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Fourth of July Weekend

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

Does this look familiar? We’ll give you a hint…

Yes, we’ve finally installed our mosaic glass tile backsplash. We did do it ourselves, though I must say Timothy was better at most of it than I was. I spent too much time obsessing over the details.

We did less than a square foot of tile as a backsplash for the pedestal sink in the half bath, just to prove to ourselves we could do it. That project wasn’t difficult, apart from misinterpreting the instructions and letting the grout sit too long before wiping it from the surface of the tile. It took a toothbrush to get it off the travertine squares…

The tiling process is fairly simple. First, you affix the tile to the wall with thinset, then allow it to set up for at least 24 hours, fill the joints with grout, wipe the excess from the surface with a sponge, and buff off the grout haze after a few more hours. Once the grout has cured for a couple of weeks, we’ll seal it and caulk around the edges.

The 1″x1″ tile is secured to a mesh backing, so spacers are unnecessary. That is, unless you decide the premixed blends just aren’t good enough. To answer Kristin’s question in the previous comments, we ordered the tile from The Tile Guy, though it was also available from American Tile. I’m not sure of the manufacturer, but the line is Rialto, and the color was something to the effect of “garden blend.” It was the best blend we found, in terms of a nice mixture of greens, not too sagey, to pick up the green flecks in our tea leaf Silestone. But with most of the counter beige and the cabinets dark brown, we wanted to tie in those colors as well. We ordered two spare sheets of tile, peeled them off the backing, and individually placed them amid the other tile to achieve the look we wanted.

We had hoped to make the tiling a single weekend project, but after a long trip to Home Depot and extensive investigation of tile cutting methods (you need a fine diamond blade to cut glass, which only tile stores closed on the weekend sell, so we rented a score and snap cutter), we were off to a late start. Grouting dragged on through the week, and we finished just in time to show it off to my parents, who were in town for the Fourth of July weekend.

The morning of the Fourth, our neighbors had a parade, with live music, adorable children, patriotically bandannaed dogs, and our next door neighbor Brian juggling!

Late in the afternoon, Timothy’s mom, stepdad, and sister arrived for burgers, sausage, and homemade strawberry shortcake. After dinner, we made our way to the greenbelt, hoping to catch a glimpse of the fireworks. The view was surprisingly good, even from better than three miles away.

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