Now that the hoopla of Halloween is over, we can move on to other things. Like the laundry room. Its sooo close to being finished. But at least we've ticked one big thing off the list: the backsplash. Last you saw this room, we had just installed the shiny new stainless steel countertops. And now look at her:
Pretty fancy she is. We just had to go with the elongated glass tile. We considered a few other options, but the glass tile just had the shininess and coloration we wanted for the laundry room. The tile is from Centura, a new-to-me local tile store (thanks Twitter folks for the suggestions!). They have a huge selection of glass tile in various sizes and colours. We went with the 2"x10" as it feels a bit more modern and the sizing worked out for us too. To make the modern glass feel more traditional, we installed it in a classic brick pattern.
HandyMan did the installation himself, as he has done with most of the tile in our house, and I think it came out looking great. Tile is one of those things that is easy to install, but also very easy to get looking all wrong. There's a surprising amount of thought required before you even lay down the first tile. Here's a few tips to consider when you're doing your next tile job:
1. Determine the critical tile.
Typically, you'll want to have a full tile resting on your "bottom edge" (usually where the tile meets a countertop, or bathtub, or floor). You will also want to leave space between your tile and the bottom edge for grout. In our room, there were actually two edges to consider: the lower sink countertop, and the higher countertop over the machines. We felt it was critical to have grout at the sink countertop (its a wet zone and the sink has a bit of flex and movement), but not critical to have grout at the machine countertop. So we set a tile on the countertop - what I'll call the "critical tile" and that determined the placement of all other tiles.
2. Check your cut edges.
Once you've determined your critical tile, work away from that point and see how your spacing works out. Mark out your space for grout and for tile. Its important to do this to see if you are left with any "extra" space. HandyMan found that he had room for three rows of tile and grout and about 1/2" of extra space before he hit the lower countertop. Knowing this, he was able to spread that 1/2" difference out across the three rows to make it not as noticeable. If you do your spacing and find that you are left with a sliver of a tile either at the top (near the ceiling) or bottom (near the countertop or floor), try and space it out to hide the difference. You don't want thin slivers of tile anywhere if you can help it.
3. Determine which way your seams go.
This is a small point but aesthetically has a big impact. You'll want to determine which way your seams face. In our room, we had a corner over the sink. We could place the corner tiles so that the seam was on the back wall or on the left hand wall:
|Seam on back wall|
|Seam on left wall|
Of course, its best not to see the seam so you'll want to think about how you typically view the room. For us, we will typically be facing the sink so it made sense to hide the seam on the left wall.
|No seam visible from the front!|
|But it is visible from the side|
So those are a few tips on installing tile. A few other things I wanted to mention about the room:
- the sink is the Numerar from IKEA. I love how extra deep this sink is - perfect for washing up paint brushes and messy toddler hands. However, the stainless steel itself is not a very thick gauge so I notice there is a bit of movement around our heavy duty faucet. Also, the sink does not come with a pre-drilled faucet hole. We searched everywhere for a large enough drill bit to cut that hole... and then weeks later discovered that IKEA actually sells the FIXA hole cutter for just that purpose. Of course they do!
- the faucet is the Delta Grail Single Handle Pull Down Faucet, courtesy of the fine folks at Masco Canada. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this faucet - unfortunately, I think it has been discontinued though I have spotted some on Amazon.
The faucet is nice and weighty and the high arc allows you to get things like a bucket easily down beneath it into the sink. The pull down feature is a must have, especially when paired with this deep sink. The pull down changes easily from a stream to a spray with a simple push of a button. Its so easy that Chloe can turn it on and use the pull down spray by herself now.
And that is the laundry room backsplash and sink. We have a few more small bits to finish in here and a few surprises left to show you. Hopefully, we can give you a full laundry room reveal very soon!
Tile: Centura Floor & Wall Tile - Miki Solid Glass 2x10 #OPUS101210
Sink: IKEA - Numerar
Faucet: Delta - Grail Single Handle Pull Down #985LF
Cabinetry: IKEA - AKURUM cabinets with STAT drawer fronts
Countertop: Custom stainless steel countertop fabrication by Microtex Lab. Plywood substrate construction and countertop installation by us.