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I know it’s been a while since i posted but have been working on a few non-cooking projects and a little travel…

So while I do love to cook and have fun in the kitchen (there is something quite stress relieving about chopping veggies to me) I’ve also love to do house projects. The size and scope of them vary but I have been know to pull off some decent upgrades.

My latest endeavor was the fire place. The original one was builder grade from when the house was built 10 or 11 years ago. The surround was traditional with a light color stain on the wood and the tile was a basic 12×12″ ceramic. The tile was “ok” but had always been one of those “maybe we should redo it” discussions that never seemed to actually happen.

So my tiling experience is very limited. Several years back I tiled a wall in our powder room in what I refer to as my eBay/Ikea makeover (all the components were purchased from those two places). It turned out really well (in my opinion) but i didn’t have to actually cut any tiles (just the mesh backing) as I was just tiling a big rectangle space.

Occasionally Costco gets tile or flooring items that peak my interest and in a moment of inspiration (and since it was just reduced from $28/box to $20 or $4/foot) I took the plunge and decided it was time to step up my tile game.

So in reality I bought the tile several weeks before I get started and it sat there at risk of being returned. My previous project was less daunting. No tile cutting and no removal of old tile. Armed with a chisel, a hammer, and some safety glasses I finally decided it was a no risk no reward moment and lept across the point of no return.

Once the old was gone and the wall was repaired it was time to get down to business. I weighed renting vs. buying a tile saw for a bit. As best I could tell it was going to be ~$50/day to rent and I ended up buying a basic saw on sale at Home Depot. The $79 seemed reasonable in the event my tile cutting needs exceeded one day…  in the end I think it took me longer to assemble my new saw that to make all my cuts but I still think it was a good decision.

Cuts made, it was time to start putting up the tile. I’ve never worked with non-mesh  mounted tile so I can’t be sure just how much of a godsend it is but I’m pretty sure it is. Having templated out with a big piece of cardboard my tiled area and having made all my major cuts in advance the tile went up pretty easily… making a big transformation but almost instantly making me realize the project had just gone beyond the original scope… I loved the tile but the wood mantle was killing it.

I gave it a couple days to grow on me and grouted the tile but knew deep down the mantle would have to be painted white to match the molding and trim in the space.

Now that I have a tile saw and a second tile project under my belt who knows what will be next!!