Caulk & Block
If you are wondering what this post is about….it’s about caulking. Phonetics are awesome, right?!
You guys know that our kitchen backsplash is my very favorite thing in my house right now and that we spent a ton of time and effort installing it (you can read about how my 9 month pregnant belly got tiling done here!). But when we installed our range, there was a lot of vibrations from cutting the granite countertop. It made the grout between the backsplash and the counters crack. Enter the caulk.
You can barely see it in most photos but it was there. A hairline crack in the grout line right above the counters begging for bacteria and dirt to hide inside.
Here’s a closeup. Yup – more cracks than a Saturday Night Live episode. Oh and yes, the rest of the molding had little cracks here and there too. Not pretty.
My method for caulking is really simple. First I get a bowl of water and a big wad of paper towels. Using the appropriate type of caulk, I apply a thin line in two foot sections right into the crack. Then I use a wet finger at an angle to simultaneously wipe and press lightly. There will be excess so wipe that into the end of the line extending your section. Keep your finger wet. Smooth if necessary.
In the end, your grout line will hide a multitude of sins. It’s like Jesus’ blood in that respect.
Now you may remember from our last kitchen post that we have put in a new gas range. I love it. like forever ever. It boils water in three seconds. Okay…I might be exagerrating. But apparently there are no english words to describe my celebratory dance moves when I use the new stovetop. The closest ones are speechless and seizure and salmon-like.
During the installation, we brainstormed ways to fix our little issue with the new stovetop…the gap in the back. Since the existing opening was slightly too deep, we had the new stovetop sitting on three sides of the countertop and the back had a quarter inch hole and the stove was left unsupported.
Jeremy used a 2×4 cut to length to slide up from the bottom to support the granite and the stove. The wood got screwed directly into the studs (through the cabinet). It was a super easy and quick fix.
Then came time to block that crack in the back. (that sounds like a DMX song)
I told Jer that I thought we could find a little bit of sheet metal to cut to length. So during one of our numerous HoPo visits (yes that is what us thugs call Home Depot), I spied this aluminum window cap for a buck. I told Jer that we should just pick it up because if it doesn’t work out, it’s just a dollar lost. I can’t even buy fried cheese with that.
The first thing I did was cut the piece to length with metal snips.
Then I marked where to cut it with a little sharpie to slide down into the hole. The red dots show ya where I mentally marked my cut lines.
The snips cut aluminum really easily. They are just like scissors so there is no reason to be intimidated. Since the aluminum bends really easily, I had to be careful not to dent it where I couldn’t fix it.
I trimmed the corner too to make it rounded like the stove. It just blended well that way. Installing it was as easy as pushing the aluminum directly down into the hole. Pop drop and lock never looked so good
And one dollar never looked so good. And that is coming from a girl who buys deeply discounted housewares.
We did consider adding a little bit of construction adhesive to it to make it stick to the granite, but the reality is…this sucker doesn’t move. And it cleans up just fine (we’ve already done the spaghetti sauce splatter test to which it passed with flying colors….specifically the red color with little tiny bits of green).
So that’s our el cheapo fixes to our kitchen. A one buck solution to block a gap and a little grout goes a long way, huh?! And because you know that no post about cracks would be complete without a Whitney quote….let’s all say it together (that includes you, Diane Sawyer)…crack is whack. Yes it is. It really is.
p.s. Can you believe I made it through that entire post without a single ‘that’s what she said’ joke?! I must be coming down with something.