My Very First Home Improvement Endeavor

Thank you for giving me strength to complete this project @dev. I executed tiling my kitchen with little research and made up hacks along the way.
  1. 1.
    PRIOR TO THE PROJECT
  2. 2.
    I compared tile styles and pricing at both Home Depot and Lowe's. Chose Home Depot as my go-to.
  3. 3.
    Supplies purchased: Tiles, grout, medium trowel, square notch trowel.
    Already had paint scrapers, a basic toolbox, safety glasses, cotton gloves, medical gloves, and rags on hand.
  4. 4.
    NIGHT ONE
  5. 5.
    Before going into this project, I thought grout and tile adhesive were interchangeable terms. Boy was I wrong. It's like saying to someone who is purchasing make-up for the first time that concealer and foundation are "the same thing."
  6. 6.
    Applied my first tile with grout and knew my method was extremely off. THANK G-D FOR GOOGLE!
    As a child, I watched episodes of This Old House on PBS, but didn't retain any of the information. Now that I'm adult I kind of wished I had paid closer attention.
  7. 7.
    Slept on my mistake and returned to Home Depot in the morning to pick up a bucket of tile adhesive.
  8. 8.
    DAY ONE
  9. 9.
    With the help of YouTube I learned how to use a tile cutter. The directions on the box were confusing. I learn best by: 1.) Seeing 2.) Doing
    Yes, it sounded like a gun went off every time I used it to cut tiles in half.
  10. 10.
    This is a square notch trowel.
    It took me a while to lay down the technique.
  11. 11.
    Trowel art.
    Is tiling my side passion?!
  12. 12.
    Paint scrapers come in handy for adhering and grouting tight corners. They were also useful for scraping away mistakes.
  13. 13.
    By the time 8 pm rolled around I took a swig of Campari for luck.
  14. 14.
    Soaked the trowels and scrapers in a bucket of water overnight to prevent the residue from hardening 'cause I have been there with paint brushes and it hurts like a b.
  15. 15.
    DAY TWO
  16. 16.
    Went back to Home Depot to buy more grout, but found a 2-in-1 grout and tile adhesive and went with it. This came in handy for grouting the back wall behind the stove because it didn't drip as much as the normal grout. In retrospect, I'm happy I didn't purchase the 2-in-1 when I started.
    The texture was hard to work with.
  17. 17.
    Affixed more tiles to two remaining walls. Left the house for a few hours to let the tiles set before grouting.
  18. 18.
    The label on the grout mixture bucket states "no mess." Uh huh, okay.
  19. 19.
    I had to shamelessly stop and admire my work every now and then.
  20. 20.
    NEW LOOK: Carpenter's Manicure
    This is going to require A LOT of Dr. Bronner's and scrubbing.
  21. 21.
    BLT break.
  22. 22.
    Spent 4 hours grouting with a bucket of water and sponge. Took a nap in-between to recharge.
  23. 23.
    FINISHED! Time for a bowl of cereal.
  24. 24.
    THINGS I SAID A LOT WHILE TILING
  25. 25.
    I can't believe I'm doing this.
  26. 26.
    It looks so nice I want to cry.
  27. 27.
    THINGS I LIKED ABOUT TILING
  28. 28.
    I got to spend a lot of time away from technology. It was an appropriate purge.
  29. 29.
    I used the time to reflect on the good things in my life: good health and supportive friends/family.
  30. 30.
    FINAL NOTES
  31. 31.
    Can't wait to clean in the morning!