Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kitchen Challenge IV, Tile & Recap

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It took a few weekends, and I'm still trying to wipe construction dust off everything in the house, but our kitchen is pretty much done. Last weekend was the final push and the biggest part of the project; new granite counter top and white subway tile back splash. I was really excited for this step. For years now I've read books and watched video on how to tile. I had convinced myself that I could do it given the opportunity. Somehow though, I don't think Ken was as pumped as I was :0)

So, first the 'before'. About 10 years ago we put in one of those pre-fab counter tops in a lovely shade of hunter green as a temporary fix. (If I've learned anything over the last several years of my marriage to Mr. Smart it's this: my temporary and his temporary are two completely different things.)

One thing about living in this old house is that nothing is level, so every project involves making adjustments for that...

Of course, since there were tiles to be cut ouside, it rained all day. Poor Ken...


Then it was time for new under layment, a coat of quickset, and our 12x12 granite tiles.


Here is the granite counter top all set. On to the white subway tile backsplash and nice white grout. Good-bye grossness, hello clean and pretty!


I really do like to work side by side with Ken on projects like this, but I have to admit that at one point last weekend I started to think I would never get the mess cleaned up. But little by little it came together. And so, at long last, the 'afters'...

Everywhere you look in my kitchen you'll see touches of my grandmother, from the chickens in the window and on the shelves.... a small picture of her and one of her best-friends when she was a teen. I think she would have liked the kitchen and all the colors.

And a few other views...

The chalkboard was painted right on the wall and framed with some reclaimed trim. It's one of my favorite places to sketch out plans (the garden and side yard plan are on it right now) and a favorite place for the grandkids as well. The egg shadowbox was a gift from my husband a few years back and another of my very favorite things.

I still need to find the perfect fabric to sew a window accent, but for the most part we're done. And we are both really happy with the way it all came together. The total for this part of the renovation? $149.80
  • 1) sheet particle board under layment $10
  • 2) sheets hardybacker @ $12 ea $24
  • Thin Set tile adhesive $8
  • 10) 12x12 black granite tiles @ $5 ea $50
  • 60) white subway tiles @ .33 ea  $19.80
  • Grout $15
  • Tile sealer $10
  • 1x2 trim for the front of the counter $4
  • White caulk to finish it all off $6
  • New plugins and covers $3
So, including parts One, Two and Three, our final Grand total for the kitchen remodel  was $232.80. Our original quote was around $2500, so that is a whopping savings of $2267.20. Go US! And even better yet? Our marriage survived the project. Now on to the next challenge; the upstairs studio. Stay posted!


  1. This is SO lovely! What a total transformation,great job! Deidre

    1. Thank you so much Deidre for visiting my blog. It really was fun to see what we could do with very little money. Heading over to your blog to see what YOU are up to!

  2. I love the kitchen! You, and Ken, did a fantastic job!

    1. Thanks Dacia! you need to come to Oregon and see it in person!

  3. You kitchen is really pretty. You guys really did do a great job, and should be so proud. It is truly a great transformation. So very pretty. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday's Best!


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