Sustainable Upgrade – Part 4

su_4Home improvement hath no fury like an architect with a successful project. I fear for myself and anyone near me because my kitchen backsplash project is a spectacular success and contagious¬† successes of this sort spur bigger and more complicated follow-on projects. I’m invincible and in the wake of a marvelous project, I’m abound with ideas to further improve my built environment. If you behold my kitchen’s glass mosaic glory you would encourage me to build again and build often. Those familiar with my home improvement mishaps read this in total disbelief, but enjoy my well-orchestrated project and weep with joy because today the architect triumphed!Previous posts document my successful demolition, surface preparation, and tile installation. Grout posed no formidable challenge for this newly inspired and talented home-improvement architect. I came, I grouted, I conquered.

No grout job is without lessons, so I will happily share my lessons — none of which resulted in injury (a first)!

  • Allow ample time to finish. I’m inexperienced so the grout job took about 4 hours from start to final cleaning.
  • Expect to get grout on your glasses, clothing, floor, ceiling, the family pet and in your ear. There’s no prevention — grout happens.
  • Expect a few aches. Your fingers, knees, back and shoulders probably bent in ways reserved for pliable toys.
  • Be generous with the grout. Smear it on the tile thick. It will come off, but once it starts to cure, touch-ups are hard to blend in.
  • Take your time. Grout doesn’t cure nearly as fast as you think it does. You can wait a full 30 minutes before wiping the tile clean, but you need to keep the sponge clean and you need to wipe it multiple times.
  • The cheesecloth is your best friend. After you wipe the grout it leaves a haze on the tile that wipes off easily hours after the grout cures.
  • Put the outlet cover plates in a bag. One of mine disappeared, so I have a cyclops outlet staring at me that I’ll soon patch.
  • You will spend days flaking off grout spots. It’s better if you find them early, but don’t worry about it.

As I bask in the glory of my beautiful glass mosaic kitchen backsplash, I contemplate future home improvement projects, door repairs, accent walls, patio/grill upgrade, garage organization II, wildflower garden and begin a new standard for well-laid plans and well-accomplished home improvement projects – courtesy the clumsy carpenter turned guru.