Sunday, March 25, 2007

Design Changes, Real & Imagined

No matter how you look at it, making design changes after you started setting tile is not a good thing, but that’s what ended up happening today. In fact, there were two changes, one of which took place today, and the other of which, may or may not happen at all.

The first change – the real change - was one of those things that always kind of bugged me in a subconscious way, but when I started setting the tile it rushed to the conscious mind. I may have thought about this a while ago and either forgot about it, or decided to do it but never got around to it. In my rush to start tile setting I sort of blew past it. This has to do with the small corner cabinet.

Originally, or I guess I should say, at some point, I had a concrete plan to do a 36-inch wainscot of tile. I made the small cabinet roughly 36-inches high and the wainscot cap was supposed to go just around the top of the cabinet to meet the door. Well, I switched to a 48-inches wainscot of tile but never really bothered to think about what was going to go in that foot of space above the cabinet. I just always kind of thought plaster like the rest of the walls above the tile, but never really thought about how this would look.

Well, when I got the tile on I realized it would look pretty stupid to have this one small section of plaster below the 48-inch tile mark. So today I framed in the little area and added more cement board. I also had to raise the light switch because it was now smack dab in the middle of where the wainscot cap would go.

When I raised the switch it put it at a slightly uncomfortable 52-inches, but I felt it was better than having a bunch of slivers of tile around the switch. As you can see in the pictures below, it’s a very small are of tile. Only 3 rows (2 installed in the picture).

You can see how odd it would have looked to have the area just above the cabinet with plaster.

So I raised the switch and added cement board.

And then tiled above it. I considered remaking the cabinet to 48-inches and then quickly decided against that.

The other change that almost occurred today was the addition of a highlight row of some sort. As you can see in those pictures there is still one more row of 3-inch high tile to go on. The space remaining though, is 4 and a half inches. There is an inch and a half to add something in there. I went down to the home center to see what was available and it wasn’t much. They had several accent tiles to chose from, but very little that would have complimented this tile. I mean, things like river pebbles and fake distressed Greek facades are not going to work at all.

What they did have was a half-inch high solid color trim piece. They had about 8 different colors and there were two shades of green that may have worked. There were a few problems though. First, I need 56 pieces and they had maybe 25 in stock. When I asked if there was more available the conversation went something like this.

Me: Do you have any more of those trim pieces in stock.

Sales Guy: No, that’s it.

Me: Well, when do you order more.

Sales Guy: We only order when we run out of what’s there.

Me: So, if I buy everything that’s there, then when will you reorder.

Sales Guy: No, we only reorder when we run out of several of them.

Me: So how often is that.

Sales Guy: I don’t know.

Me: Can I order some special.

Sales Guy: Maybe, you’ll need to come back in Monday.

Ahhh, customer service. It truly is a lost art. Anyway, the other problems with those trim pieces are 1) they’re only a half-inch high. It would basically be a pinstripe on the wall and just wouldn’t look right. I could do several rows but that gets way too expensive. For one row I need 56 pieces and they are $2.99 each. With tax that comes to $179.58. Two rows or a 1-inch trim piece is around $360. That’s just not in the budget at this point.

The other problem is that even at 1-inch, that’s still kind of small of a trim for this high of wainscot. I would think something closer to 2-inch would look right. So that idea quickly went the way of the Dodo. I’ll just use that last inch and a half of space as a nailer for the cap. It should be fine.


Georgetown House said...

I think your changes (and thoughts about other changes) make perfect sense.

But I found it ironic that the first pic you used to illustrate what you had described as an after-you'd-started-things realization has a very predominant DU[h] in it. ::grin::

I can't wait to see the finished work!!!

Greg said...

That's funny, and that's prety much how I felt when it dawned on me today. I mean, how would you finish that. Tile runs in to plaster in the middle on no where. What the heck do you do?

Mark said...

Aside from doing some built in recessed shelves above the cabinet what you have done is all I could think of. Plaster would for certain have looked out of place. Progress looks great. Keep it up.

Carol said...

We did subway tile and used the 6"X1.75" "london" border, which is an ogee type profile and meant to go on the top. They are also around 3$ a piece and are a stock item. Home Depot stocks these from a company in GA, that used to be called Bananapeal (believe it or not) and the white color they stock matches the cheapie brazilian-made US Ceramic subway tiles which are something like 13 cents each. Anyway, they can do store to store transfers of these guys if they will not special order them. Thats what we had to do- we needed about 30 of them. What you did around the built-in cab was exactly the right thing- I can see a marble top on it!

Greg said...

Every time I write about purchasing from the "local home center" I should say that it is not a HD or Lowes, and there aren't any of those near by. The closest one is about a 4 hours drive, one way. When it comes to tile, there is the home center and a place called The Tile Center. I could drive to neighboring towns but the selection will be about the same.

merideth said...

sometimes an idiot sales person makes me dig my heels in about a particular project just on principle...or maybe just to be contrary...hmmm

either way your tile is looking fantastic!

Greg said...


That’s funny you should say that. Almost immediately after he told me the price I had pretty much decided I wasn’t going to buy them. When he basically told me, “What you see is what we got”, with no indication that he was going to be any more helpful, I started peppering him with questions about getting more. I shouldn’t have to pry information from someone so I can give the hundreds of my hard earned dollars.