...I STILL didn't get the backsplash in the middle bathroom done perfectly!
I had planned to use the mortar and grout that we used for the tile floors (we have quite a bit left), but I learned from that tiling experience that mixing a small amount is really challenging.
I was also intrigued by the new 'tile setting mat' that I'd seen over in the tiling section at Home Depot and Lowes. It seemed too good to be true! No mortar to mix, no clean up, no worry about getting mortar all over the wall, counter, etc. I picked up the box a few weeks back to see how much area it covered...12 square feet (that would cover both bathrooms). But it was $40...a little steep considering the bag of mortar we have downstairs is free._
At Lowes the following week, I found the same stuff on sale for $20! This meant I could do it while the kids were napping, or basically whenever (and wouldn't have to worry about Joe being here to help me with mixing the mortar, etc. I could do the mixing myself, but it's just easier to have an extra set of hands when dealing with messy stuff especially when you have to consider two little monkies possibly walking in at any moment).
The box says it all:
I mean, look how happy she is to be installing her backsplash:_
With our shelves (that will go above the toilets) almost finished, I'm getting the itch to get all the little things done so we can finally put these bathroom renos behind us.
This stuff is as easy as you'd think...literally cut the 'paper' to size, peal off the white backing and apply to the wall. Use a grout float (or piece of wood) to smooth out any bubbles. Then remove the clear, top layer and press your tile firmly into place.
Here's a shot of the paper with the white backing and the clear cover:
Once you get it up, you can grout right away. Since we needed unsanded grout for the mosaic tile instead of sanded (like we'd used on the floors), I had to buy some. I chose to buy the premixed acrylic latex from Elmer's that is also mildew resistant and ideal for mosaic tile.
Despite being pre-mixed, it's still a little messy to apply...but I'll take it!
The only problem I had in the entire process was not getting the long pieces of mosaic tile on straight--and this stuff is REALLY sticky, so it's super hard to remove it once your tile is put into place.
Unfortunately, I didn't quite realize that one area of my tile was a little higher than the other (from my vantage point it looked straight...it's not until you are sitting, say, on the toilet that you would notice it). It's really 'off'...no problem at the bottom since we'll fill it in with caulk, but the top isn't straight and that will probably be noticeable with the straight frame of the mirror sitting about an inch above it._
Anyways, what's done is done. We didn't name this blog 'StarterHouse' for nothing! We're learning as we go so that we'll eventually have a dream home that has perfectly straight tile ;)
I could cut out that section and redo it, but if we can live with it, I'll just let it go. We'll see...It's definitely a lesson learned for when I do the master bathroom (which will be after we paint the back wall).I'll also post a shot of this backsplash once we caulk it and get the mirror back up.