Labor Day weekend, one of the occupants of our home (raising hand in air as the guilty party) freaked out at the rapidly growing blackness that had been spreading across the backsplash behind the kitchen sink.
It had started as a few gnarly looking spots that ,while not pleasing to the eye, weren’t all that noticeable.
Then, as the summer progressed, so did the icky stain behind the “tile.”
When the dark stains began to seemingly multiple overnight, we decided to rip it out and replace it. (It was not a long thought-out decision, but one of haste driven by panic!) I had visions of black mold taking over the entire kitchen. Every worst-case scenario flew through my head.
It took no time to pull off the backsplash and discover three startling facts:
- The backsplash “tile” was not tile at all but vinyl flooring.
- The “tile” had been attached to thin sticks (think shims) and glued to the wall.
- There was not a lick of sheetrock to be found behind the whole mess.
Since we hope to completely gut the kitchen and do a major renovation in a few years, we just needed a temporary fix. But one better than than flimsy sticks and linoleum.
So I did some searching online and found Smart Tiles. These are basically big 3-D stickers that look like real tile. You can get them in a variety of patterns and styles.
There are a number of companies that produce them, but Smart Tiles was the only one I found that guarantee their tiles to stick. (Yes, I read enough Amazon reviews on the various tiles to know that can be a problem if you don’t follow the directions.)
The tiles can be applied over a variety of surfaces, but our problem was we basically had nothing to attach them to beyond the studs from the walls. Our first step was to put up sheet rock.
Only the tiles won’t stick to sheet rock. So we painted them with primer made specifically for sheet rock (which has to cure for 72 hours before you can attach the tiles).
When the waiting period for the primer was over, I assembled my tools, which included a cutting mat, an exacto knife, and a ruler.
The tiles I chose are glossy subway-style tiles. They come so the ends notch together seamlessly. In a corner, you simply cut away the notches to get a straight edge. Super easy!
And applying them to the wall was a very simple process.
I couldn’t be happier with the end result. Are they tiles that will last for twenty years? No. But they will look nice until we get around to that full-blown kitchen remodel!
The day we ripped out the backsplash, I decided since the kitchen was a disaster anyway, I might as well turn on the self-cleaning cycle on my oven.
Apparently, the stove took exception to being cleaned, because it died. Like, totally died, dude! And since nothing beyond an expensive repair bill would resuscitate it, we decided to order a new one.
I felt pretty fortunate to find a Labor Day sale with appliances 40 percent off, then another 10% discount if I ordered online. So… I talked CC into getting a new refrigerator while we were at it. The fridge we’d been using worked fine, mostly. I’d recently noticed some leaking (and it didn’t have an ice maker or water in the door) so the leak was not a good sign. Seventeen years ago when we bought our house, the fridge came with it and it wasn’t new then. It was time for an upgrade.
The only problem… the appliances would take three weeks to get here.
Three weeks! Since our old fridge was still working, that wasn’t a problem. But three weeks with no stove? Especially when I’m elbow deep in working on recipes for my Cowboy Christmas book project?
It was a long three weeks, but when the appliances arrived this week, I decided it was worth that wait!
I love, love, love my new stove and fridge!