Monday, July 25, 2011

Tiling adventure, part dos

Well, we've been at it again.  And again, my kitchen is a disaster.  Counters and faucet covered in plastic and taped up, power off, and oven in the center of the room.  This is becoming a normal look for us these days... 

Over last weekend, in between Capitals rookie practice, brewery anniversary and opening parties, a baby shower, a birthday party, and dinner with college friends in Maryland, we grouted the tile in the kitchen.  This was definitely much less time consuming than the actually placing of the tiles.

First, you mix the gunk...different gunk than before, but similar idea - liquid substance + powdery stuff + mix = gunk grout. 

Then, using the tool in the picture below, you spread it on the tiles.  Instantly you can see the difference with the black spaces between the tiles turning to white.  The tool is very similar to the trowel we used to spread said gunk the first time, but soft and almost padded feeling. 

So once you spread it, you wait about 10 minutes and then take a clean, damp sponge and start wiping the excess off.  You're trying to get the majority of it off the tiles, the big clumps, while keeping a smooth, even feel to the lines.  This is harder than it sounds, because you're trying to keep an even amount of grout between the tiles while not taking too much out. 

Husband spread the grout, and I cleaned it off.

Over the next few days, we sanded, chipped, and then added more, spread and cleaned.  It took us a few tries in a couple of spots to get it right.  

Then, after 48 hours of drying time, we husband sealed and put in the caulk.  We purchased the sealer from The Tile Shop when we got all of our tiles.  You just pour it into a little dish and use a toothbrush to brush it over the grout.  (notice that it's a nice, kitchen dish.  This is what happens when I'm not home)  The grout is porous, so it prevents anything from getting or growing in there - you don't want water splashing up on the un-sealed grout - it can grow mold over time.  So you rub it on and wipe the excess off with a rag.  It's a very thin liquid, so it runs a lot over the tiles.

We husband also caulked the edges, the space just under and around the cabinets, and the area where the tile meets the granite.  We used white for the edges and clear along the granite.  It makes such a big difference, and looks so smooth now.  

It's probably really hard to tell - but it's so smooth along the edge now.  Unlike before when you could see the first gunk that we used to put it on the there's a smooth line above and along the side of the tile.  These tiles are rounded on the top and right edges, called bullnose.  Once the primer on the walls is painted over with the wall color, it'll look finished and clean.

Also, the plates are finally on the sockets!  Maybe I won't have to keep resetting the microwave clock every night now when we turn off the power to fix something!  They look so good compared to what they were before.

We finally are able to put things back in the kitchen - no more making coffee in the powder room or running back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room while making dinner to get the knife or utensil I need!

Too bad when you look up, it looks like this....

Ugh.  Let the fun continue.

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