Now, if you have read the story of our renovation then you know it was a long time coming! Doing the entire house at one time, I guess having 5 years to ponder it was actually a blessing in disguise. The kitchen, of course being one of the biggies, is where I spent a lot of my time really dreaming up our dream kitchen!! We weren’t able to change the footprint of it. It just wasn’t possible or necessary. After all, our kitchen layout worked, it’s just that nothing else about it did! By the time we (finally) were ready to get going on the reno, we had a lot of the decisions made (or so we thought). We knew we wanted a large, one tier island. It would house the dishwasher and the sink. We knew we wanted white surround cabinets and the large painted island would be the focal point of the kitchen. (not sure what color) We chose our appliances early on, 36 inch gas rangetop and a double wall oven. We considered putting the microwave in the island, but we would just have to wait and see how things played out. We knew we would have the range hood vented outside, weren’t sure if we would go with a stainless hood or a hood built like our cabinetry. We tossed around some ideas for countertops, but by now I was realizing that there was a HUGE difference between “having an idea” about a feature and actually knowing exactly what we would use. I know I have mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating…… I had no idea there would be so many decisions to be made regarding this renovation! And of course the kitchen countertops and backsplash were huge design choices, and turns out they were the two things that I really wasn’t sure of. I knew what I liked. Was it in my budget? Depends. Was my budget merely a suggestion?
After finally choosing our countertops and having them installed, it was time to move on to backsplash. So, weird I know, but just as I am not a fan of granite, I am also not a fan of tile. Traditional tile at least. Of my whittled down dream kitchen inspiration pages, one thing kept making it’s way to the top of the pile! Handmade cement tile. Yes, it was bold! No, it was not a safe choice! Yes, it made me smile. No, I wasn’t sure that I would not regret it. Yes, I thought I might like to try it.
So…..I did what I am famous for. I did my research…..but only briefly, because it didn’t take long for me to be sold!!! Also known as encaustic tile, Cuban tile, designer tile……. Whatever you call it, I had to have it!!!!!
First thing I did was order a sample piece. Meanwhile as I was waiting for my sample tile to arrive I contacted my tile guy to see if he had any knowledge of cement tile. Had he installed it before, did he foresee any issues with me using it in our kitchen? Cement tiles are much thicker than traditional tile used for backsplash. Were there any pros or cons that he could enlighten me about? Patrick was fine with it, no problem!
Yay!!!! My sample piece came. If you aren’t familiar with these tiles, they are 8” squares, and by placing 4 tiles together they form a design. I placed my 8” tile on my printer and made myself a few copies. I cut them out and taped them on the wall in my kitchen where my backslash would be. I think I liked it, but needed more to be certain. I copied some more, cut and taped. Oh. Yes. I was in love. I measured and placed my order.
After the tile arrived, Patrick carefully laid them out and sealed them. Lucky for us there was not one broken tile. (We had zero extra) Mine are called Cluny and they are from Granada Tile. I resealed them again after installation, just because I’m like that.
If you think you may be interested in using cement tiles, go to Granada Tile’s website and watch their very informative videos that tell all about them. They have great inspiration photos and blogs too. They are available in many colors and designs. They are available elsewhere, but a lot of the other companies had a fairly large minimum order requirement and sold them wholesale only. Granada Tile did not. And since I was only using it as a backsplash, I only needed 9 cases (boxes).
I am so thrilled with the way it turned out. It’s funny because as much as I stressed over the gazillion choices and decisions I had to make during this reno, I really didn’t worry about this one at all. I guess I knew I would love it and that is all that mattered. And it turns out it is one of my favorite features of the entire house!!