Choosing and Installing Backsplash Tile

I’m BACK (splashed) baby!

Hello, friends! It’s me! You remember, right? It’s… you know… ME! I know it’s been a while, so I’ll go ahead and reintroduce myself. I am Princess Spackle of House Crappy. Once upon a time, I wrote amazingly witty blog posts for your enjoyment and then, I went missing without explanation. (The kids call it “ghosting”.) But, the good news is I did not die! Not that there were any rumors or anything, but really, how would you know? So, whew. Still alive. And hey, we didn’t break up or anything. I still love you. You still love me. (Yeah, you do…) So let’s just put that whole nasty ghost business behind us, shall we? We have lots of crap to catch up on! I’ve missed you!

Previously on My Crappy House… there was a lazy girl who only managed to write three posts in 2017. And no posts in 2018. And now, it’s August…

And we’re all caught up!

Seriously, things are a bit different around here. Schmoopy has moved into my crappy house. Incidentally, Schmoopy does have a real name, but I can’t share it with you because I don’t want impinge on his privacy, so let’s just call him “John” for the sake of anonymity. (OK, shhh… John is his actual name, but don’t go looking him up on the internet or anything. He didn’t ask to be this famous. He just wants to live a normal life like everyone else. Be cool, guys. Be cool…) So, Egor now has a step kitty brother named Zero. That relationship deserves it’s own kitty post, so I will write one. Or maybe I’ll make them write one. (Haha yeah, right. They’re even lazier than I am. Cats…)

I actually have a bunch of post ideas for you (you may get more than three this year!), but this post is all about my kitchen. I know you’ve been dying to see how it all turned out. It’s mostly finished. I still have to pick out proper pendant lights and deal with window treatments. But otherwise, it’s finished. And it only took 7 years!

I talked about my kitchen plans here in this post where I showed you this backsplash tile:

Original Choice Tile

There were two things wrong with this tile. First, obviously, this tile is freaking expensive. At $71.68 per sheet, you can do the math, or let me save you the trouble: it would have cost a crap ton. For the perfect tile, I would have spent the money. I’m committed. (Or maybe I should be committed. I forget.) But, the other (bigger) problem was the installation. Every experienced tiler I spoke to told me this tile would be nearly impossible to cut. The crackled glass doesn’t play nice with the saw. It shatters and looks all ragged and crappy. And, perhaps ironically, I absolutely refuse to put anything crappy into my crappy house.

So I started looking for alternatives…

Tile Choices

I went to every tile store I could find, and then I ordered a whole bunch of samples online. As you may have noticed, I was absolutely set on the shape, but none of these jumped out as “the one”. Until this one showed up in my mailbox. The very last tile to arrive…

Tile final choice

Hello, my pretty.

It’s hard to tell in this picture, but there’s a very slight metallic sheen to this tile. It reminds me of the way pencil lead looks. Anyway, it was clearly perfect. And instead of the crap ton the original would have cost me, these tiles only cost $500. AND I actually like this one better than that dumb, crappy cracked glass one. Sometimes things work out for the best.

So here’s a last look at my kitchen with a naked backsplash…

Before Backsplash

A proper blogger would give you lots of progress shots but: a) Who’s proper? And: b) Putting up tile is super messy with the tile sawdust and the water making mud and the thought of taking out my expensive camera to take wet, dirty pictures (yeah, I heard it. sorry…) didn’t cross my mind. But I have this one for you:

Progress Backsplash

I picked a tile that didn’t come on a sheet, because… of course I did! Installing them one at a time is so fun and not at all challenging. Especially since I couldn’t use spacers because of the shape. I got to eyeball every single tile, one at a time! It was a hoot, I tell you. (If your sarcasm detector isn’t beeping right now, it’s defective.)

I do have pictures of the pre-grout stage though:

Pre grout corner

Pre grout behind stove

Pre grout close

I decided I wanted my grout to match my tiles. I loved the bevel effect and I didn’t want the grout line to detract from that. So, I picked Charcoal Gray:

Grout color Charcoal Gray

It looked great in the bucket, but when it dried after application, it looked way lighter:

Grout too light

Unacceptable! So I bought a special paint for grout, also in Charcoal Gray. You can really see the difference in this next picture (because I know you think I’m crazy for not being OK with the way it turned out above, but I want what I want, dammit):

Before and after grout

It would have been nice if I could have just washed the whole wall with the color and wiped it off, but nope. I had to paint it on. With a little brush. Between every. Single. Freaking. Tile. There are no limits to my commitment to getting exactly what I want.

