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How to add a modern take on the average bench

Posted June 25, 2018

Summer is in full swing and that means more home makeovers, weekend projects and some things magically appearing on that honey-do list. With dreams of reinventing the way your home looks, we thought a little inspiration from Lindi Vanderschaff of Love Create Celebrate is a great source of creativity.

We loved the way Lindi makeover her entry way bench and wanted to share her simple steps on how to add a modern take on the average bench. This will make any area pop with a new focal point in your home.

Here’s Lindi’s step-by-step process you can follow for a new sitting area in just two days. 

This is the bench we started with. It was already built into the space, but was covered in an old carpet. We knew that if we added some shelving and modernized the bench that we could keep it in place and make it a lot more functional for our family.

We ordered samples of this Basalt tile to see if it would work in our Entry. We were considering it for the floor (because it also comes in a 4″x16″ tile!), or our new tiled bench. When we actually held the tile, we realized just how porous it is. You can really see it in the picture above. The tile itself is stunning, but we knew right away that it would likely stain easily under heavy use from boots and shoes, so we decided against it as a floor tile. The basalt was perfect for our modern bench though!

Even though it’s tedious and frustrating, we started out by laying and fitting all of the tile before we stuck it in place.

We did this because 1) We wanted the tiles at the front of the bench to be full tiles (unlike the back!), and 2) we knew we had to start tiling from the back, meaning that we needed the correct size of that back row of tiles. If we started at the front, we wouldn’t have been able to reach the back and wouldn’t have wanted to put pressure on our brand new laid tiles.

You can see that we put all of our tile spacers in place as we went, to make sure that the width was correct, but didn’t actually tighten any of them.

Then came the fun part! Because everything was cut already, we just had to mix our thinset and we could layout the entire entry bench in one go!

There are two main things that you have to consider with a bench:

1. Bum Comfort

2. Knee Comfort

To tackle the bum comfort issue, we needed to make sure that our tiles were VERY level. No one wants a tile corner poking them in the butt! 

We used the ATR leveling system for this, which we love using.

Then, we really wanted to make sure that we used bullnose, rounded edging. We didn’t want any sharp edges digging into knees as we were putting on shoes.

Once we were done laying the tile, we clamped it all in place to make sure that the edging stayed on tight, and let it set.

Here’s what it looked like after we removed the spacers…

Getting the grout on always  makes such a huge difference!

The dark grout was perfect because we had been planning on using an Enhancing Sealer on the basalt tile. Not only would the sealer protect the porous tile, but it would also enhance the tile giving is a deeper, almost black appearance, which we loved!

After the grout sets for 48 hours, we were able to apply the enhancing sealer. Ours will still require a second coat of the tile enhancing sealer, but it looks amazing so far! The basalt tile was highlighted beautifully!

I put a couple of accessories on the bench, just to give a slightly better vision of what this tiled entry bench is going to look like when the entire entryway is complete. 

This tiled bench gives a totally unique look and makes for a great conversation piece. To see the full entry makeover from Lindi visit Love Create Celebrate.

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