Backsplash | Or....amateur calculations on tile needs

My backsplash is in, and it looks terrific.  I have lots of linear feet of kitchen countertops--not that my kitchen is all that big, but when I designed it 30+ years ago, I wanted a kitchen that opened up into our great room--I was ahead of the times, then with a great room and an open kitchen.

As my tile man was 3/4 of the way down the main drag in the kitchen, he asked me, "How much tile do you have left?"  It was clear that I had not ordered enough.  I was 6 ft short--or six pieces of tile.  Let me tell you how I erred.

I thought that I had done this the right way....I measured the inches of length, multiplied by the inches of height and divided by 144" to get square feet.  I then applied a waste factor (he told me to use 10%--some applications, such as a diagonal require 15%.  I had 27 ft and bought 30 sqf.

Thankfully, Lowe's had my tile in stock.  I'll tell you can buy tile cheaper at Lowes--to include the transition pieces--cheaper than I can get with a contractor's discount at a tile store.  However, for MOST of my renovation projects, I scour the back room of  Best Tile where I can snag a deal and get really nice stuff for a fraction of the cost.  Then I can splurge on expensive insets.  While I was at Lowe's, they had pencil moulding for less than 1/2 what I bought it for.

I wanted to understand the error of my calculations.  It was simple--when measuring a run (length) you have to round UP to ensure that you have a full tile measurement.  Meaning, if you have 12" tile and your run is 40", you will need to make that run 48 to account for a full tile (e.g. something divisible by 12").  Accordingly if your tile were a 4" tile, you would be okay as you can divide by 4 and get a whole number.  I had 6 runs--hence, I was 6 tiles short before calculating overage to match the pattern.  (my tile was 12" tall, and I had a 14.5" space).  Because the tile was a mosaic, one has to match the pattern correctly--pattern comes in color pattern (of which my tile was truly random) and size pattern.  My tile had a distinct size pattern.

Now pattern is important. My tile men know that I'm the Rainwoman of being able to spot a pattern deviation. The were installing a beautiful wall of random stone and glass (with a not so random pattern).  I walked into the room and immediately noted the problem.  The were incredulous, because they had been so careful.  Well, they were more careful than the time manufacturer because the error was in the individual sheet!  They still remember that--and we spent some time discussing the nature of this tile for my backsplash.

I have to admit that with everything off of my counters, this tile looked quite stark against my alderwood much to the point, that I was wondering if I had made a mistake in my choice.  Sure, it looked terrific with the Corian countertops, but my cabinets looked too traditional. Further, I have a warmer tone in my great room, and I was wondering if I had created a jarring look between the open kitchen and my great room.

Much sighing and hand wringing.

Well, once I started populating my countertops, the back splash now created a lovely backdrop for my appliances, and did not jar so much.  But still...I wonder....

I have a six foot window in the kitchen that I have to repaint to a white.  First, I have to rebuild the sill which was split due to the thickness of the walls of our house (6" framing).  The sill extension line has always been a problem--visible, shaggy looking.  After digging it out (razor knife, 5in1 tool and my Porter Cable tool), I know why.  I believe my prior painter (not me) jammed joint compound to fill the joint. Joint compound is not a wood filler. 

I primed the sill before I repaired it--to give the wood fill some purchase.  I wood filled the 6 foot seam, let it dry and then sanded with orbital sander.  I will prime today.  I de-glossed the existing paint (for some reason I thought high gloss on the trim was a good idea) with some Will-Bond.  Noxious but effective.

I have so many things to tick off my project list.   As the say goes

A journey of a thousand paint projects begins with figuring out your paint colors--and then kicking your butt into gear.


Post a Comment