Hello Friends and Happy Friday! I wanted to check in before the weekend and share some more details about our kitchen project. This project took four times longer than we planned/imagined and was a tremendous amount of work. I couldn’t be happier with it and am so grateful for all the hard hours put in by family. (These pictures are the current state of the kitchen, we still have yet to calk and paint some areas – so it is still a bit unfinished).
I have learned with most projects to plan extra time and extra money because that is how most DIY on homes go. I am hoping that sharing this project with you will not discourage you from the idea or to try something on your own. But rather, encourage you to take a chance on something you want for your home or yourself. To see that the hard work pays off and it doesn’t always come quickly. As silly as it may sound in situations like this when there seems to be a problem too big to fix or see around (as the many hiccups and hours this kitchen entailed) I remind myself that there is always a solution some how. It may not be what you wanted or planned but it is there. Get creative and persistant to find it and you will.
(Copper Tray – Painted Fox – Link in Sidebar)
Now onto the details of how we did this renovation on a budget (in a nutshell)…
The materials we chose for this project consisted of porcelain subway tiles, and large (12 x 24) Honed Carrera Marble tiles. The entire backsplash including grout cost $100. The tiled Marble counters cost $500 including grout, sealer and thinset. We were fortunate that my father-in-law had tools that we could use so we did not have to factor that into the cost. As you know I am always talking about our tight budget and this was a stretch for our family. We made it possible by selling unused furniture and had some Christmas gift money to make this kitchen happen. Even so, we really wanted to stick to the allowance we had set for ourselves and we did a pretty good job.
When considering the materials we wanted something that was marble or would resemble it. I wanted a clean white backsplash too. After researching our choices, using large marble tiles was the most affordable. I knew that it would be a little different having large tiles instead of one large piece of countertop, but decided to embrace this because it would be unique to our home and gave it a bit of my own style.
We used a running bond pattern for both the backsplash and the counter. We needed to get creative with some of the measurements and layout and ran slender pieces along the edges.
Where the problems surfaced…
Time – as I shared before this project took so much longer than we anticipated and that was a challenge when laying individual subway tiles, and honing the edge pieces of marble for the counters.
Structure – We were able to adhere the tile right on top of our old laminate counters and attempted to do the same to our butcher block island. The problem after some time, was that the butcher block began to cup and lift the tile. It was absorbing water from the thinset. Therefore we removed each island tile, replaced the surface with plywood and cement board and then started the whole tiling process again.
Grout – our grout job the first time on the counters was the wrong color and even began to crack. We scraped each grout line and replaced with a higher quality grout from our tile shop and it made a huge difference! I would definately recommend going with quality.
I know this was a lot of information and I hope maybe it will be helpful to someone down the road. Otherwise, I also hope you enjoyed the tour and thanks for caring to share the experience of the kitchen renovation with me. Have a great weekend all!