Painting Grout

Seriously. No limits.

Painting tile under cabinet

So it turned out OK, I think…

After Backsplash Sink

Haha I’m just kidding. It turned out awesome. You know it…

After Backsplash Stove

After Backsplash

Some people might say my kitchen is too gray. Those people are stupid. You can never have enough gray! Plus gray is a great backdrop for a little bit of color. How freaking cute is my little, blue oven?

Backsplash after accessories Egor

Backsplash accessories

So I have a real life kitchen now. And it cooks and everything! In fact… I actually hosted Thanksgiving dinner of 2017! And no one died! Good times…

Can you even believe I found this nightlight that exactly matches?? (I think it’s been discontinued, but this one is really similar.)

Finished close nightlight

OK, so I know you’re wondering where TF is China? (The blog post, not the country.) I promised you guys a post all about my China trip. It’s half way done, but it’s been my most difficult post to edit so far, so please bear with me on that one. And I’ve got more house stuff going on, both inside and outside. My goal is to get you a post a month for the rest of the year. Can she do it?? Subscribe to find out…

***Time travel links! Here’s that post all about China! And here’s one where you can see my pretty kitchen pendant lights.

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  • Marilyn

    Well, it’s about time girl! I LOVE your kitchen! It’s elegant and beautiful. I have to admit though, the photo of you “crouching under the cabinets, meticulously painting tiny lines” made me crack up! Your a riot! I LOVE you so much and I also LOVE Schmoopy, he’s a great guy! Love you, m

    • My Crappy House

      Thank you! The crouching is part of my ninja skill set. How else could I reach that back corner? Love you too and I miss you.

  • Joan

    WELCOME BACK!!! Wow! That looks GREAT! It’s certainly not a color I would have picked for a kitchen, but you totally rocked it! LOVE how the turquoise really pops! Have you allowed Schmoopy to help out, or are you still doing stuff mostly yourself?

    • My Crappy House

      THANKS! Yeah, the color (or lack of color) scheme isn’t for everyone, but when I saw that oven, I was glad I went with a neutral palette. Schmoopy is very handy, but he also knows I’m a control freak. We’ll be starting our first real house project together this weekend. Hopefully, he won’t leave me forever…

  • Jacquelyn

    We’ve missed you!!! Backsplash tiles are awesome, LOVE the kitchen! Hey btw, how is the Green Monster holding up? I’m interested in buying that same sofa…

    • My Crappy House

      Thank you. The green monster is holding up perfectly! I highly recommend this sofa. The cats aren’t interested in clawing it and it cleans very well. The only downside is the cat hair sticks to it, but it’s easy to vacuum right off. Wait for a sale. Macy’s always has them…

  • Em

    In addition to how much I enjoy your posts, I love how much better you make me feel about my own lack-of-posting-with-any-regularity blog.

    I mean, yours is way better, but the little things help.

    As to your kitchen…just wow…to it all! And not only the meticulous anal retentive grout painting (which speaks to me) but the freakingly perfect beveled corner miters on your tile. You are my queen, Princess Spackle!

    • My Crappy House

      Oh, I just checked you out and you post WAY WAY WAY more than I do. I just read that you killed the gray trend. Thanks a lot! What am I going to do about this kitchen now? lol

      I worked very hard on those bevels. Thank you for noticing!

  • Missy

    Glad you made it back to Winterfell! Your kitchen is almost as beautiful as Schmoopy. (You thought I was going to say you didn’t you!?)

    • My Crappy House

      Thanks! I actually went a tiny bit out of my comfort zone with that too expensive little oven, but I’m so happy I went for it. I love the color.

  • Susan Kuehne

    Love Love Love it all especially the sitting on the counter and underneath the cabinets. So jealous of that move…lol. Anyway, Welcome back. Miss seeing your face too. I saw Schmoopy the other night, and love the beard.

    • My Crappy House

      Haha yeah, I guess it’s pretty cool I can still squeeze myself into an 18″ space. I could probably get myself into a suitcase and do some traveling…

      I was just talking about you today with Schmoopy. I got mail for Barbara’s Bunny Patch and I remembered you’d told me about the craft lady who used to live here.

