Tom returned to help me with more projects in the kitchen. I’m trying to get the floors cleared in the living and dining rooms and a major pile in the way are the boxes with the cabinet crown moulding. Tom will hang that for me, but the backsplash, which will go to up to the ceiling above window needed to be installed first. I am about burnt out on tile projects (still need to finish first floor bathroom and haven’t started the master), so when he offered to install it for me I jumped. At that time I told him I was doing a small subway on mesh tile and he said he could knock that out in a couple of hours. Well, I got the mesh part right.
After going to the Tile Shop, Floor and Decor, and Lowes I found exactly what I had in my mind at Home Depot, MSI Bianco Arabesque mesh tile. It was only $7.89 per sheet in the store (higher price online), but I had to go to 3 different stores to get enough for the project. TIP: unless you go to a place like the Tile Shop, that will get you multiple cases from the same “lot”, always open the boxes and check the coloring of your tile. The first Home Depot had the full quantity I needed, but despite all stating they were Bianco different boxes had different tints forcing me to go to multiple stores in hopes I’d find enough of the one I liked. The tile I selected looked to have a tint of blue around edges, while the other looked brown like this image.
I decided on a charcoal grout due to the dark gray, marble-like, streaks that run through my quartz counters. I got the grout from the Tile Shop. They carry Superior Pro-Grout Excel, which is fast setting, color consistent, stain-resistant, and features excellent crack and shrink resistance. I also thought it would compliment my blue cabinets. The first thing tackled was putting the knobs on the cabinet doors. Tom had the perfect measuring gadget for that. We still need to do the pulls, but mine are longer than standard, so his gadget didn’t work on those. I was much more concerned with the tile.
I left Tom to work on his own, but after a couple of hours saw that my choice of tile was posing more challenges than the subway he thought I was getting. I decided to jump in and basically from the stove right I laid the tile and from the stove left, including working around the window he handled. He has measuring and eye balling and precision cuts down to a science. It took about 6 hours and we actually worked together on the section above the window. I handled all the grouting the next day. The end results are pretty fabulous I think. Exactly what I envisioned.
Tom also connected me with the best painter EVER!!!!! I met Teresa Ferrari last year and she will be running a new coffee shop opening in the Camp (Camp Washington for those not intimate) very close to my house. I had no idea she has a painting business. She came dressed in what I would consider “good jeans”, a nice sweater, and suede boots and when she left you wouldn’t have known she spent 3 hours painting. Not a drop on her, not a drop on the floor. Well not until Milo, my dog, decided to step in the paint and track it around the 1st floor. She didn’t tape down dozens of plastic drop clothes. She got all the closets, the guest bedroom, the hall, touched up all the bad spots left by the other two I paid to paint, and painted the trim in the kitchen. I am so sorry I didn’t know about her sooner.
There is a saying that God my not be there when you want him, but he’s always right on time. After the devastating set back with my floors, Tom and Theresa have been an absolute delight and I feel brought into my life just at the right time. I truly feel our paths were meant to cross in order for us to do something even greater together. I think Theresa and I should apply for the First Time Flippers show. Just throwing that out into the universe to see where it lands.