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 :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Onto Grouting

Unless you are a DIYer you can't possibly relate to home renovations where life gets in the way. In fairness if I have to choose between family or getting a project finished, family will win hands down every time! On the flip side that means living with chaos for some renovations. It also means some frazzled nerves!


We bought the tiling supplies the first week of March. They have been sitting in that same spot harbouring spiders and the occasional centipede since then. This is the common wall that goes from family room into the kitchen opposite of the breakfast bar. Now I really didn't mind the supplies sitting there because that's where they were going to be used within a week or two. Alrighty then life got in the way so we didn't get to the tiling until August. It seriously wasn't a problem with the exception of stubbing toes on the boxes if you went around the breakfast bar at the wrong angle. The stack became a conversation piece (very upscale so I'm told) and then a dreaded hot zone. Things got stacked on top of the stack! It really wasn't a good situation!


I was very excited to see the tile going onto the walls and countertop. It was a lot and I do mean a lot of work. Just out of range to the left of this picture my husband made a tiling error using length of part tiles where they should have been full tiles. The problem was and still is we do not work well together on DIY projects. It's because I have the ideas and do the research while he does the manual things I can't. That means he doesn't listen to me and I get frustrated because he isn't listening meaning I don't listen to him. The funny thing is despite the bickering and frustration we do good work together although neither of us see it until the project is nearing completion. Anyway, this little error meant me doing a ribbit (knitting term for ripping out) the next morning from under one cabinet to behind the fridge and the counter between the fridge and stove. I was not a happy camper! We did have a not so quite family discussion regarding this issue. Unfortunately my mood worsened when it took 2 days to get the thin set off the tiles but being frugal I persisted. Anyway, this is what the tile looked like Wednesday night. Despite the setback thinks still looked pretty good. Oh, the window trim (1) is a bit debatable right now.


Thursday was grout day and you would think it would go smoothly. We figured it would take an hour to grout then let it sit the 2 hours before wiping down. Wrong! We mixed half the grout and that was a chore itself because that stuff doesn't mix nicely and I wasn't about to use my stick blender. So after much stirring it was ready to use. The premise is you put the grout on at a 90º angle then remove at a 45º angle while pushing the grout into the seams. Fine and dandy except no one told the grout this is what was supposed to happen! It was just a bit more work than anticipated and took longer than the hour. We definitely are going to be painting the window trim (4) white to match the tiles. Despite careful clean-up of the grout after 2 hours there were still spots (3) to deal with the following day including spots on the wood cabinets (2). The grout really changed the look!


This is a picture of the tiling behind the slide-in stove. This is a JennAir® down draft stove so we are doing a bit of modifications to make life easier in the future. Any DIY project should do this. Anyway, the back of the kitchen goes into the stairwell off the walk-in pantry. The pantry is about 8 foot by 10 foot and so far is not over spilling into the stairwell. We want to seal the stove lip to prevent anything from spilling down the sides of the stove but we still need access to the back for the downdraft and electrical. What we did was bump a large test hole out of that wall. We liked what we saw so what we are going to do is install a door almost the width and height of the stove (more on this later). That will allow us to get to the back of the stove without disturbing the downdraft system or pulling the stove out.

Ok, tomorrow I will be blogging about the kitchen sink install mixed with a healthy dose of humour aka we haven't killed each other yet!

Garden Gnome