  • Susan Kuehne

    Oh…and I know exactly how you felt about painting in between those lines. I did it with gold flake on my cabinet handles because “I wanted what I wanted” and what I had “envisioned”. I’m sure that your’s took longer, but you definitely go “batty” after a time.

  • Julia

    I had given up on you…much like my family. But unlike my crappy family, you came back. And I like you SO much more than them. My hope is restored. The backsplash looks awesome!

  • judy

    Great job,I really missed your posts,great DIY info,furniture escapades,cats,floor stains….etc.
    All things I needed info about at the time.

  • Mom

    I love your kitchen and I, like Marilyn, LMAO seeing you under the cabinet. But FYI it’s not nice to call your mom stupid.

  • Margaret

    There you are. Been quite a while. Kitchen looks fab!! Glad to see all’s well and you’re still kicking. Hopefully I’ll get to have a home cooked meal there in the future.

  • Helen

    Wow, I was thinking about you this weekend, and about how much I desperately miss your fabulous posts. And bam! You appeared just like that! We must be witches, or something.

    Welcome back! Can’t tell you how much I LOVED your new post. Glad you have been enjoying your life, that you are all loved up, and more than anything that you have another cat (love the name Zero). Looking forward to future cat stories.

    Your kitchen is stunning.There is definitely no such thing as too much grey. It’s so classic, timeless and beautiful. You’ve got a really good grey too; looks as though it has got some green tones in it, which I love. You’ve done a superb job. Love the accessories; with the grey, any accent colour would look great.

    I am with you completely on painting the grout. If you’ve come this far getting the perfect tile, the grout must be perfect too. I did the same thing on a chandelier I bought; had to painstakingly re paint it as it was the wrong shade. Although, luckily for me, I could put it on a table and therefore did not have to contort my body like you to paint it, or indeed swing off it whilst painting it.

    Wish you lived in UK. I would so hire you for advice on fixing up my crappy house. Been renovating for 11 years, sigh, but getting there slowly but surely.

    Well done on another magnificent job!

    • My Crappy House

      Maybe we share ancestors. I do have English blood… Thank you so much for your kind words. You have excellent taste in kitchens! And bloggers… lol

      I’m happy to hear I’m not the only crazy person who goes to extreme lengths to get what they want. You must be a fellow perfectionist. It’s a curse, really, but our houses are the nicest because we never settle for “good enough”.

      The kitties are starting to get along. I think. Zero attacked Egor last night. Egor was howling a bit, so I broke it up, but I think they may have been playing. Egor is my first cat, so I have no experience with how multiple cats behave together, but there were no injuries and Egor didn’t run and hide, so I guess he was ok with it. It’s been a process… Zero is a little bully.

      Anyway, thanks again for your nice comment. Hopefully, I won’t keep you waiting so long for the next post. Cheers!

    • Helen

      Ha! I knew it! We are distant relations. ? We have so much in common; both renovating crappy houses (although yours isn’t crappy anymore), both perfectionists (you’re right, it’s a curse), both awesome!

      And both have two cats! I’ve got a 20 year old male and 17 year old queen. The male is called Edward Bear and he’s still got it. He is gorgeous, he’s the George Clooney of the cat world (thinking Egor is more of a Brad Pitt). They hated each other at first, and used to fight each other, but soon became friends. Now they mostly just sleep. I got a new puppy, and they gang up on him now. Maybe that’s how you can unite Egor and Zero; get a puppy for them to hate together.

      (Luckily, the puppy is so silly and happy, he doesn’t care. In fact, he loves it when the cats chase him off and lash out at him. Thinks it’s a brilliant and hysterical game. Sigh. Stupid dog.)

  • Lisa Garber

    You’ll have to rename the blog, of course, if you keep this up. There are consequences! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m the oldest commmenter at 64, and I must lie down. So much fabulousness is exhausting (and I do mean your fabulousness, dear, I’m quite accustomed to mine.)
    Lisa Garber

    • My Crappy House

      Hahaha you’re awesome! And, obviously, fabulous people are better able to detect fabulousness in others, so I thank you for the recognition. I want to be you when I’m 64.

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