Tentative Tuscan Tiles – Part Two – The Finished Floor

We are. Prouder than peacocks. Tiling the floor was about as easy as swimming the English Channel – and it took longer. But . . . there’s an upside. We are fond FOND! of the result.
Would it look like this if we had a professional do it? Not a chance, because when I changed my mind halfway through I wouldn’t have had the nerve to tell the big burly tile-laying guy who just wants to go home and catch Monday night football that I wanted something different (and besides he would have doubled the price on me). But I have to see it all laid out before I know if I’m going to like it or not. Conceptualizing just doesn’t cut it.
Here goes. The amazing adventures of people formerly terrified of tiling floors.
Step 1: Lay the backerboard. It’s awkward. It’s heavy. It’ll keep the tiles from cracking. It’s worth it.

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Cut it to size with a carbide scorer. (it’s a sharp double-edged knife for cutting concrete thingagummies like this.)
Mortar up the floor. More gray goop. It’s called thinset. Think mud pies.

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Lay the backerboard down. Yes! So glad to ditch the thing. (Don’t drop it. Lay it down gently. Then celebrate.)
Screw it down.

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Step 2: Apply fiberglass tape over the seams. The books say this is optional for the floor but it would make it more stable. Stable is good, especially when you come from a family of giants.
We laid the tape.Then we mortared on top of it.
Step 3: Measure. Or not.
Everything we read said to measure and mark with a chalk line. We did this. I’m sure it’s a good idea, but it didn’t work. For us. What the tape measure said was square may have been square in an alternate reality, but the idea was for it to LOOK square.
We gave the tape measure a retirement party (another good excuse to make a cake) and then laid out the tiles by eye. YOU of course should measure. The books say so.
We arranged the tiles until we found something we liked. This is the fun part. Really. When necessary we cut the tiles to fit with a tile cutter
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When we found a design we liked we spaced them with these little white crosses called, you guessed it,”spacers”.
Actually I DIDN’T guess it. I had to check the bag in order to tell you what they’re called. (So much for my literature degree.)Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Step 4; Take the tiles up and mortar.
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Step 5: Lay the tiles back down and insert the the little white crosses again. Allow it to dry. Remove crosses and grout.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Note the inspector.

Step 6: Wipe off excess. Wait 2 hours and wipe off gritty residue. We did this three times. The stuff is persistent.
Step 7: Promenade barefoot.
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So OK, it’s only the kitchen floor, but tiles can last thousands of years. It represents stability, solidity, foreverness. It’s an echo of the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans. It’s walking into Byzantium . . .
Proud. Happy. Happy and proud. We DID this! Hah! The other rooms are in for a rude awakening. There’s the laundry room, the dining room, the hall, the stairs, ooooh, lots of places yet to tile.

A www.Glintlit.com Production

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