Monday, December 12, 2011

DIViji: Girl You Look Good When You Back That Splash Up

Viji's kitchen backsplash project makes me wonder how I ever make it through the day.  How I get my pants on without falling over.  How I cook my eggs without burning down the house.  How I brush my teeth without brushing my whole face.  Just one of those tasks that makes me feel like I should have been held back longer in middle school.

It seemed fairly simple.  The white section of wall is where Viji decided to put a backsplash.  Just one wall.  No corner sections.  No curves.  Just wall.

These were the tiles that she chose.  They are peel and stick.  She wanted the pattern to alternate one row of short grain and one row of long grain.  You apply them by peeling and sticking, people.  No grout. No spacers. No brainer.

It started off smooth from the corner.  Viji had cleaned the wall well and I may have even hummed some Christmas carols while I peeled and stuck.

Once we got to the first outlet, I started taking measurements so that we could cut the tiles to meet flush with the cupboards and butt up to the outlet.

The tile instructions said that they could be cut with a razor blade or hand saw but I really wanted to use the grinder.  There may have been a tiny, little skirmish when I asked Mr. Schatze for help.

Mr: Let me try the razor blade on one.
Me: I want to use the grinder.
Mr: It's not very safe.  Let's try the razor or saw.
Me:  Can't we just try the grinder and get it done quick?
Mr.:  You're going to do whatever you want anyway, so why are you asking?
Me: <with the safety glasses on and the grinder plugged in> Why would you even say something like that?!

We tried the razor, but quickly found our way back to my buddy the grinder.

Back at Viji's, I peeled and she stuck.  She even made the effort to sand the area above the stove to make sure they would stick nicely.

Issue #1:  When we moved from right to left we didn't pencil out the grid to make sure that we stayed on track.  So, by the time we made it to the countertop on the other side of the stove we were about a quarter of an inch above it.  Viji said that she didn't mind.

I minded.  I minded a lot.

We repositioned a few of them and got it looking somewhat better.  A better that would at least allow me to sleep that night.

Issue #2.  Sleep that night was all I got.  By the next morning, most of the tiles had jumped ship, completely disgraced that we would position them in such a half-assed manner.

I set up a new grinding station in Viji's garage and got back to it.  This time, I marked out the layout so that they would end up flush on the other side of the counter as well.  Like I should have done the first time.

We bought some hardcore adhesive from Home Depot and the new process became: Peel, Squirt, Stick.

Issue #3.  Below is the outlet that just about did me in.  I reached in so I could get a good grab on the outlet, pull it out and then slide the tile piece behind.  When the current surged through me, I was sure my finger had been fried off.  I even looked for an exit point.  It was likely a fraction of a second but I still saw my life flash.

What?  I know.  When do we learn this lesson?  As toddlers.

Look, no gap.

Issue #4.  I couldn't follow the pattern.  Some have the grain going the length of the tile, some have the grain going the height.  My new process soon became:  Peel, Squirt, Stick, Pry Off.  I was paying attention, just doing the wrong thing, and kind of wanted to cry a little bit.

On the verge of an unsightly pity party, I got a little blessing from Heaven wrapped up in a text message from Mr. Schatze.  He was lamenting about the construction going on in the bathrooms at his place of work.  While the commodes get remodeled, they are left with two stalls for 100s of male employees.

I swear to God I'm going to shit in somebody's garbage can.  I can't believe this.  One guy has been in the same stall for 30 minutes.  I think he's dead...

How can you feel sorry for yourself after getting that text message?  I couldn't.  Just what I needed.

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