Getting a Kitchen Back Splash




One day, I walked into my kitchen and said, “This is the day!  This is the day I am going to find a contractor to remove the border around my kitchen countertop, and replace it with a back splash.  Nothing had been done to the kitchen since it had been remodeled over 15 years earlier, and a small area around the faucet had begun to decay…it was time!  Procrastination was over! 

After contacting a contractor, a date was set-up to start the work.  Well…that guy said he was sick for about two weeks.  In the interim, a designer was brought in to help with the lay-out and design—a female.  She was a design retiree of General Motors …you know… those car people…and I felt she would have appropriate skills to make my kitchen “shine.”   Boy…was I in for a surprise!

After getting another contractor, with whom she met, I listened to his assessment of the situation and her mind started “clicking.”  While not actually disagreeing with some of the “moves” the guy was making relative to what was, would or could happen with the job, she carefully steered him away from his dire predictions onto workable solutions, thoughts that helped him see just maybe…those were unnecessary predictions, and “this may be the best solution for that.”   I stood quietly by and watched.  Readily, I could see “the woman was no joke!”  My technique in handling small contractors, is to always purchase the materials: (1) I like to know what I am getting and (2) many do not have the money to purchase needed materials.  The designer, whom I will call Cheryl, was on board with that.



After settling on a price with the contractor, Cheryl and I visited a tile shop or two, chose a conservative color and style for the major tile, and a glass tile that would generate “oohs and aahs” as a trim and center piece over the stove area.  We informed the store clerk that measurements would be called in later.   Returning home, the pint-sized designer went to work.  Let me say, with my main dwelling, as well as income properties, I have had numerous contractors do work over the years, but I have never seen anyone handle a ruler and pencil like that little lady!  She measured things to the “millimeter degree!”   Maybe that’s the way those “car people” do stuff.  At any rate, I was impressed.  Once the measurements were completed, I discovered the first contractor would have had me order too much tile.  That was a revelation!

Later, the order was called in and a week later, we were “good to go.”  After a few twists and turns, the two tiles and other needed materials were in place and a call was placed to the contractor to start the process.  The day before the work was to begin, he called and said his “heat was not working,” but he expected to get it repaired that day and would start the work the following day.  That night…he called and said he did not get it repaired and would need the next day to do so…Saturday would be the best he could do to start the back splash.  He had probably forgotten he was told Saturdays I teach under-privileged children piano lessons as a nonprofit volunteer.  Now…we were into Monday.  When that day arrived, he was ready to start!  Placing the entire process in the hands of Cheryl, all I had to do was observe.

Within minutes, the contractor and his “saw-the-tile-and-make-it-fit guy” relied totally on Cheryl for design guidance, measurements and assurance that the project was proceeding in the right direction.  It was great that they worked together harmoniously.  After a couple of days, only the tile grouting was left to be done.  Because of my busy schedule, arrangements were made for the contractor to return in two days.  Well…one day before the grouting was to begin, the contractor called and said he had an emergency situation on another job that necessitated canceling my job, and it would be four days before he could complete my kitchen.  At that point, annoyance set-in and I told him I would get someone else to do the grouting and deduct the cost from his agreed upon amount.  Guess who was able to do the job?  Cheryl…she stepped in and my kitchen looks great!  And…she was much neater that those guys!




Would I recommend Cheryl to you?  Yes!  Contact me @ if you are interested in having her contact you.  Just let me know what you would like done, and I will “fast forward” it to her.  So long…my kitchen is super and ready to use!