Progress isn’t Always Obvious

The 'basic' desired result

The 'basic' desired result

Our (I use the term ‘our’ tactfully here – it was really my bride’s idea… make that ‘insistence’!)… our goal is to put ceramic tiles between the counter top and the bottom of the wall cabinets.

Following the advice of my bride’s hairdresser (I never even bothered to search the Internet for other ideas and methods) we have glued the tiles onto boards that are similar to peg board without the holes. They are now lying in wait on every flat surface in the kitchen and breakfast room.

This section will go to the right of the sink

This section will go to the right of the sink

The only windows in the kitchen are above the sink. Neither my bride nor I liked the existing window frames. So, before we could measure and cut the boards, I had to install new window frames.

The new window frames

The new window frames

Of course, to do the frames, we had to re-borrow our son-in-law’s miter saw. I thought we were done with it after we finished the crown molding on the wall cabinets. Silly me!

Two more sections waiting for the next step

Two more sections waiting for the next step

The thinner of two sections will go under the windows. The other fits under the microwave. Please take note of the precision cutting along the notched side of that section.

To make that cut, I called a friend, Donnie Culver, who is in the home construction business, and asked to borrow his tile saw. He, of course, said ‘Yes” IF I could come and pick it up. I then started calling other friends and relatives who owned pick-up trucks.

After having no luck, I drove over to Donnie’s office in my 1999 Mitsubishi. After some effort, we managed to get the saw into my trunk. I returned home without any major difficulties.

However, upon arriving home, I realized I had to get the saw out of the trunk as soon as possible. My Mitsubishi needs a new battery and being unable to close the trunk meant the trunk light would be on all night.

The saw probably weighs more than a hundred pounds and is very awkward to lift.

The saw is what you see

The saw is what you see

The saw sits atop a trough that is filled with water. The water is sprayed on the tiles as they are being cut. The estimate of weight I gave is with the trough empty. I assure you I will get the water out before I try to move it again.

After getting the saw home, I struggled to get it out of my trunk and into a wheel barrel. I then put it in the garage overnight while I went off to choir practice.

The next morning, I wheeled the saw up to our deck. It was then I discovered I had managed to get the saw wedged into the wheel barrel. Eventually I was able to work it loose and get it out. I then literally rolled the saw up the steps and onto the platform shown in the photo.

That platform is a wooden box in which we keep our soft drinks. Therefore, I had to go to the store and buy more soft drinks… there’s no way we can currently get into that wooden box.

Another section waiting its turn

Another section waiting its turn

The next step is to apply the grouting. Believe it or not, we will use cake decorating funnels to fill the cracks between each tile. The reason we’re taking this approach is to protect the integrity (translate to ‘beauty’) of each individual block. Some of the tiles have a number of holes that add something – I’m not artistic enough to say more than that. If we were to simply spread the grout over the tiles, those holes would be filled with grout. We don’t want that. Therefore, we will act like cake decorators and squeeze the grout into the appropriate slots and nowhere else.

With luck, that will be finished within the next day or so. Then, we will use liquid nail to attach the boards (and attached tiles) to the walls. We will then make adjustments to the holes I’ve cut for the electrical outlets.

A WORD OF WARNING: Some things have to be learned from experience. Be sure to turn off the electrical power prior to messing with electrical outlets. I, without thinking, grabbed one such outlet as I was preparing to put a section up against the wall to make sure it fit properly. Needless to say, I grabbed the outlet in such a way that I was touching two of the screws used to attach the wires. For a moment our two, we had one more electrical appliance in our kitchen.

Fortunately, I was wearing rubber soled shoes and was not grounded in any other way. All I got was a slight buzzing sensation.

Another section-in-waiting

Another section-in-waiting

After everything is on the wall and the electrical outlets are properly aligned, we’ll paint on the sealer. Then we can replace the electrical outlet plates and be ‘almost’ finished.

I say ‘almost’ because Lu wants to dapple them with various colors of paint to make them blend in with the colors of the tiles. (This advice did not come from her hairdresser, but one of her fellow employees at the hospital.)

When you’re gluing things, you often have times when you can do nothing but wait for the glue to dry. I can watch such things all day! But not my bride. This is what she did while waiting for the glue to dry.

Our freshly painted front porch

Our freshly painted front porch

This is great! Today I can watch the paint dry!

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