Between the stainless shelves and appliances, granite counters, zinc counter, reclaimed wood, reclaimed beadboard, and aqua and olive stained cabinets, we’ve got a lot going on in this little kitchen – so much so that figuring out what to do for a backsplash was quite the challenge.
We thought of tile, naturally, but we were reluctant to add yet another design element when we have so many happening already. We thought of zinc, but decided we’ve got enough silver metal. We thought of copper, but again, that’s adding a whole new thing. We thought of reclaimed wood, but were afraid we wouldn’t pass inspection.
Which brought us back to tile. But not just any tile, mind you, THE tile. Our tile. MY tile.
Of course, there’s a story here. Other than the year he gave me a salad spinner (yes, dear readers, he did – but learned from it) my husband Steve chooses really cool, unusual presents. About 6 years ago, when we were beginning a project to turn a laundry room into a laundry room plus half bath and I was beginning to dream about mosaics, I woke up on Christmas morning to find a really heavy box containing about 10 colors of glass tile, all blues and greens, and a tile clipper.
The tile was from Oceanside Glass Tile. Steve, who was then trying to break into the wine business, was working for a company called The Wine Spectrum (not to be confused with the Wine Spectator), literally telemarketing wine to wealthy customers, mostly men, all over the country. (This was great sales training and he did make the switch, but that’s another story.) One of Oceanside’s owners was one of his clients. Steve told him about me and he gave Steve a super deal on a pretty excellent quantity of remaindered tile for me to play with.
My first project was the counter top in the half bath.
It’s holding up well but we learned a few crucial lessons:
- The screws that hold the backerboard and/or countertop should be sunk ALL the way in; otherwise the tile surface will be uneven;
- The grout lines should be thinner than those shown here, which means if you have irregular tile, you’ll have to trim the edges before installing; and, most importantly
- If the counter will go between the washing machine and the door, in designing the counter, you should consider how you will get the washing machine out when it needs to be replaced. Yes, this means exactly what you think it means – as beginning DIYers, we failed to consider this, so when the washing machine breaks, either the counter will have to come out or the wall will have to come down. Keep your fingers crossed for us.
I didn’t think we’d be doing any more big projects, so I used some of the glass tile for garden mosaics.
Then we bought the Schoolhouse and I used more of the glass tile on the backsplash for the butcher block counter we installed.
But amazingly enough, I still have a whole box – and as I was lying awake one night fretting about the backsplash in the main house, I thought, I wonder…
When I woke up I checked and started counting. The iridescent clear and clear green just about match the colors in the granite counter, and I had just enough (using a darker green to stretch a bit).
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