Friday, February 10, 2017

The back story on the backsplash

It was the fall of 2005. I had just moved into my new house and it was time 
to start decorating. I loved the look of Mexican Talavera tile 
and thought it would make for a happy, colorful backsplash.
I had never installed tile before, but to know me is to know I'll attempt anything
as long as I have instructions to follow.

The project went smoothly all things considered, and I was pretty damned proud of myself.
Until I stepped back to admire my work.

For those of you who saw Wednesday's post and weren't able to spot
the huge, and I do mean HUGE, mistake I made, I offer the following picture.
Start at the left and read aloud.

The backsplash contained two tile designs used in various combinations of 
rightside up, upside down, sideways and reverse sideways.
It was pretty confusing and I didn't want to make a mistake,
so I mocked up a map to follow of the 6 tile x 3 tile repeating pattern:

I had read somewhere that I should start the pattern in the middle of a wall 
and work outward toward the edges. So that's what I did,
starting behind the stove and first going to the left.
I finished the tile in that direction, then took a break. 
(And before you ask, no adult beverages were consumed during break time.)
When I resumed the project and headed toward the right,
I followed the map exactly as I had done before my break.
The only problem was, I had turned it upside down
and didn't realize it until the glue was dry and it was too late to fix.


Over the years as friends and family have gathered in my kitchen,
we would play the "find the mistake" game.
Even in person, many people can't spot it, so don't feel badly if you missed it, too.

With such a storied history, I should probably keep this backsplash
just to entertain my guests, but the more I look at it
next to the new, modern counters and the old, traditional cabinets,
the more I want to replace it with something that will bridge
the different styles. And I may have found just the thing...

Here's the best part...drum roll please...
I won't have to remove the old tile. This stuff sticks on over it.
It sounds way too good to be true, but the reviews are overwhelmingly positive
for its beauty and ease of installation. AND IT COMES IN 18 COLORS!
I'm going to Home Depot this afternoon to check it out in person
and bring home color samples.


  1. Wow! Fascinated by the new backsplash option. Please share link as I want to go get samples too. Wondering what happens around outlets if you put it over existing tile. Maybe it's quite thin?

    1. The link is on 18 colors.

  2. I love watching your home improvements, and WOW, what improvements they are! I get inspired, but living in a log cabin, there's not much I can really do, to the relief of my husband, lol. I did change out the appliances, my major improvement, ha!

  3. good choice. love this. i like this white on white so why not paint your cabinets. that should take about 6 weeks. LOL

  4. Studying your old tile, I felt like I was trying to figure out an M.C. Escher work. The new stuff you're considering looks nice, but are you sure it would be safe to have PVC so close to the stove/ high heat?

  5. Ooh it's very pretty! I want to switch mine out, too but mine aren't squares :-(
    I did see the mistake after I commented but overall
    I thought you did a good job.

  6. My sister has that in a warm metallic. Very easy to install and looks great.Future owners will have the option of making a discovery if they ever remove it and find the tile!

  7. You can have your tile repainted. It's done by the same companies who reglaze tubs . Many color options available and even options that look like quartz.

  8. But, but, but you will lose your Southwest Flavor!

  9. We Cuckoos were catching up with 7MSN antics and came across your first view of the puzzlement of the back splash. I saw the "mistake" but let the others say when they saw it. Crickets......until RyLeigh said, "does Ms. Linda mean when she changed her mind?" and pointed to your reversal of pattern. To him, you just simply changed your mind. I am always amazed at his approach to life, his gentleness of thought.
    Love your new look for your Casa. Look forward to seeing how the new back splash works out. xoxo Casa de Cuckoos

    1. Northern AB gal2/10/17, 12:35 PM

      "when she changed her mind" - I love this! What a positive way to look at things. I'm sure I can use that answer sometime in my future, lol.

  10. Good old Home Depot. Trouble is ... when I let myself even step into that place I am GONE for hours!! So many possibilities! Looks like fun. Can't wait to see what you decide on.

  11. To answer Anne Boleyn, electrical outlets (receptacles) are held to the electric boxes with two screws. The screws go through the receptacle at the level of "plaster ears" that should rest on the surface of the tile. If the vinyl tile bends when the plaster ears rest on it, washers should be used to space the outlet out to the surface of the vinyl tile without applying pressure on the tile itself. So with the possible purchase of longer screws and the definite purchase of a supply of washers, the vinyl tile will not be bent or smashed.

  12. LOL, I love your story of putting up the tile. It must have been such a glaring irritant over the years for you but no one could tell until you pointed it out. I had such a good laugh, it would be something I would do.

  13. Can't wait to see it! I'm going to check them out at Home Depot as well. Seems too easy.

  14. the white is pretty and a classic. I personally prefer classic over trendy. these tiles seem like a great option!

  15. Love the new tiles! Can't wait to see what color you choose. Then I wonder what you will do next... :)

  16. I tend to laugh out loud at your posts, much to the puzzlement of my animals (cats, dog). We installed those tile panels in antique bronze in another house in 2009, and they looked fantastic. I had no idea they have other color/finishes now.

  17. I missed Wednesday's post so too late to play at spotting the mistake. haha I do love the potential new splash-back. :)

  18. You know, maybe that's what I need for our bathroom...some kind of vinyl backsplash! Carson, now you've got me looking on HOME DEPOT!

  19. That is exactly what I meant when I said ceiling tile :) Can't wait to see what colour you choose! While I love all the copper and bronze ones it doesn't go with your cabinets.... I'm voting for smoked pewter!

  20. Heh I picked the bottom plain triangle but not that the top ones were different at that end too. :)