Home Improvement on Hiatus

Each year, I take a break from the business around the holidays, to make sure the family gets plenty of time. It’s a great chance for us all to hang out and not have the added pressure…and sometimes gets me into trouble because there is “free time.” The weather has turned colder, and some of us like to hibernate.

This year’s project was a little out of the ordinary…we decided to put tile in front of our wood stove. That’s not really the unusual part though….you’ll see. Finished project photo is first, and if you’re curious about the process, just keep scrolling! :)

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From the beginning, here are the in-process photos!

It's amazing what not feeling fabulous will allow you to get done from the couch.

It’s amazing what not feeling fabulous will allow you to get done from the couch.

The fiberglass mesh, mosaic tile glue and super fancy, packing-tape template.

The fiberglass mesh, mosaic tile glue and super fancy, packing-tape template.

 

Cutting the carpet out...oddly terrifying.

Cutting the carpet out…oddly terrifying.

Sasha doesn't care that the carpet is gone, she just wants to be warm.

Sasha doesn’t care that the carpet is gone, she just wants to be warm.

 

Testing to see what it might look like.

Testing to see what it might look like.

 

Wax paper helped keep the fiberglass mesh and glue from sticking to the template

Wax paper helped keep the fiberglass mesh and glue from sticking to the template

 

Espresso grout sample

Espresso grout sample

Thanks to a friend of mine, it was easy to test the grout colors.

Thanks to a friend of mine, it was easy to test the grout colors.

 

Fitting the tile board, partially for stability and partly because it raised the tile to nearly carpet level

Fitting the tile board, partially for stability and partly because it raised the tile to nearly carpet level

 

All fitted

All fitted

 

Beginning to lay out the squares

Beginning to lay out the squares

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Second attempt at the grout – first attempt didn’t go so well and may have resulted in an unattractive fit temper tantrum.

Haze. Lots and lots of haze

Haze. Lots and lots of haze

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Making some progress, there’s a heck of a difference!

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Next up, tackling the carpet spots. Oops. I made a bit of a mess.

If ever you want to try penny tile, there are some fantastic tutorials! Here are some of the ones that helped so much:

Pretty Purple Door – this is who offers the template for laying out the pennies as well.

I used two different fiberglass mesh products, and the one in the roll was significantly nicer than the “other” product. Here’s the one that comes in a roll.

Here’s the link to the Pretty Purple Door post that offers the template. It is WELL worth the $2.

Here’s the glue that was recommended, and it worked fantastically.