What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kitchen Renovation Update - Tiling Edge Problem

I mentioned the tiling edge problem in my last update. Unfortunately the big box store didn't tell us there was an edging for the tile. The general consensus from the home improvement store was to use the trim that meant we would be lifting all the edging tiles, applying the edging, thin-set then re-grouting. I was seriously sickened at this thought. My husband picked up the trim, left it in the car for the day to find it had more curves than a slinky! We decided to do a small test stretch on the breaksfast island.

The problem was there were no matching bull nose trim for this tile. We had decided this was the tile we wanted so planned on doing a wood edging. However, the fridge put a kibosh to that plan. We simply did not have the play for an additional ½ inch on the fridge size if we wanted to get into the freezer compartment. If anything we wanted to gain a little space on that side of the breakfast island. The fridge is about 18 months old so the prospect of replacing it was not over appealing. So we went onto plan B that did not come about without presenting its problems resulting in raising the height of the finished counter top by ⅞ inch so the tile edge would fit over the dishwasher and the unfinished edge of the tiles showing. My husband thought the grout would cover the tile edges and it did for some but still most of the edges were dark, interfering with the visual continuity and simply just didn't look right. I immediately thought of painting them.

My husband checked at the hardware store and the lumber store. Both said the tile edges could not be painted because paint would not stick to the tile. By now we were both frustrated and irritated. He bought a heavy duty ripper and set about making a groove under the top edging tiles on the breakfast bar along the short end consisting of 6 tiles. He cut the edging so only about ⅛ inch of the bottom would go into the groove then ran a bead of silicone along the cut portion of the plastic edging and pressed it into the groove. This was plan A suggested by the lumber store. The next morning the silicone was still not set up! At the same time my husband hated the look. The trim interfered with the continuity and according to him looked cheap. He was also concerned that the edging would not standup to the wear and tear of daily use.

By the time he got home that night the silicone still had not set up so clearly that idea was not going to work. We resigned ourselves to the fact the tiles would have to be removed in order to use the trim but we still were not satisfied with the look of the trim. After dinner he set about starting to remove the edging tiles on the breakfast bar. He had the short end removed along with almost 3 feet of one long end raised when our neighbour stopped by to see our progress. He immediately said why not just paint them? We explained the problem but he said it could be done. My husband stopped raising the tiles and after a nice visit with our neighbour I went online to search. I found several references that said ceramic tile can be painted using a special primer and enamel. I printed off one so my husband could take it to the paint store the next day.

This is a long established business with about as much paint knowledge as you can get! This was duh moment number one as in why didn't we think of this first? He took a piece of the tile with him to explain the problem along with the printed recommendations. Without even reading the recommendations they immediately said, you need melamine paint. This was duh moment number two! I've worked with melamine paint before so why didn't I think of it? The nice thing is this is a very durable, scrubable enamel paint that results in a gorgeous finish. It is oil based so is not water clean-up. They tinted it to match the tile which is slightly off white.

I used this paint for the cabinets and countertops in our third house. We were visiting friends just after they had decorated their kitchen. Their countertop was a gorgeous shade of deep teal, a perfect match for their wall colour and border. I commented on it to find that they had painted the countertop! I got all the details then painted the countertop in our third home to reflect the country blue tones in the newly installed ceramic tile floor. [I'll be posting an entry on painting laminate countertops when we get to the laundry room as that is what I'm planning to do.]

The solution was not for the faint of heart. We had to re-attach the tiles then grout before proceeding. Using a small (¼ inch) sable, angle artist brush the edge of each exposed tile was tediously painted. I was careful to not get paint on the grout. Then the paint was allowed to dry for 24 hours. The results were amazing after the first coat of paint so that was quite encouraging! The process was repeated then allowed to dry for another 24 hours before putting a third and final coat of the paint on the edges. The whole process was time consuming and tedious but not overly difficult.

If you recall from the previous update, we had decided to paint the trim around the window. Even though it was the middle colour in the paint chip used for family room that shares a common wall in the kitchen, the pale sea green trim just didn't look right against tile around the window. I used the same melamine paint for this trim as well. It took three coats but I'm quite pleased with the results. This simple change makes the window trim flow into the tiles keeping the visual continuity but it also has slightly better reflective properties.

The kitchen is starting to look more like a kitchen and less like a work zone. The edging looked quite nice after one coat of paint. A small bowl of pure vanilla kept the paint odour in check. I lost the drawer under the sink and the panel where the old sink was is not quite usable because it would hit the stove. We still have to put a handle on that to keep the look of the kitchen. We had to cut the drawer (bottom right) to fit the pipes but surprisingly did not lose a lot in terms of storage. The corner cabinet is going to be maximized for storage so I will write about that when completed.

An end is in sight as far as the tiling goes. However, there is still a lot of finishing touches. I'm really a detail person so tend to be very nit picky about the finishing touches. At the same time I'm the one who tends to do these extras. My husband will say something to the effect of "How should we finish this?" I come up with the how to and unless it involves lifting or heavy work, I make it happen myself. So there are still things like caulking, painting, grout sealing and cabinet trim, all in progress at various stages. Once all that is completed, I will do a final cleaning of all surfaces, put the cartridges back into the stove, put things away and the kitchen will be finally finished.

Garden Gnome


The Handyguys Podcast said...

Wow - I can believe you couldn't find a bullnose tile that would match, or at least coordinate. They also make an edging for tiles that do not have bullnose. Lastly, the tiles could have been mitered at a 45degree angle where they meet.

If you are happy with your paint solution then good! Your project looks good in the pictures.

If the future if you have any questions feel free to contact The Handyguys. We always answer our listeners questions.

Handyguy Brian

Garden Gnome said...

Thank-you for visiting and offering to help. You have a nice and informative blog!

The manufacturer of this tile (Daltile) does not make a matching bullnose or edging. The recommended edging discovered after installing the tile was a hard plastic but my husband did not like the looks of it. We didn't want to use a contrasting bullnose that would trap us into using that particular colour in family room either. As I post more about the renovation you will see why we wanted to keep the tiling rather neutral..

The paint solution worked wonderfully. It was tedious but worked. The idea of a 45 degree inward mitre would have worked leaving a completely tiled edge so will definitely keep that in mind for our bathrooms if needed. The next tiling project is the entrance hall so it should be mainly straight cuts.

Thanks again :)