04 February 2008

Kitchen VI

The edging tiles have been setting for less than 24 hours and they're pretty solid. I spent a little time this morning running around the edges with a damp cloth to remove the extra thinset. They all set up level and without any drifting or settling during a very humid night (Arizona has entered our winter rainy season and we turned our heater on for the first time last night - set to a tropical 68 degrees; it was still too hot, so it's going down to 65 tonight). But even with the humidity, the thinset is working great! We used a powdered thinset mix instead of pre-mixed and, according to Mike at World of Tile, that can make a huge difference as the pre-mixed has additives to keep it from setting up in the container. I'm a believer!

We've got about a dozen more cuts and then we're done with the tile saw (at least for a couple of weeks - we haven't even started the island, the desk, or the backsplash, yet!).

Here are a few pictures:

Now that there's a top on our lower cabinets, it's time to re-fill them. I'm taking some time on this as the way we use the kitchen has changed dramatically in the last 15 years (from 3-going-on-4 young children and just trying to get everyone fed everyday to 9 kids ages 6 -21 and experimenting with more gourmet fare and wanting to extend more hospitality), so the kitchen is in need of a re-organization as well as a facelift. The new cabinets are going to make this a much nicer proposition than it was before!

I'm working to figure out the division of the different areas of the kitchen. Julie Morgenstern, author of Organizing from the Inside Out, calls it the kindergarten method of organization. Figure out what you do where and put things away where they're close to where they're used. This is what I'll be thinking about as I lay tile this afternoon.
And if anyone's interested - school's been called on account of tile. Actually, this is a kind of intensive vocational/real life skills class. :-D

3:43 p.m.

Grout is mixed and will be ready in a couple of minutes to be used. I'm starting with the smallest counter between the fridge and the stove. Then I'll begin on the other side of the stove and start working my way around the 'U'. Drew is still marking tiles and Jared and Nathan are taking turns cutting them. It's cold out there, especially with the water running off of the tile saw. And we had a bit of hail this afternoon.
5:17 p.m.

I've gotten from the fridge to the stove to the sink to the corner of the peninsula. This is kind of fun! The lines are all, well, lining up, everything is level and it all feels smooth. Boys are mixing up another batch of thinset while I take a little break.

While working, I've been listening to 'My Top Rated' playlist on iTunes: Chicago, Petra, Billy Joel, Eric Bibb, Finding Neverland, Kenny Loggins, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Joshua Bell, Bertie Higgins, Christopher Cross, the Righteous Brothers, etc., etc. Makes the work go much faster!
7:14 p.m.

We've gotten around to the last bit of the peninsula. It's gotten a bit harder: my arm started cramping at on point and the plywood underlayment has a bit of a bow in it, so we're having to build up a thicker bed of thinset on the far side to keep things level. So far, it's working, but I've gotten to a point where I need Drew's help and I'm so glad he's here. One more large tile, a few filler pieces, and the rest of the edging and we're done with the counters. The island and desk will be a cakewalk after this as they're both simple rectangles - no turns. We're also planning on purchasing new plywood pieces the same day we install them so they aren't stored standing up and begin to bow, which is what happened with the peninsula piece.

We were supposed to grill burgers tonight, but the weather has precluded that, so we've sent Jared out for Arby's.


  1. Now that, is looking nice! It sounds as though it is an enormous job! What did you do with contents of the cupboards while you were working?

  2. PS Why don't I show up on your map? Aren't there enough of me visiting?

  3. You're on the map now! It updates every 24 hours, so it didn't see you yesterday until today. I feel like I'm in a time warp!

  4. Oh, the pots and pans have been milling around the living room waiting until they can go back home.