White is White, Right?

30 Mar

You are probably here expecting to see a completed backsplash, right? Well, we were nearly successful at finishing this project. In fact, we did finish it… we just had so much fun doing it that we wanted to see how we could handle removing ONE tile and replacing it with another.

Here’s the story. We’ve been visiting the local Habitat Restore off and on the past few months to check out their tile supply for our numerous tile projects left (laundry room, 3 bathrooms). The last time we went, they just so happened to have enough white subway tile for our laundry room backsplash. So we bought them all! We also bought ONE tile from Home Depot just to compare the two tiles and at first glance they seemed identical (you can see where this is going, right?). Well it turns out there was one small difference- the color! We didn’t even notice until AFTER grouting!

Let’s take a look back at one of the pictures from the last post. Do you see the Home Depot tile?

Where's Whitey?

Where’s Whitey?

I’m sure you can tell, now that you know you’re looking for something, but just in case you couldn’t I made this illustration:

There she is!

You can only imagine how depressing it is to think you are done with a project only to find out you are quite wrong! My first inclination was to just hide it, but the more I thought about it the more I knew it’d just make me mad knowing it was there.

So we bought a new attachment for our “dremel” designed to remove grout between tiles. It was not an easy task, but I can safely say we were successful at removing that tile without damaging the tiles around it. Once the grout was gone, I thought it would be fairly easy to pop the tile out… it was not! So I tried hammering holes in the tile with a screwdriver. This did not work very well either. Finally, we drilled some holes into the tile and were able to pry apart the tile using a screwdriver. Then I used the screwdriver to clean up the thinset that was left behind. The drywall didn’t fare so well- it received a few puncture wounds but is holding up ok.

Here’s how things were looking:


Look at those battle scars!

In order to get the replacement tile to fit, we had to file down the spacers that are attached to the tile. I have no idea what Mike used to do that, but it worked! I then back-buttered the tile with the thinset and placed it in its spot. We have to wait until tomorrow to grout it but its looking better already!


While I’ve been working on the tiling the last 2 weekends, Mike’s been working on another project- the mudroom bench! Yay!

Here’s a peak at the plans we made for the mudroom side of the space:


It may be hard to see, but we plan to have a tower of shelves on the left side of the space and a long shelf  on top that goes across the entire wall for more storage, too. Of course a mudroom wouldn’t be complete without hooks to hang your coat and bags on.

And here’s a look at Mike’s progress so far:


The wood for the top of the bench came from trees from Mike’s parent’s property. Thanks to Josh for helping Mike get the boards ready. Also, thanks to Home Depot for matching Harbor Freight’s 20% off coupon so we could save some money on the table saw we bought last weekend for this project.

The plan is to stain the top of the bench and paint the rest of the wood white. You can see there are some gaps between the seat of the bench and the wall. This led to the typical frustration we face when doing anything involving our uneven floors and walls, but we’ll make it work as usual. We’re also going to add some shelves under the bench for shoe storage.

I think it’s time for a new to do list, don’t you? Let’s see what we have left to do to call this room done.

  • Grout our oops tile
  • Caulk the laundry room side
  • Put on the trim pieces for the bench
  • Stain the bench
  • Build a shelving unit on the left side of the bench
  • Install a shelf on top
  • Install other trim pieces
  • Prime and paint the mudroom side
  • Someday… install a window along the back wall…. someday….

Here’s hoping we make the unofficial end of April deadline. We are going to need a lot of encouragement to get this done by then! What are you hoping to tackle this coming month? I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to focus on outside projects!

Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!


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