One Room Challenge | Week Four | Is it Time to Panic Yet?

April 25, 2018

Hoo-boy – week four already. In last week’s post I mentioned that I had hoped to at least have started the tiling by this week. That didn’t happen as I’m still in the wall-prep stage. Sigh. I’m so sick of plaster dust being everywhere and not being able to use my kitchen as a place to make food.

Kitchen with plastered walls
My kitchen right now. The back wall looks mottled and uneven in this cell-phone picture, but that's due to the different plaster/cement that I used to patch it. The right wall in the photo is also finished.
The reasons for my lack of progress are two-fold. The main one is the fridge and stove are on the same wall and that wall requires a lot of work. Unfortunately my kitchen is so small I can only move one appliance out at a time which means repairing/patching/sanding that wall is taking at least twice as long. The other reason is I’m doing all the sanding by hand – I don’t have an electric sander so it’s taking me quite a while. Have you ever tried to sand smooth an entire wall??? It takes forever, and I’ve skim coated and plastered the back wall about three times so far in the hopes of getting it almost perfectly smooth. It was in pretty rough shape to start so I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve been able to achieve and I think I’m ready to prime it. My hope is that the primer will help me see if there’s any further patching work needed. Keep your fingers crossed that any imperfections will be so tiny I’ll be able to easily ignore them.

I asked for your opinions last week on where I should stop the tile on the far wall, but I forgot to ask what you thought about the opposite wall. There are two quarter walls on the other end with the ‘doorway’ between.  One side butts-up against a counter, the other side is against my stove. My gut is saying I should try to tile the stove side wall (sometimes cooking gets messy), but then should I also tile the opposite side wall? Should the walls match? 

Kitchen end walls - should I tile them?
I need some help deciding on if I should tile these small side walls or not? I'm a bit worried if I do as I think it will need a lot of tile cutting, but I'm worried about getting an untiled wall really dirty when cooking.
On Saturday I did a bit more research on my epic search for the perfect pulls for my kitchen. I went to Upper Canada Specialty Hardware in the vain hope that they might have, or be able to order something that might work. The problem is the pulls I have are from Ikea which uses European sizing. Being in N. America means that most of the hardware that’s available isn’t compatible. And that’s before you add the additional issue of my needing a pull that will cover the three holes in each of my doors. Joanne (who helped me) was SO helpful, and was amazingly able to find something that could work, but I couldn’t bring myself to pay $50US each (and that’s before taxes, shipping, and those glorious duty fees). The search continues, but I have an inkling of a plan.

Cabinet door with three holes drilled
I took my current door hardware off and you can see why I have a need for a handle with a backplate. Each door has three holes from when I changed the handles out a number of years ago.
After Upper Canada Hardware I headed over to Home Depot to do some research on what I might need to buy for tiling (turns out it’s a lot) and I picked up a few 3”x6” subway tiles so I could double check I liked them in my kitchen. On Sunday I went to Olympia Tile to take a look to see if they had anything other than basic subway tiles that I might like. I picked up a few samples – one a small mosaic, a 2”x8” tile in both white and pale grey, and another 3"x6" tile in white. I picked up the pale grey as I wondered whether grey would make the backsplash just a bit more interesting – sadly the colour of the tile isn’t right with my counter.  Now though, I’m questioning my plan to use basic 3”x6” tiles – should I go with the 2”x8” instead?? It will mean many more tiles I potentially have to cut, but maybe it's a bit more modern, and slightly less common? What would you do?

Kitchen back splash tile options on a grey counter-top
From top: 2"x8" grey tile - $3.85/sqft; Small white mosiac tiles $3.73/sqft; White 2"x6" tile $3.02/sqft; 2"x8" white gloss tile - $3.75/sqft; All from Olympia Tile
So far I’ve avoided making a list of things I still need to do to complete in this One Room Challenge, but I think that with just two weeks left I need to list them no matter how panicked it makes me. Anyways, here’s the stuff I still need to do:
  • Finish plastering/fixing walls
  • Prime walls
  • Paint ceiling and back wall
  • Pick wall tile
  • Purchase wall tile, mastic, grout and all needed supplies
  • Tile the walls
  • Grout the walls
  • Clean up ALL THE DUST
  • Figure out what to do for cabinet pulls
  • Hang ceiling fixture
  • Figure out some art for the walls to add some colour
  • Install new faucet
  • Add baseboard to the back wall
Ugh – listed like that it seems like a HUGE amount of work I need to get one in a pretty short period of time. I hope I can finish it all in time!

Want some more One Room Challenge makeovers? Make sure you check out the 20 featured designers doing the One Room Challenge, and the other One Room Challenge Guest Participants.

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  1. LOL! You've got this! It has to look worse before it gets better!

  2. Oh Michelle, I feel your panic with the list of To-Do's still. Nothing is more motivating than being in a time crunch! I'm sure you will rock this challenge and complete it. Good luck with Week 5! Rooting for you!

  3. In my opinion: you should tile the end walls that turn the corner; use the big white tile on the bottom of the samples; and what is wrong with the handles you have? If you don’t like the colour you can always spray paint them a metallic colour you like. Just saying!

  4. Lady! You have two long weeks ahead of you! plus, you need to style and take photos... you can do it!!!!!

  5. I think you need to put a palm sander on your Mother's Day wish list :) It's a lot of work but it's going to be amazing looking when you're done!!

    Since you have something overhead on either side of the opposite wall I'd say you should tile that little side wall and if you're using a bull-nose piece at the edge of the wall you should bring that out onto the small section of wall by the countertop and next to the stove.

    If you aren't using bull-nose tile for the edges then I'd end it at the back wall like the opposite side of the kitchen and paint that small section by the stove with semi-gloss paint for easy cleanup.

  6. All the care you are taking to do this right will pay off in the end with a beautiful space!!! Keep pushing, you got this!!!

  7. Hi! You deserve an award for sanding everything by hand😮I did just the door trim around our bedroom door once and that was enough to make me go buy an electric sander ! As far as the tile goes I think you should go with the 2 x 8 and consider doing it in a herringbone pattern rather than a traditional Brick pattern. With your small galley kitchen a horizontal layout will emphasis its "long-ness". Herringbone may be challenging if this is your first tile job but if you plan everything out on paper first you should be fine. If the herringbone pattern is too traditional for your taste, I would consider running the tile vertically instead then. personally, I wouldn't tile any of the sidewalls I think it's a more updated modern look ( & like Toni said just paint the side wall in a semi gloss)and by avoiding wrapping the tile onto the main wall that you see when you walk in you won't get that visual break that will make that back wall seem smaller? I agree with Janice, your cabinet pulls are fine, don't waste time, $ & stress on them now ( you could always change them out later !) even if you miss the deadline, we cannot wait to see the outcome!

  8. I hope you're getting so much done this weekend!! My to do list is still way too long as well. Kitchens are rough. Good luck!

  9. Here's to productivity and everything lining up to your favor. The finished space will be worth it, for sure! It will be beautiful.

  10. Sanding walls by hand is a lot of work, so I hope you feel pleased with your progress. All your tile samples look great, so I think you can't go wrong. ;) Week four is a tricky one, but you're getting there.


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