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The backsplash is complete and another milestone passed. I hope everyone agrees that it looks quite natty.

Complete Backsplash Over Sink & Stove

Much to my surprise most of the placement and grouting of the tiles went smoothly, with one exception. When laying the tile I used the countertop as a level line with popsicle sticks along the edge to create a caulkable gap between the bottom of the tile and the countertop.

On top there's a gap between the cabinet back and the wall pretty much all the way around. This was needed to get the cabinets plumb. In spots where the cabinet and countertop weren't exactly 18 tiles apart I was able to tuck the extra tile under the cabinet resulting in very few cuts. This was good as cutting meant using tile nippers. Nippers aren't exactly a precision instrument so bad cuts and shattered tiles are common.

Everything was easy enough until I get to the stove. (I went clockwise around the kitchen starting on the far left of the sink). No countertop so no level line, but hey, I'm a bad-ass tile guy by now. I can track a straight line despite being stuffed behind the stove, beneath the microwave and sweating like pork. Straight line, yes; level, no. When the run reached the opposing countertop I'd managed to create a gap of over 1/4 inch. Very frustrating. One consolation was when I attempted to carefully peel the tiles from the wall they came cascading off and shattered (they're glass) as they hit the ceramic floor. Ah yes, very cathartic. Breathe deep.

Backsplash at Passthru 

After scraping the thinset and establishing a level line I finished the run, as shown above. Actually, the last 2 feet took longer than rest of the tile combined. Everything comes together in this last corner. Tiles cut too small tend to crack and simply shaving a millimeter isn't possible with nippers so getting everything to fit was a challenge. I ended up widening the grout lines a tad to get whole tiles in the corner, but not before running out of tile and enduring a 3 day wait for more.