I was spending some idle time one day, half-way watching a marathon of "I Want That" on the DIY Network, my mind wandering as fancy objects flashed on the screen. I sat up at attention when they showed an adhesive slate tile and thought, "That's exactly what I need to protect the wall behind the stack of firewood."
Lo and behold, when I went to the website, that was the only product not listed for the episode. Instead of throwing up my hands and screaming, "Why me?" which was my original inclination, I decided to do some Google sleuthing until I was able to find a similar product. I thought it would be nice to have something similar to the patterns in the slate floor, as well as something that would compliment the wall color. After some deliberation, I chose "Indian Multicolor."
According to the show, the tile was easy to cut using a utility knife. However, there were two road blocks. One, I wasn't sure it was exactly the same tile that was shown on TV, and two, I couldn't find our utility knife when I decided to prettify my wall.
These were the tools that chose to accept the task: a level, a box cutter, my pair of Fiskars multipurpose snips, a pencil, a thrift store rolling pin, and of course, the exciting tile that might just change my life.
The tile was very thin, almost like poster board, and the back was covered with a peel-away sheet. The adhesive on the back was very strong, with just enough give to help me feel that I had a bit of wiggle room to get each piece just right. Since it's real stone, each tile was unique, and also, very pretty.
Installation began by removing the baseboards. I will be putting them back up soon. Eek! There's that burgundy again. I swear it's haunting me!
I took the first tile and leaned it against the wall, finding where the top rested. Once I knew that, I grabbed the level and marked a line so that the course would be level with the wall, not the floor. As you can see, there is a small gap at the floor, but that will be covered up when I put the baseboard back.
I peeled off the backing of the first piece and slapped that puppy up. My Charles held the second piece up to the level line while I marked off where the wall ended. To cut the tile, (and it probably would have been even better if I knew where in our thousand square feet our utility blade was,) I used a straightedge and marked the back with a pencil. Then I scored the back a few times, still using the straightedge, with my box cutter. I then whipped out my fancy Fiskars -- seriously, I love those things -- and cut down the score mark. The cuts weren't quite as pretty as they would have been if I'd been able to cut straight through with the box cutter, but the organic edge worked with the patterns of the slate. Once all the pieces were up, I made sure everything was nice and stuck by using the rolling pin. Seriously, use one you don't care about because you will get stone dust all over the pin.
Three tiles up was all it took. Now the wall is protected, and that corner looks like it should be the landing place of a couple of snow-filled nights worth of firewood instead of I'll-just-shove-it-here. It adds a bit of beauty to an otherwise utilitarian corner, and the clean lines evoke that modern cabin feel I'm striving to convey throughout our little house. I think I'll wrap the tile around that wee bit of wall on the left to make it feel even more finished. Maybe the best part -- it took all of an hour to get the project completed, and I'm sold on those peel and stick tiles.
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