This Tile Project was a DIY by my husband and I. We tackled a few small tiling projects before taking on this one, one using thin set mortar and one using simple mat. After using both products we decided to go with simple mat for the backsplash (read further to find out why we WOULD NOT use simple mat again for this particular project).
DIY Hampton Carrara Polished Kitchen Backsplash
We took an embarrassingly long time to finish our Hampton Carrara backsplash in the kitchen, but it's finally done! We did this project ourselves and only ran into a few problems (uneven walls, tiles being too heavy for easy mat, difficult cuts, etc). Read more at http://gingerandthehuth.com/2014/07/hampton-carrara-polished-kitchen/
-Hampton Carrara Polished 3 x 6 in
-Jeffrey Court Carrara (trim pieces for the window)
-Delorean Gray Grout
For this project we ended up being unimpressed with simple mat. I think with lighter tile it works fantastic (would highly recommend simple mat for lighter tile) but for something like heavy marble simple mat is probably not the best choice. After tiling the first wall we were disappointed with the amount of sag showing up in the grout lines. So we asked a friend (who is a professional tiler) who recommended using silicone. We started adding a few globs of silicone onto each piece and it stopped our saggy tile problem.
One problem we faced was two of our walls being bowed. We fixed this by applying layer upon layer upon layer of joint compound. It was incredibly tedious, I'm sure anybody who's patched any drywall could attest to this. One of the walls was uneven because we ripped it out to install a pot filler, the other wall was just built uneven.
The other uneven surface we dealt with was the window sill. We hadn't anticipated this and didn't recognize the problem until we had already laid the simple mat down and had started tiling.. We ended up solving our problem with pennies. No idea if this was a terrible solution or not, but it appears to have worked and is holding up well. We just stuck pennies under the tiles to get them all even and used liberal amounts of silicone to secure the pennies and the tile.
Other than a few difficult cuts, the only other big hurdle for us was deciding how to tile around the window. We decided to add two marble trim pieces straight across the bottom and top and having bull nose pieces edge around it.
The trim pieces we used proved difficult to put up because of their weight. We used liberal amounts of silicone, held them in place until our arms felt like they were going to fall off, and then used blue tape to help secure them. We let them set for 24 hours before tiling above them. Although they were heavy and difficult to put up we'd happily use them again.
Other than the few problems mentioned above this was a surprisingly easy DIY. Most of the time projects end up being harder than we anticipate, but this one (although time consuming) was fairly straight forward.
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I'd estimate that this project would take a normal two person team (inexperienced two person team) 3 days? We drug this project out and having a toddler helping isn't always super efficient :-)
Very happy with how everything is coming together! We've been working on this remodel for well over a year now!
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!Go