As I’d had so much success tiling my kitchen’s floor, I decided to get my tiles from Tile Mountain again. They were great quality, well priced and delivery was fast and all of the tiles arrived in A1 condition. After much research and contemplation, I decided to go for their Metro White Wall Tiles on my walls. These tiles look modern, yet classic in a brick bond formation. I was sure I wanted something that looked cool and modern but had a classic feel and wouldn’t look outdated in a couple years.
I used three millimetre spacers and used my unconventional technique of putting them in so that they stick out and can be retrieved (I do this because sometimes I find that spacers can make grouting tricky and protrude through the grout.) I used a circular stone cutter to get some really awesome finishing cuts on my tiles around the plugs. It took a couple goes to get these long, one piece sections removed from the tiles. Luckily, I had ordered a few extra tiles and it was well worth it to get a perfect finish around the plug sockets. Sometimes you see a tile cut into about four different slices to get it around a plug and it really annoys me.
Apart from the cut outs, I wasn’t worrying about the cut tiles on the corners of the room and I just concentrated on doing the ‘wholes’. The first few tiles were the hardest to get in, ensuring that the tiles would all flow to where I wanted them and that the brick pattern was completely accurate, took a fair bit of measuring and double checking.
To begin with, the other wall wasn’t anywhere near as nice of a surface to tile on. To get it ready, I had had to plaster the wall and fill some massive dips.
This wall was going to be the biggest area of tiles and any imperfections would be very noticeable and I knew would bug me for years to come. In order to get a really good finish and ensure I didn’t go off track, I used a spirit level, ruler and sharpie to draw a vertical and horizontal centre line. This would give me a good guide to work to. As you can see in the photos I kept the solid oak worktops covered with dust sheets, this would stop them getting scratched or stained while I worked. If you look carefully at the underside of the bottom row of tiles, you will notice plastic spacers that I used to keep a small gap between the worktop and tiles. When finished, I would put some flexible kitchen sealant in this gap to allow a slight flex from the worktop.
With the first few layers done, it was just time to keep repeating the process. Once you get going, the tiles just fly on and it didn’t take long to get all the whole tiles finished. Then it was time to get chopping!
I started slicing up the tiles with a tile cutter and finishing off the edges and corners. This was deeply satisfying and it all starts to look very finished. At the cut edges of the splash back, I finished the edges neatly with a white plastic edging strip. As the tiles bevel nicely at the edges, I didn’t feel the need to use a plastic edging strip along the top of the splash back. Instead, I bought a little tub of white enamel paint and just painted the tops of the tiles to give them a matching gloss white finish.
Through the hatch, the kitchen was starting to look amazing! I was getting really excited by the progress, It was finally starting to take shape. I loved how light and airy it was looking. The skylight in the kitchen was letting in lots of light from up above and light was streaming through the hatch from the lounge.
A bit more work and the largest area of tiles was finished. The sides of the wall cabinets didn’t look as good as they could, so I made up some gloss unit ends to plant on. This would really finish it all off and match the high gloss doors that would eventually go on.
I had debated which colour gloss to use, part of me wanted to use a grey grout but after looking at lots of pictures on the internet, I eventually decided to go with a pure white grout. Sometimes I felt like grey grout looked a bit more like a bathroom styling than kitchen. I also really like how, with white grout, the brick bond pattern is less noticeable and a little more classy and subtler.
With all the tiling finished, it was the day I had been really looking forward to – putting the doors on! A kitchen with doors on look so much more like a kitchen than one without. Also I had bought really nice soft close doors and draws and was super stoked to try these out. I had spent a little bit more money and bought matching gloss white pelmet and cornice and had mitre jointed this and fixed this to all the wall units.
After I had attached all the doors and almost the whole kitchen was finished, it was finally time to carefully remove the plastic protective film and fit the handles. You need to resist the urge to peel it prematurely as it is there for a good reason and as long as you have tools out, you could still damage those precious gloss door fronts.
After lots and lots of hard work (but also thousands and thousands of pounds saved by doing it all myself), the kitchen was super close to finishing. A few last details to be finished off – under cabinet lighting to be fixed and cupboards to be filled – my dream kitchen was nearing completion!
I love the gloss, white brick tiles. They look gorgeous, their bevelled edges and high gloss finish reflect the light and make room so clean and bright. With glossy white everywhere the solid, real oak worktops are really the centre piece and split the gloss base units, splash back and wall units up.