In need of advice on kitchen wall.

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Old 09-03-17, 01:14 AM
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In need of advice on kitchen wall.

Hello.

Story: I'm renting an old soviet style apartment with a bunch of other people, where the kitchen has terrible wooden walls with red decorative tiles that all have deteriorated over decades. It gets quite dark in the kitchen, especially in winter. I have permission to do changes, but being a recent university graduate, I have a very small budget for improving something and major changes are not available because it would disturb roommates and be an inconvenience to them. I have a few days a month when they are not home and I can do some work.

Solution: Since changing the wood to tiles is both expensive and impossible to do by myself in a few days, renewing lacquer/varnish is difficult because I have no professional tools and the wood, as can be seen in the pictures, has a lot of deep crevices, so I just painted ivory colored paint on top of it.

Problem: Red decorative tiles. They look terrible with the new color of the wall. As a cheap solution, I want to cover them with waterproof photo tapestry, but the tiles have large gaps between them and I need an even surface to put up the tapestry. I wondered about removing them, but it seems like they hold the wooden wall and a large gap would remain upon removal. So I'm thinking if it's possible to grout such big gaps between the tiles and how to do it. I don't have exact measurements, but the gaps are big enough for me to almost stick my finger in between.

Any suggestions? Tips?

I'm attaching a few pics.
 
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Old 09-03-17, 06:28 AM
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It would be easier to cover it with a 1/4" thick piece of Luan. Then install your tapestry. BTW, who gave you permission? If the Landlord said yes but the lease said no, that's a trick to get improvements done so they can evict you & raise the rent for the next tenant. Not every owner would do that but keep it in mind.
 
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Old 09-03-17, 07:50 AM
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I don't know about where you live, but here full height beadboard is available (also called Cape Cod beadboard or Wainscot).
Here's a link to Home Depot and the panels are 48" x 96". You might be able to cover the entire side wall with a couple of these panels.
EUCATILE 32 sq. ft. 3/16 in. x 48 in. x 96 in. Beadboard White True Bead Panel-975-759 - The Home Depot

The material is thin and could be cut with a utility knife by scoring it several times and snapping it. That's if you don't have any power tools.
You could float the wall with grout as you want to do, or you could paint the brick white.
 
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Old 09-03-17, 09:15 AM
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Brian/Handyone,

Thank you, as I have zero experience, I hadn't known there's an option like this, but it really seems easier than grouting, and I don't like the tiles altogether no matter what color, so I will definitely look into it. Hopefully I will find something similar in local stores.

Thank you for helping out!
 
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Old 09-03-17, 09:29 AM
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ShortyLong,

Thank you for the advice, I will look into that as well when I go shopping for supplies. Hopefully the stores here will have one of the options.

About the lease, there is no lease Most people here rent apartments illegally to avoid taxes. A clearer version of the story would be that I've been living there for a few years now and I ended up in a serious relationship with a flatmate, who happens to be the landlord's son. Some parts of the apartment are really horrible, like the kitchen, so the landlord allowed me to make improvements but I have two other flatmates, one who dislikes me and another who works a night job and sleeps through the day, so I end up with limited time and options.
 
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