If it feels unfinished it probably is unfinished. So, Finish it already! Tiling (again) the Kitchen Wall.

I’m of the belief that if something continues to feel unfinished (or, unresolved) then it probably is unfinished.  And, taking the steps to finish it (what ever the “it” is) typically has a really positive effect on our being.  Assuming that is,  it’s possible to finish without causing too much havoc on our lives.

Sometimes it might be far too complicated or challenging to finish something.  That is, the amount of effort and potential upset to our lives may not be worth the outcome.

So, I suppose knowing the difference between what is worth finishing (or, attempting to resolve) and what isn’t is that which allows us to simply move on and just “be here now” (as they say).

This is sounding like a whole lot of Psychobabble.  It’s not meant to….but interpret as you will.



In this instance, I’m not talking about an unresolved issue from a relationship or an unfinished conversation with a friend.

I’m just talking about a kitchen tile project. A kitchen wall tile project that I finished that never felt finished.


Our little kitchen has come a long way over the years.  Not major changes, more cosmetic things.  Counter tops…IMG_0323 copy

IMG_1363 copy

IMG_1382 copy


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Paint again, and again (Elke and I like very different colors in the kitchen).

IMG_1386 copy

But, I wanted to do more than just paint it AGAIN.  I love tiled spaces so I started looking around at various pictures of tiled kitchen walls.

I decided to give it a shot with our kitchen wall.  First, I needed to determine the “look” we wanted. There are so many different styles.  Do we go with light tiles, dark, square, rectangular, round, small, large, half wall, full wall??  Many options….




Then we needed to find the right tiles. So, my usual routine;  look on-line, the local tile stores, and of course see if I can find the same (or, similar) at Lowes.


I just find it easier and less expensive if I can find what I’m looking for at Lowes.  Their return policy is pretty great so I can over buy and return what I’ve not used with out a hassle.

I found tile we liked….

our tile

But, I also wanted to make it a bit more interesting by adding some red in the design as our bottom cabinets are red….

red cabinets

I found the perfect red tiles….


And, decided to do a partial wall design….

white half wall

Vs. the full wall design….


The partial wall would be much less time-consuming and that was pretty appealing.

I had all the tools I needed so I was on my way.  First, laying out the tile based on the dimensions of the wall to be tiled…


Mortaring the wall….RemodelThisHouse-InstallingCeramicTile-Thinset-Mortar-Trowel

Laying the tile….05-tile-backsplash

Grouting the tile….


Getting OVER the tile…

frustrated-woman-1_thumbNot me, and definitely would not have tiled in that outfit.

Lastly, cleaning up and wiping down the grout. Lots of wiping down, rinsing, wiping down, rinsing…..



And, finally appreciating the finished project….


I was happy with it.  Well,  not ‘Happy Happy”, but “happy”.

But,  as the weeks passed I noticed every time I walked into the kitchen or looked at the wall it just didn’t sit right with me.

woman_unsure77005637-400x400Not me either.  But she’s awfully pretty. 🙂

I was starting to feel a bit obsessed about the partially tiled kitchen wall.  It bothered me.  It just didn’t feel finished and it kept tapping at my mind like a little brain bug that just wouldn’t go away.

bug on brainI don’t think this would be considered a “little” brain bug but it’s a good representation of how it felt.

So, I began to ask myself questions;  Is it resolvable? – I decided it was.    Is it worth resolving? – Since it was consistently bothering me, I decided it was worth the effort.  Is it resolvable without causing too much havoc on my life? – I thought it was.  I knew I could get it completed in a few days with minimal disturbances on our day-to-day life.

I also contemplated whether my discomfort with the partially tiled wall was potentially about something else; Did I feel unresolved?  Does my life feel just partially full?  Do I issues with my petiteness? Issues with my Mother? My Father? etc., etc.

Nope… none of these.  I just didn’t like the damned half tiled wall!

See, sometimes a cigar is indeed just a cigar…


Sooooo, I decided to address my now border-line OCD as it related to the kitchen wall and took the steps to finish what felt unfinished.

Back to the project again…. I measured the additional wall space.  There was a lot of it.

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Bought the additional tile….

our tile


And, repeated the tiling steps but now taking the tile all the way up to the ceiling this time…

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It was definitely more time-consuming than I anticipated.  There was a lot of wall to cover and many edges and corners to cut.   But, I did it.  As usual, I was over it by the time I finished but, I was over it AND I felt SOOOO much better about it!  Exactly what I was looking for. 🙂


I no longer walked into the space and felt uncomfortable with the look. It finally felt finished and I loved it.

I suppose that’s the beauty of finishing the unfinished….. the hope that we walk away feeling free from it, “done”, rather than”unsettled” about it.



  • Quote from Tile specialists; I didn’t get one but based on previous quotes it would have come in somewhere between $2,000 – 2,500 for labor.
  • Our cost; Tile and mortar,  $350.
  • Savings; Approx. $2,000
  • Time; About 12 full hours.
  • Stress level; Low to moderate (depending on my mood and hunger factor).  It’s not good to work hungry.
  • Do it again assessment;  Yes, mostly because it finally felt finished and I was definitely happy and satisfied with the outcome.  Happy & Satisfied = Good.


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