I know what you must be thinking.
"Wow, that kitchen sure is cozy."

You'd think tiling this small of a space would be a snap. Nope, it was a 3-day project because, as anyone who's done tiling before will tell you, there's a lot of waiting in between steps.
Let us back up. Mr. FC and I attended a tiling class at Home Depot on Saturday morning. Armed with coffee, bellies full of breakfast burritos, and measurements of our kitchen, we were full of gumption. We left with our brains full of tiling knowledge, our car full of tiling supplies, and our wallets a bit lighter.

I learned these main things about tiling:
1) The prep work that goes into the job before you even lay the tile down is huge.
2) I hate prep work. I'm an impatient person (this we already know). A bottle of wine close by helped me to cope (Did you hear that, D?)
3) Backer board creates enough dust to freak out this self-proclaimed cleanaholic.
4) I couldn't stop touching the thin-set mortar and grouting mixture. It was just like creamy peanut butter. Yes, I was that kid you knew in kindergarten who would make mud pies to my heart's content.
5) There are quite a few meals one can prepare on the grill while one's kitchen is out of commission.
6) Figuring out how tile pieces are going to fit together is a bit like that game Tetris (Anyone? Tetris? Did I just make myself sound both geeky and old?)

Allow me to refresh your memory! This is the waaaay "before".
Lovely '80's linoleum:

The "almost after":
Still need to grout, get rid of the spacers, and install the kickboards.
We chose to install the 12 x 12 slate grey ceramic tiles in a staggered layout.


"In-progress" photos:
Update: Normally it's recommended that you remove the previous flooring but the old linoleum (or whatever it was) was a very thin layer that was virtually unremovable from the subfloor that it was glued to. We scraped, we chipped, we sliced. No luck! So we decided that it was just fine to tile over it, witout the final floor being too high. And it ended up being exactly the height of the existing wood flooring we have in the rest of the house. Yay!
Applying the mortar for the backer board (I did you the courtesy of not posting the photo with the butt crack).
screwing down the backer boardGeez, that's one scrawny dude =)
laying down the tilesWhy yes, that is a fridge in our living room.
I must say, it was a wonderful feeling to step back and admire our work. After high-fiving each other though, I told Mr. FC that I think our new tile saw might be going into early retirement for the season.

Next up for this "cozy" kitchen: backsplash similar to this marvelous one, knock out a wall, new countertops, sink, and faucet! Good times.

19 comments:

  1. Tiling is a lot of work. DH and I did our backsplash at our first home.
    I can't wait to see your finished product. It looks amazing so far! The color was a good choice with the white cabinets.

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  2. OMG I looooove it - the color is perfect with your cabinets and stainless dishwasher. So sleek and sexy - mm, love it. Can't wait to see it grouted!

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  3. Seriously, even if the butt crack were included, I think everyone would still be raving about this DIY! It looks beyond fab!

    Good for you on sticking it out through the prep work . . . even if it took wine backup. :)

    That's quite the to-do list to follow!

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  4. Your floor is going to look amazing!!! I can't wait to see the finished product.

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  5. What a transformation! Seriously! Everything looks lovely! Umm, hello, I still have a mini tetris key chain! ;)

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  6. OMG, it turned out awesome. Love the color, love the staggered pattern. I guess I never realized you have the Brazillian cherry hardwoods...those are stunning too!

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  7. Looks really great! The color is amazing! Great job!

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  8. nice job! looking forward to the finished product.

    my geometry teacher loooved tetris.

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  9. it looks amazing! I can't wait to see the entire finished project.

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  10. You know I love it! And I love the stagger pattern you went with.

    And, after you posted about that hexagon tile on DP I hunted it down {or its cheaper cousin} at Home Depot and I bought a square to see what it looks like in our kitchen : )

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  11. The floor looks awesome! I love the colour...looks great with your cabinets.

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  12. Awww, thanks everyone for your comments! I think this tiny kitchen has potential after all =)

    Glad I'm not alone in my Tetris love.

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  13. Joi~
    OMG I cannot wait to go to HD to find that hexagon tile! I was thinking I'd have to order it over the internet. You HAVE to let me know what you think!

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  14. great tile floor and back splash, love your blog!!! Keep the great ideas coming.

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  15. I love it! Hey, I noticed that you laid the tile right over your previous floor (vinyl?). I thought that one had to remove the previous flooring?

    Great job cos the work must be hard!

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  16. Anonymous~
    Thanks so much! It was definitely not a walk in the park but we're so glad we did it!

    Normally it's recommended that you remove the previous flooring but the old linoleum (or whatever it was) flooring was a very thin layer that was virtually unremovable from the subfloor that it was glued to. We scraped, we chipped, we sliced. No luck! So we decided that it was just fine to tile over it, witout the final floor being too high. And it eneded up being totally even w/ our wood floor in height!

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  17. First of all--I'm very happy to hear you kept the wine close by. Very good. ;)

    Second--I'm all about DIY, but after tiling 2 bathrooms, this is one project I plan to hire out from now on. Ugh.

    And lastly--this looks GORGEOUS FC! I love it!! Well worth the sweat equity, IMO. Great job!

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  18. haha, nice one. you said it yourself!
    www.tetris-tiles.com
    you should have used these ones..

    cheers
    Nick

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  19. Nick,
    Who knew?! I surprise myself sometimes, I tell ya =) Thanks for sharing this!

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Let's get weird up in here.
xoxo
~Freckles Chick~